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Election Commission of India Organizes Conference to Boost Voter Turnout Ahead of General Elections 2024

New Delhi: With the aim of fostering greater voter engagement and participation in the upcoming General Elections 2024, the Election Commission of India (ECI) convened a day-long ‘Conference on Low Voter Turnout’ today at Nirvachan Sadan, New Delhi. The conference brought together Municipal Commissioners from major cities and select District Election Officers (DEOs) from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh to deliberate on strategies to enhance voter turnout in identified urban and rural Parliamentary Constituencies (PCs).

Chaired by Chief Election Commissioner Shri Rajiv Kumar along with Election Commissioners Shri Gyanesh Kumar and Shri Sukhbir Singh Sandhu, the conference served as a platform to discuss and devise targeted interventions to address voter apathy and streamline logistical operations ahead of the polling.

In his address, Chief Election Commissioner Shri Rajiv Kumar emphasized the need for a concerted effort to boost voter participation, particularly in constituencies with historically low turnout. He underscored a three-pronged strategy focusing on facilitation at polling stations, targeted outreach and communication, and the involvement of critical stakeholders such as Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) and local influencers.

Highlighting the significance of tailored strategies for urban and rural areas, CEC Kumar urged Municipal Commissioners and DEOs to develop booth-wise action plans to enhance voter engagement and effect behavioral change. He stressed the importance of instilling pride among voters in participating in the democratic process, calling for a collective movement towards self-motivated voting.

The conference saw active participation from Municipal Commissioners of major cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Pune, Thane, Nagpur, Patna Sahib, Lucknow, and Kanpur, alongside select District Election Officers from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Additionally, Chief Electoral Officers (CEOs) from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Delhi, along with CEOs from seven states, joined the conference virtually.

Against the backdrop of approximately 297 million eligible voters abstaining from voting in the 2019 General Elections to Lok Sabha, the conference underscored the urgency of proactive measures to address voter apathy. The trend of urban apathy towards the electoral process, as evidenced in recent state elections, further underscores the need for collaborative efforts and targeted interventions to boost voter turnout.

The conference concluded with the formulation of comprehensive action plans tailored to the unique needs and demographics of urban and rural constituencies. By leveraging innovative voter awareness campaigns under the Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) programme, including public transport messaging, collaborations with RWAs, and social media outreach, the ECI aims to foster a culture of informed and enthusiastic participation in the electoral process.

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