To help voters make an informed decision during the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has once again underscored the significance of technology and innovation. Coming up with a number of initiatives like cVIGIL, PwD, Suvidha apps and Voter Helpline-1950, among others, the poll panel has been continuously innovating to empower citizens in order to ensure free and fair polls in India.
In Assam, for example, the State Election Department has tied up with 4,587 Common Service Centres (CSCs), the internet-enabled access points for delivering various government and non-government digital services, to train citizens on how to use the eight apps launched by ECI.
Similarly, several campaigns have been launched to create awareness about Electronic Voting Machines and voter slip as part of the Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation programme, better known as SVEEP.
This year’s election theme being “No voter to be left behind”, the poll panel has been reaching out to institutions like church to get the messages across to the electors.
Earlier this month, SVEEP campaign and mock poll sessions were organised in the remote hamlets near the Sino-India border.
The electoral officials during this campaign used innovative methods like demonstration sessions on the working of electronic voting machine (EVM) and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) to educate the voters.
Electoral Literacy Clubs have also been set up in schools and colleges to engage the youth in electoral process and make them aware about their rights as voter.
District administrations have been roped in to encourage voter participation through innovative means. For example, the Ghaziabad District administration organised a musical concert to appeal the voters use their voting right.
“Join us tomorrow evening ; #votekajosh#votegiri; musical evening at habitat centre, Indirapuram; lets all jointly pledge to vote on 11 April for GHAZIABAD,” tweeted District Magistrate Ritu Maheshwari on Friday.
In many other parts of India, voting appeals have been issued through mass cooking and serving of relishing SVEEP Khichdi, organising cricket SVEEP matches, SVEEP Rangoli and tug-of-war among women, burning effigy of electoral malpractices, SVEEP women-girls bike rally and SVEEP tricycle rally by physically challenged, among others.