From both location to crowd density, Lucknow admin takes tech-savvy route in quest to boost voter turnout - Hindustan Times
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From both location to crowd density, Lucknow admin takes tech-savvy route in quest to boost voter turnout

By, Lucknow
May 09, 2024 05:19 AM IST

At the ‘HT Spotlight – Elections 2024’ programme, Lucknow district magistrate Surya Pal Gangwar details a range of initiatives designed to encourage voter participation and streamline the voting process

The Lucknow district administration is set to embrace technology in a bid to improve the voter turnout in the Lok Sabha election in the state capital on May 20. District magistrate Surya Pal Gangwar made this announcement at the interactive session ‘HT Spotlight – Elections 2024 ‘organised by Hindustan Times at its Lucknow office on Wednesday.

Lucknow district magistrate Surya Pal Gangwar at the interactive session, ‘HT Spotlight – Elections 2024’. (HT Photo)
Lucknow district magistrate Surya Pal Gangwar at the interactive session, ‘HT Spotlight – Elections 2024’. (HT Photo)

Addressing a gathering of social media influencers, Gangwar detailed a range of initiatives designed to encourage voter participation and streamline the voting process.

The district administration has introduced two online platforms, [BoothLocation.in](https://boothlocation.in) and [ElectoralSearch.ECI.gov.in](https://electoralsearch.eci.gov.in/), to help voters determine their booth location and check their registration status. These platforms will also provide information on crowd density at polling stations, enabling voters to plan their visits to avoid long waits.

“The use of technology will allow youths to manage their time effectively on election day,” said Gangwar.

He added that staff at the polling stations will ensure that each voter takes no longer than 30 seconds to vote.

Suggestions to convert city malls into voting stations will be considered for future elections, providing additional accessibility and convenience.

The administration has made special arrangements at over 200 polling stations in private schools, where voters can enjoy air-conditioned facilities. Other polling stations will have coolers and shaded areas with chairs to provide comfort while voters wait in line. NGOs have been asked to adopt some of the booths to provide cold water, coolers, and shades for voters at Model booths to increase the voting percentage.

Gangwar also appealed to employers to grant leave to their staff on election day, emphasizing that everyone, including those in informal or essential services, deserves a chance to vote.

“If we ensure that essential staff are given time to vote, it could increase the voter count by more than 200,000 in the city,” he stated.

Staff like drivers, maids, domestic helps, guards and janitors must be given extra time to go and vote with their families. Their votes matter in a vibrant democracy, he said.

This year, the district administration has established polling stations at 14 high-rise buildings in Lucknow, with voter counts ranging from 300 to 800 per building.

If these locations achieve a 100% voter turnout, the administration plans to expand the number of polling stations in high-rise buildings and housing societies in future elections.

To further incentivize voter participation, the DM agreed to a suggestion allowing free admission to city parks for those who have voted on May 20.

Overall, Lucknow has 1,500 polling centres housing a total of 3,768 polling booths.

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