The Election Commission of India plans to use the social media for spreading the message of higher participation of voters in elections and ethical voting practices. Highlighting the strength and spread of the social media, Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi said “the Election Commission cannot overlook its outreach.”
Inaugurating a day-long workshop on the social media for voters’ participation at the India International Institute of Democracy and Election Management (IIDEM), the CEC said measures like engagement with the social media will contribute to India’s step-up from being the largest democracy to the “greatest” democracy. The workshop discussed modalities of Election Commission of India’s engagement with internet-based social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and other blogs on which it soon plans to commence its campaign. Quraishi said higher participation of voters and ethical voting are key to strengthening electoral democracy and underlined that the Commission has developed and implemented a strong agenda on voter’s education and expenditure control and would like its proposed reforms on decriminalization of elections to become a reality at the earliest.
He also asked voters to turnout in high numbers in elections and select good candidates instead of castigating politicians and said voter education will address the citizen’s need in all three areas: information, motivation and facilitation.
The CEC announced such campaigns will be made even more vigorous to fill the gaps in registration in various age groups, reduce gender inequalities and maximize voter’s turnout.
Election Commissioner V S Sampath described the social media as a new area for the Commission. He hoped the goals and objectives of the Commission will be advanced through dissemination of information on the social media.