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To get young voters, EC offers coffee

If democracy does not inspire, discounts will. That seems to be the idea behind chief electoral officer Vijay Dev’s latest initiative to catch young voters a year ahead of the Delhi elections. Neelam Pandey reports.

delhi Updated: Nov 03, 2012 23:47 IST
Neelam Pandey

If democracy does not inspire, discounts will. That seems to be the idea behind chief electoral officer Vijay Dev’s latest initiative to catch young voters a year ahead of the Delhi elections.

Dev under the election commission has come up with a plan wherein every time a young voter presents his voter ID card at hangouts such as coffee shops, pizza outlets and cinema halls she will get a 10-12% discount.

Confirming the move, Dev said that the election commission has already granted an in-principle approval to the proposal.

“The election commission is taking various steps to increase enrollment of youth, especially in the age group of 18-20 years, and women, as significant gaps exist in these categories. Measures such as special campaigns in schools and colleges, and tying up with coffee shops and eateries are being planned,” said Dev.

There are approximately 7 lakh voters in the Capital who fall in the 18-20 age group, but approximately only one lakh have voter identification cards.

“People in this age group constitute 4% of the total voters in the city, but they are reluctant to apply for voter ID cards. Some of them don’t want to stand in long queues while others are not at home when the booth-level officer pays a visit to get their names included in the voter list,’ added Dev.

Dev has also come up with a special ‘mobile’ initiative through which smartphone users can register their names in the ‘electoral rolls’. So far, 80,000 people have enrolled themselves.