The election expenditure in 1971 was 11.61 crores, and in 1977 it increased to Rs 23.03 crores. From the first election to the seventeenth Lok Sabha election, the increase in voter expenditure has increased by more than nine thousand per cent.
India is not only the largest democracy in the world but the cost of these elections, which is held every five years, has also grown faster than other countries. The first election cost 60 Paise per voter, which has reached Rs 55 in today’s 17th Lok Sabha Election. One of the reasons why the Indian Law Commission recommended to conduct elections simultaneously was to tackle the increasing election expenditure.
The first election was in 1952 and it was the first time something like this was happening in India. A budget of Rs 10.45 crore was kept from ballot paper and election preparations. After successfully running the first election, the budget for the second election in 1957 was almost half. After that there was a steady increase in the electoral budget. In 1977 the budget of the election doubled from the previous election budget. The election expenditure in 1971 was 11.61 crores, and in 1977 it increased to Rs 23.03 crores.
On the basis of the electoral budget and the number of voters, the expenditure per elector can be calculated, it is constantly increasing. In 1977, the cost per Voter was 71 paise, and in 1980, it reached one and a half rupees per voter.
For the seventeenth Lok Sabha, that is, the expenditure in the 2019 Lok Sabha can reach 5 thousand crore rupees. Which means, the expenditure incurred on every voter has increased by 9067 per cent.
The highest increase in expenses started after the fifteenth Lok Sabha. In the 2009 election, where the expenditure on the per elector was 12 rupees, the expenditure in the 16th Lok Sabha reached 241% with an increase to 41 rupees. This time it is believed that the cost of holding elections will reach up to Rs 5000 crore.
The Central Government carries out the expenses incurred on the Lok Sabha while the State Government pays the expenses incurred on the electoral system of the Legislative Assembly. If the Legislative Assembly elections are held with the Lok Sabha, both the Central and the State equally bear the expenses incurred on election. Election expenses include ink, paper, voting machines and carrying them to the booth and daily allowance of employees engaged in counting.