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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Sep 2014

Election Commission is now on Facebook

Rajesh Kumar Singh, Hindustan Times  Lucknow, June 23, 2013
First Published: 21:17 IST(23/6/2013) | Last Updated: 21:23 IST(23/6/2013)

The Election Commission account on the social media site Facebook - "Proud to be a Voter" - will motivate the voters to exercise their franchise rights in the upcoming Lok Sabha election.

 
A brainchild of the chief electoral officer (CEO) Umesh Sinha, the election commission has launched a page on Facebook under its awareness campaign. It will not only tell the voters about the importance of the vote, but also educate them about the right of the voters.
 
Before the assembly poll 2012, the election commission launched a massive motivational and awareness campaign, taking the polling percentage to above 60%. The youth were encouraged to participate in the electoral procedure, with organizing voter registration camps in the educational institutions.
 
With hardly a year left for the Lok Sabha elections, the Election Commission has again decided to focus on the youth, especially the first time voters, organizing an online creative contest targeting the youth on Facebook. The Commission will also organize a slogan and quiz contest, street plays and a script writing contest. The details of the winners will be displayed on Facebook.
 
The Facebook page will be interactive. The voters will be able to share their problems and give suggestions on the various issues related to the election on  the social media. Umesh Sinha says the aim is to develop synergy among the stakeholders.

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The urban apathy -  lower participation of women and youth - are major concerns for the election commission. The aim is to motivate the voters through creativity and social media is the best option. Information regarding the election would be available on the page. The voters will be given a platform to express themselves, and their grievances wwill be handled on priority basis, he said.
 
Organizations like NCC, NSS, Resident Welfare Association (RWA) and the media too would be involved in the awareness campaign.
 
Sinha said greater participation of the voters in the election would ensure a strong democratic system.

Participation of the voters in Uttar Pradesh has increased, but it is still unsatisfactory. In other states 70%  to 80% voters exercised their franchise rights in the previous election.
 
The election commission has decided to provide smart colour identity cards to the voters. Work is also continuing on SMS book and e-mail book for the voters.

 


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