The briefing paper on Missing Young Voters of Pakistan addresses the critical issue of the under-representation of youth in Pakistan’s electoral process. The paper is compiled so as to explore methods to enhance the participation of youth in the electoral process of the country both as voters and as participants.
Despite representing a significant portion of registered voters, young Pakistanis (aged 18 to 35) show a turnout that lags behind the national voting average. Youth constitutes a significant part of Pakistan’s population and therefore needs to be understood as a critical demographic for shaping the nation’s future political culture. Their historic low voter turnout poses critical issues for the future of Pakistan’s democratic and electoral process. This paper compares Pakistani youth’s electoral participation with other democracies in order to illustrate the benefits of better engagement of youth in the electoral process often due to state-led initiatives.
The paper also highlights reasons behind low engagement of youth in the electoral process and offers recommendations and targeted strategies to empower young voters to engage more actively in Pakistan’s electoral and democratic processes.