Monday, January 24, 2011

25 January: President Pratibha Patil will wind up the diamond-jubilee celebrations of the Election Commission and launch the “National Voters Day”

President Pratibha Patil will launch National Voters Day on 25 January 2011

In order to encourage more young voters to take part in the political process, government has decided to celebrate January 25 every year as 'National Voters' Day'.

A meeting of the Union Cabinet , chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh , approved a Law Ministry proposal to this effect, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni told reporters.

Observing that new voters, who have attained the age of 18 years, were showing less interest in getting enrolled in the electoral rolls, she said the level of their enrolment was as low as 20 to 25 per cent in certain cases.

"In order to effectively deal with this problem, the Election Commission has decided to take up a vigorous exercise to identify all eligible voters attaining the age of 18 years as on January one every year in each of the 8.5 lakh polling stations across the country," she said.

Such eligible voters would be enrolled on time and handed over their Electoral Photo Identity Card (EPIC) on January 25 every year, Soni said, adding this initiative is expected to give the youth a sense of empowerment, pride and inspire them to exercise their franchise.

The new voters would be provided with a badge with its logo "Proud to be a voter - Ready to vote", she said.

Felicitation for voters

She will felicitate fresh voters, release a commemorative film on the Indian elections and present awards for the best electoral practices.

Briefing journalists on the preparations for the event, EC Director-General Akshay Rout said millions of fresh voters, as of January 1, 2011, would be distributed Electoral Photo Identity Cards on that day in over eight lakh polling booths in the country.

Delegates, particularly from the Election Commissions of 30 countries, would be attending the event he said, adding that the Election Commission of Pakistan had evinced interest in Indian Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) and had sought for its demonstration for its visiting delegates.

The EC agreed to the request to visit an EVM manufacturing centre.
 src:The Economic Times/The Hindu
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