Assam Elections 2021: Election Department launches extensive voter awareness drive
As part of the Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP), the flagship programme of the Election Commission of India (ECI) for voter education, spreading voter awareness and promoting voter literacy, the state election department has engaged prominent personalities to woo the electorate to the polling booths.
Addressing the media here on Friday, Assam chief electoral officer Nitin Khade said, “The overall voting percentage in the 2016 Assembly elections and 2019 parliamentary elections was 85 per cent and 80 per cent, respectively. This time, we are targeting a percentage beyond 85, and our slogan will be Ab ki baar, 85 per cent ke paar, for which we have launched this extensive campaign involving SVEEP Icons.”
Khade said they would carry additional campaigns in constituencies where the voting percentage was less in the previous elections.
“We will use multi-media channels, social media, print media, et al. Besides, there will be a live performance, street plays and mob flash dance to generate awareness among young voters. The campaigns are being worked out at the district level, and officers are on the job,” the Assam CEO said.
He also said that the polls would be a tremendous exercise involving between 2.5 lakh and 3.5 lakh government employees besides the voters and political parties.
“But this year, the polls will be a unique election and more challenging because of the post COVID scenario and a set of guidelines and standard operating procedures (SOPs). In polling stations having over 1,000 voters, we will set up additional polling stations also involving more police officers and vehicles,” he said.
“Besides, as per the ECI guidelines, there has to be a minimum distance of six feet between each voter at a polling station. Besides, there will be a waiting area for the voters, and we will give them plastic gloves (before they cast their votes) to avoid contamination (from the EVM),” he added.
The CEO said that “the department wants to convey a coherent message to our voters for ethical, safe, free and fair elections.”
Apart from the icons, the department has also launched mascots, ‘Bohag and Bohagi’, and released the theme song for the polls.
(Edited by Andre Kongri)