The Himalayan Times, 8 Dec 2017
Young voters enthusiastically took part in the second phase of provincial and parliamentary elections held today in Kathmandu Valley.
Many youths were casting their votes for the first time. Standing in queues with curiosity and a little nervousness, the voters were keen to cast their votes for the candidates of their choice. They had learned about the types of ballot papers and candidates through voter education programmes.
“I had learned about the ballot papers and voting technique before the elections. I am exited to cast my vote,” said Awash Bhattarai, a resident of Shankhamul.
Kritika Bhandari, 21, who had cast her vote at Minbhawan-based Nepal Commerce Campus voting centre, said, “This was an opportunity for me to vote for the candidate of my choice. I was very careful not to make any mistake,” she said.
“I don’t have any high expectations from the candidates as such as this is the first time I am casting my vote. However, I was a little worried about making mistakes. After casting my vote, I feel I have fulfilled a responsibility as a citizen of this country,” said Samikshya Shrestha, another voter.
First time voters didn’t seem confused about the voting process.“The ballot papers weren’t much complicated. I had already decided who and which party to vote for so there was no confusion at all,” said Bipin Gautam, 23, of Koteshwor. However, some young voters faced difficulty finding their names on the voter list.
Kristina Bhandari of Minbhawan was tensed when her name wasn’t found on the voter list. “I felt bad when people told me to go here and there, but I was prepared not to miss the opportunity to vote. Eventually I found my name on the voter list and I was happy,” Bhandari said.
The election also provided the youths an opportunity to clear their confusions. “I always felt that party cadres clashed at polling centres. I even feared blasts as explosions are taking place everywhere. But security arrangements were good and voting took place peacefully,” said Nabina Neupane, a resident of Shankhamul.
“I was excited ever since I got my voter identity card. However, I didn’t want to come to the polling centre as I was busy studying. Yet I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to exercise my voting right,” said Pratima Gautam, a voter.