Gujarat students to make their parents pledge to vote: EC

EC, Election Commission of IndiaGandhinagar : Gujarat’s chief electoral officer B.B. Swain on Wednesday said the pll panel will be using more than 50 lakh students of tate government schools to receive a pledge from their parents to exercise their voting rights in the forthcoming assembly election.

The commission will also be using the eminent personalities of 33 districts as district election icons for spreading awareness about the election. It will be using a newly developed system called Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot System (ETPBS) for service voters, he said.

Addressing the media here, Swain said: “As earlier, we have prepared a pledge letter for the parents of the over 50 lakh students of the state, to pledge for exercising heir voting rights. We have developed a two page letter, with one for the pledge and the other for informational purposes for voting awareness.

“The students will take the signed pledged letter, submit it to their schools and it will be forwarded to the commission. The other section will be torn off the perforation and serve as informational help to the voters. This way we will be reaching out to over 50 lakh households of the state.”

The parents will have pledge for the parents to have their names registered with the electoral roll, exercising their voting rights without or under any pressure or temptation, and using the None Of The Above (NOTA) option if they did not chose any candidate. The torn off page will have pictorial depiction of the EVMs and an explanation of the Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT).

The poll panel has assigned renowned cricketer Chaiteshwar Pujara as the state election commission icon as well budding young tennis player Ankita Raina. It has also selected various eminent personalities from all across the state to be district icons to help spread awareness regarding the election.

The service personnel from various fronts like the government, police and military forces were able to exercise their voting rights only through postal ballot till this time, but now the Election Commission has developed a new electronic system for them.

“The Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot System (ETPBS) is specifically designed for such personnel who are associated with the electoral process and will be occupied in the poll process on the election day. Right now the commission is carrying out the registration of such service voters and it will continue till the date of the filling of the nomination deadline for candidates,” said Swain.

Swain also said that from Thursday, general observers for the first phase of the elections will start arriving in the state and by Nov 21, all the 100 general observers from various cadres of the IAS services, 66 Indian Revenue Services personnel as expenditure observers and 36 Indian Police Service personnel as police observers”, will be here.

He also said that till now, the commission has disposed of eleven cases of the violation of the model code of conduct. “None of them have any significance and all of hem had been filed by individual citizens,” said Swain.


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