ECI Holds A ‘Conference On Low Voter Turnout’ with Municipal Commissioners, DEOs From Select Districts

ECI Holds A ‘Conference On Low Voter Turnout’ with Municipal Commissioners, DEOs From Select Districts

New Delhi, April 6 (TNA) Ahead of the polling in the ongoing General Elections 2024, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has accelerated efforts to enhance voter turnout in Parliamentary Constituencies (PCs) with a history of low poll participation in previous General Elections.

In a day-long ‘Conference on Low Voter Turnout’ held at Nirvachan Sadan in New Delhi on Friday, Municipal Commissioners from major cities and select District Election Officers (DEOs) from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh deliberated together to chart a path towards enhancing voter engagement and participation in identified urban and rural PCs.

The Conference was chaired by Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar along with Election Commissioners Gyanesh Kumar and Sukhbir Singh Sandhu. On the occasion, a booklet on voter apathy was released by the Commission. 11 States/UTs namely Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, NCT of Delhi, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, Telangana, Gujarat, Punjab, Rajasthan, J&K and Jharkhand had a voter turnout lower than the national average of 67.40% in the 2019 General Elections to the Lok Sabha.

Out of the total 50 Rural PCs across 09 states identified with lower voter turnout than the national average in 2019, 40 PCs are from Uttar Pradesh (22 PCs) and Bihar (18 PCs). In UP, 51- Phulpur PC recorded the lowest turnout of 48.7%, while in Bihar, 29-Nalanda PC recorded the lowest turnout of 48.79%.

While addressing the Municipal Commissioners and DEOs, CEC Shri Rajiv Kumar said that a total of 266 Parliamentary Constituencies ( 215 Rural & 51 Urban) with low voter turnout have been identified and all concerned Municipal Commissioners, DEOs and State CEOs have been called to find ways to reach out to voters in targeted manner.

He emphasized on a three-pronged strategy of providing facilitation at polling stations like queue management, shelter parking in congested areas; targeted outreach & communication; and involvement of critical stakeholders like RWAs, local icons and youth influencers to persuade people to come to polling stations. CEC Kumar directed them to prepare a booth-wise action plan for enhanced participation and behaviour change.

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