The district election office in Pune has identified 123 millennial voters, who were born on January 1, 2000, after an intensive identification drive across 21 legislative constituencies in the district.
These ‘millennium voters’ will be felicitated on National Voters’ Day, January 25, as part of an effort to create awareness about the importance of voting.
The event is part of a national campaign envisaged by the Election Commission to project these youngsters, the first ones to be eligible to vote among those born in this millennium, as ‘ambassadors” of electoral democracy.
On how the ‘millennium voters’ were identified, Deputy Election Officer of Pune district, Monica Singh, said, “Officials working in each constituency had approached colleges, municipal bodies, ward offices and gram panchayats in their respective jurisdictions to identify those born on January 1, 2000. The teenagers were then asked to fill up electoral registration forms, and attach their proof of address and identity”.
“We had received 133 applications from various sources… of these, 10 were discarded after scrutiny, as the boys and girls were born either on December 31 or January 2,” said Singh.
Deodatta Thombre, the tahsildar working with the Election Office, said that during the felicitation function, the 123 youngsters will get Electoral Photo Identity Cards (EPIC) as well as a badge that states: Voter of a New Millennium. “They will be given cards and badges… at the event to be held on National Voters’ Day on January 25,” said Thombre.
The district election office has also taken several other measures — such as directing college principals to appoint ‘ambassadors’ to focus on enrolment among college students — to increase awareness about the voting process.
“These ambassadors will collect application forms for voter enrolment and hand it over to officials of the district electoral department. The colleges have even been told to give the district administration a certificate stating that all the students have registered as voters. We have held meetings with the managements of junior, degree, engineering and medical colleges to discuss voter enrolment,” said an official.