Himachal Pradesh was named the best state in the Election Commission’s national awards for election management 2022-23 for achieving the highest-ever turnout in the state Assembly elections last year.
The awards, which were handed out to officials representing their state and districts by President Droupadi Murmu, recognised innovation, excellence and proficiency in election processes, the EC said. Himachal Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer Maneesh Garg received the award on behalf of the state for its 75.9% turnout in 2022 and voter awareness campaigns.
Goa Joint Director (IT) Praveen Volvotkar received the award in the best IT initiatives category for coming up a Telegram-based chatbot “Voter Dost” during the Goa elections in 2022. The award for election management was conferred upon Bahraich district magistrate Dinesh Chandra for “significant increase in registration of new voters” during the special summary revision 2022. The number of electors aged 18-19 years increased by 1.04%.
From Manipur, Superintendent of Police of Churachandpur, Shivanand Surve, won the award for security management, while Imphal West DM Thokchom Kirankumar won the award for innovative measures and enhancing turnout to over 90% without any repolling or violence.
Bilaspur DM Pankaj Rai and his Kangra counterpart Nipun Jindal won awards for the voters’ education and IT initiatives, respectively, during the Himachal polls.
Pune Collector and District Election Officer Rajesh Deshmukh also won the award for voters’ education and electoral participation for enrolling 48,212 new youth voters.
Amritsar DM Gurpreet Singh Khaira won the award for accessible elections during the Punjab polls. Uttarakhand Assistant CEO Mastu Das was awarded for security of EVM-VVPAT for making “special efforts to carry EVMs and VVPATs in inaccessible rugged terrains”.
Gujarat Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Narasimha N Komar was awarded for security management.