ECI joins hands with banks, post offices for electoral awareness ahead of LS polls | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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ECI joins hands with banks, post offices for electoral awareness ahead of LS polls

Feb 26, 2024 04:40 PM IST

The ECI is planning to reach a wider audience through 1.6 lakh bank branches, over 2 lakh ATMs and 1.55 lakh post offices across the country

The Election Commission of India on Monday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) and the Department of Posts (DoP) to step up voter education and outreach ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

The Election Commission of India office in New Delhi. (Reuters File Photo)
The Election Commission of India office in New Delhi. (Reuters File Photo)

The MoU was signed in the presence of Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar and Election Commissioner Arun Goel. Department of Posts secretary Vineet Pandey, IBA chief executive Sunil Mehta and other officials from the bodies were also present on the occasion.

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The 2019 general elections saw a record-high 67.4% voter turnout, and the Commission aims to improve on that number. Around 300 million electors (out of 910 million), did not cast their votes in 2019, which is why one of the objectives laid out in the SVEEP vision document is to increase the voter turnout to 75% this year through enhanced electoral awareness.

The ECI is planning to reach a wider audience through 1.6 lakh bank branches, over 2 lakh ATMs and 1.55 lakh post offices across the country.

Notably, ECI had recently signed an MoU with the Ministry of Education to formally integrate electoral literacy into the educational curriculum of schools and colleges.

As part of the MoU, IBA and DoP with its members and affiliated institutions/units will display voter education messages prominently on their websites. It will also establish Voter Awareness Fora to engage employees and customers in discussions and initiatives related to voter education.

Banks will display promotional material in the form of posters, flex, and hoarding, providing a touchpoint for election authorities to reach out to voters. The Department of Posts will affix a special cancellation stamp (bearing voter education messages) on the postal articles.

The IBA, formed on 26 September 1946, started with 22 members and now has a strong network of 247 members across the country. Meanwhile, for more than 150 years, the Department of Posts has been the backbone of India’s communication system and has played a crucial role in the country’s social and economic development.

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