The democratic system in India is based on the principle of universal adult suffrage; that any citizen over the age of 18 can vote in an election (before 1989 the age limit was 21). The right to vote is irrespective of caste, creed, religion or gender. Those who are deemed unsound of mind and people convicted of certain criminal offenses are not allowed to vote. There has been a general increase in the number of people voting in the Indian election. In 1996, 57.4% of the electorate voted. This increased to 66 % in the General Election held in 2014. Women voted in good numbers and almost in equal proportion as men.