Identify areas with low turnout to improve polling: ECI tells Tripura CEO
ECI delegates participate in SVEEP event at Beonia under South Tripura district.

Agartala: The Election Commission of India has directed the office of the Chief Electoral Officer, Tripura to identify the areas where voter turnout was lesser in the 2018 Assembly elections compared to 2013.

The ECI delegation, comprising special officers D Ranvir Singh and Santosh Ajmer, has been engaged by the poll panel to review the Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) in the poll-bound state.

The team is also working to ensure that proper facilities are installed in the polling stations across the state for voters of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) under the old-age category.  

“An overall review of the SVEEP plans and accessibility measures with all the District Election Officers (DEOs) took place through video conferencing in presence of the Chief Electoral Officer Kiran Gitte. All the district and state level officials engaged in commanding positions for the polls also participated in the meeting for proper preparedness,” a press statement from the state Election Department said.

The ECI officials laid emphasis on low voter turnout in the 2018 Assembly elections in comparison to the 2013 polls and suggested a slew of efforts to improve the voter turnout in the selected areas.

“The total poll percentage dropped from 91.82 percent to 89.38 percent. The ECI team has advised the DMs to identify the lower turnout areas and find out the reasons for low voting. They shall design the voter awareness programme to improve the polling percentage to the level of 2013 elections,” the press statement said.

They have instructed the DEOs to provide facilities at polling stations like ramps, wheelchairs, sign language volunteers, ballot papers in Braille, etc. so that the persons with disability can exercise their votes without any hassle.

Chief Electoral Officer, Tripura Kiran Gitte has informed the ECI delegates that special initiatives such as organising online quiz contests, decorating polling stations, and setting up youth-managed, women-managed and PwD-managed polling stations in every Assembly Constituency had already been undertaken. Besides, a special campaign called ‘Mission 929’ has been launched to sensitise voters.  

“The State Election Department will host a Rangoli competition in every household on the occasion of Poush Sankranti. These 929 polling stations are those where voter turnout was less than 88 percent in the 2018 Assembly polls. In addition, a campaign incorporating attractive audio-visual videos, jingles, etc. will be taken up in the coming days to create mass awareness among voters,” the CEO told ECI delegates.

The ECI team also visited Belonia Sub-Division under South Tripura District where they attended one Electoral Literacy Club at ICV College organised by ERO (SDM), Belonia. They will also visit a few places in Gomati District and West Tripura District before leaving for Delhi, the press statement added.

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