The Election Commission of India (ECI) is all set to launch a "special drive to enrol left-out electors, with a special focus on first time electors," from July 1 this year in an attempt to move in the direction of the poll panel's motto: "No Voter To Be Left Behind."
The ECI is collaborating with social networking platform Facebook to launch its first nationwide "Voter Registration Reminder" on July 1, 2017. The idea is to reach out to the maximum number of eligible voters in an attempt to fulfil the poll panel's motto. A notification of the "Voter Registration Reminder" will be sent out on Facebook on July 1 to those eligible to vote.
With over 180 million people in India on Facebook, the "Register Now" button has been designed to encourage Indian citizens to register themselves with the ECI. The reminder will be sent out in English and 12 Indian languages — Hindi, Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Punjabi, Bengali, Urdu, Assamese, Marathi and Oriya.
When people click on the 'Register Now' button on Facebook from July 1 this year, they will be directed to the National Voters' Services Portal which will guide them through the registration process. This is the first time the voter registration reminder has been introduced across the country. The chief electoral officers had attempted to do only at the state level during their respective state elections in 2016 and 2017.
Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi said: "I am pleased to announce that the Election Commission of India is launching a 'Special Drive to enrol left out electors, with a special focus on first time electors This is a step towards fulfilment of the motto of ECI that 'NO VOTER TO BE LEFT BEHIND'."
Zaidi added: "As part of this campaign, on July 1, 2017, Facebook will run a voter registration reminder in multiple Indian languages to all the Facebook users in India. I urge all eligible citizens to enrol and VOTE i.e. recognise your right and perform your duty). I am sure this initiative will strengthen Election Commission of India's enrolment campaign and encourage future voters to participate in the Electoral Process and become responsible Citizens of India."
Ankhi Das, Facebook's Public Policy Director for India, South & Central Asia, said: "People use Facebook to learn, talk and get involved with issues that matter to them. We want to build engagements that support this type of civic engagement — on Election Day and every day. We believe that democracies are stronger when more people are engaged — that's why we are encouraging everyone who is eligible to register to vote and connecting them with resources."