Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Election Commission
14-December-2011 16:50 IST
Workshop on Maximization of Voters’ Participation in Five Election Going States

The Election Commission of India organized a one day workshop on Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) programme here yesterday with the objective of maximization of Voters’ participation in the forthcoming elections to the Legislative Assemblies of five States, viz., Manipur, Goa, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The workshop was inaugurated by the Chief Election Commissioner of India, Dr S.Y. Quraishi, in the presence of Election Commissioners Sh. V.S. Sampath and Sh. H.S. Brahma. There were about 50 participants from official media departments like All India Radio, Doordarshan, DAVP, DFP, Song & Drama Division and partner agencies like NYKS, NSS, NCC etc. and the Chief Electoral Officers and other officers concerned from the five election-going States. This was the first time a workshop was organized in the Commission on SVEEP, in line with the Commission’s recent policy to seek greater participation of citizens in the electoral process. The workshop finalized an action plan for enhancing voters participation in forthcoming elections.

Dr. S.Y. Quraishi, in his opening address, said that with increased and informed participation in elections, the quality of representation will improve. This may obviate the need for any ‘Right to Recall’. He asked the Chief Electoral Officers of the States to ensure the citizens’ Right to Franchise, by means of registration and voting at the time of elections. He highlighted the voter turnout records in the recent Assembly elections following a concerted voter education drive by the Commission. The CEC observed that there was an urgent need to overcome hindrances to voter participation like youth indifference, gender gap, urban apathy and enrolling the weaker sections. The Commission was, therefore, adopting Social Marketing strategies for focused intervention, which were also cost-effective. Dr. Quraishi underlined the importance of forging a close partnership with media departments and youth & education organizations for achieving maximum participation.

Sh. V.S. Sampath, Election Commissioner emphasized the facilitation measures needed for improving voters turnout. Sh. H.S. Brahma, Election Commissioner mentioned about the positive impact of the messages from the national and regional icons in reaching out to the youth and the excluded population in the recent elections.

The participant departments assured the Commission of their support in taking forward the initiatives for maximizing voters’ participation in the coming five State Assembly elections. The workshop ended with a resolve from the CEOs and public media and partner agencies to make all out efforts for a successful organization of National Voters’ Day, 2012 and improving voter participation in the forthcoming elections, through targeted interventions. It also emerged from the workshop that that private media should take a more pro-active role in voter awareness campaigns.

Election Commission of India

New Delhi, 14th December, 2011