The state election commission (SEC) has come out with a number of campaigns aiming at systematic voters’ education and electoral participation.
Targeting increased youth participation in the Lok Sabha elections, SEC replaced its earlier mascot, ‘Ananta Babu’, with a young ‘Ananya’ who represents first-time voters. “We are looking at voters’ turnout, ethical voting and electronic voting machine (EVM) awareness. We have sent the campaign material to Delhi for approval by the Election Commission of India,” said Amitjyoti Bhattacharya, assistant chief electoral officer (CEO).
Static outdoor media including banners, posters and hoardings would contain messages such as ‘Amar vote, amar bhabishot’ (My vote, my future) in urban areas, and for rural belts, ‘Gram e sohor e, vote amader shokoler’ (village or city, vote is ours) will be the slogans. Among the EVM awareness material, Bhattacharya said that one of the important features would be the awareness on None of the Above (NOTA) option.
To promote ethical voting, Amit Roychowdhury, officer on special duty, said posters and hoardings saying ‘Say yes to vote, no to note’ were being readied. “The website of the state CEO would be highlighted and people would be educated that simply having an Elector’s Photo Identity Card (EPIC) is not enough. One needs to have his or her name registered in the voters’ list as well and it also says what to do in case one’s name is not registered,” Roychowdhury said.
Apart from that, in collaboration with Doordarshan, five audio visual films have been developed using traditional folk art of Purulia and Malda.