Guwahati, Wednesday, March 16, 2016
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Steps to increase voter participation

 GUWAHATI, March 15 - With a view to increasing voter participation in the forthcoming Legislative Assembly polls to the four constituencies located in the city, the Kamrup Metro Election district has undertaken a number of measures for creating voter awareness, registration of more eligible voters and attracting more citizens to the polling booths on election day.Senior officials of the Kamrup Metro Election district told The Assam Tribune that Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) activities undertaken during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls had delivered good “dividends” in the form of a comparatively higher voter turnout.

“Turnout in 2014 had gone up to 75.31 per cent in Guwahati as compared to 64.69 per cent during the 2011 Assembly polls. So this time also we are undertaking SVEEP activities, which are designed and executed to ensure registration of all eligible voters as electors and also to attract them to the polling booths on the day of polls,” said an official.

Among the SVEEP activities for the 2016 Assembly polls in the four constituencies of the city are, use of social media, special measures to attract female voters, poster campaigns, street plays and memento for the first voter on the day of the polls.

“A specially designed memento will be presented to the first elector who will cast his or her vote on poll day as a token of appreciation. Besides, to attract female voters, a specially designed sticker on the theme of voter awareness will be pasted on all LPG cylinders. An extensive promotion campaign has already been undertaken on social media by means of Facebook and Twitter to spread the message of voter awareness, especially among young voters,” said the official.

Sky balloons displaying voter awareness are proposed at three major locations in the city – Dr Bhupen Hazarika Memorial, office of the Kamrup Metro Deputy Commissioner and B Barooah Road.

The election district authorities have also prepared three videos which are being telecast at various cinema halls.

“A mobile display van which will move throughout the city, and specially designed posters are also planned. Hoardings at strategic locations with messages of voter awareness are also planned,” said an official.

He added, “An exclusive song has been sung by Zubeen Garg on the theme of voter awareness which is being broadcast on FM channels. The song carries an appeal to the electors to come out and vote.”

Voter slips will also be distributed among all the electors before the day of poll. “The slips are intended to both serve as a reminder and appeal to the electors to come out and exercise their right to vote,” said the official.

Bulk SMS campaign and WhatsApp, flyer pamphlets and street plays are also part of the SVEEP activities to be arranged by the Kamrup Metro Election district.

“An exhibition of electronic voting machines and the newly introduced Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) is being organised in collaboration with the Directorate of Audio Visual Publicity to familiarise the electors,” officials said.

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