Banks, post offices to help ECI step-up voter education ahead of LS polls

New Delhi, Feb 26 (IANS): In a first-of-its-kind initiative, the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Monday signed a MoU with the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) and the Department of Posts (DoP) to amplify its voter outreach and awareness efforts, ahead of the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.

The ECI said that the initiative was in continuation of its untiring efforts to enhance electoral awareness in the country.

Notably, the ECI had recently signed a MoU with the Ministry of Education to formally integrate electoral literacy into the curriculum of schools and colleges.

As part of the MoU, IBA and DoP with its members and affiliated institutions/units will extend support in promoting voter education through their extensive network on a pro-bono basis, employing various interventions to empower citizens with knowledge about their electoral rights, processes, and steps for registration and voting.

The ECI said that members and affiliated institutions/units will display voter education messages prominently on their websites, directing visitors to learn more about the electoral process.

Voter education content will be disseminated through various promotional channels such as social media and customer outreach platforms of member institutions, ensuring widespread awareness among stakeholders and the public.

Voter education messages will be displayed in the form of posters, flex, and hoardings at office infrastructure/premises at major locations, reaching customers at key touchpoints, an official added.

All member institutions under IBA and DoP will establish Voter Awareness Fora to engage employees and customers in discussions and initiatives related to voter education.

The DoP will affix a special cancellation stamp (bearing voter education messages) on postal articles.

Despite the ECI successfully managing and conducting elections over the years in a fair and peaceful way along with a significant increase in participation of the electors, there is also a concern that around 30 crore electors (out of 91 crore), did not cast their votes in the 2019 General Elections.

“The voting percentage was 67.4 per cent, which the Commission has taken as a challenge to improve upon,” the ECI added.

The ECI said that this collaboration with the IBA and DoP was a significant step towards strengthening democracy by empowering citizens with knowledge and awareness about their electoral rights and responsibilities.

Through concerted efforts, both organisations are committed to fostering a culture of informed and active participation in the electoral process.


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Title: Banks, post offices to help ECI step-up voter education ahead of LS polls

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