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Thursday, May 30, 2024

ECI Partners with Banks, Post Offices for Electoral Awareness

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) and the Department of Posts to enhance voter outreach and awareness ahead of the upcoming General Elections to Lok Sabha 2024. This move follows ECI’s efforts to enhance electoral awareness in the country. The MoU was signed in the presence of Chief Election Commissioner Shri Rajiv Kumar and Election Commissioner Shri Arun Goel, and included officials from the Department of Posts, IBA, and ECI.

As part of the MoU, IBA & 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.

Key highlights of the MoU include:

  • 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.
  • All member institutions under IBA & DoP will establish Voter Awareness Fora to engage employees and customers in discussions and initiatives related to voter education.
  • Sensitize about training module on SVEEP in the regular orientation Programmes of employees of IBA & DoP.
  • The Department of Posts will affix a special cancellation stamp (bearing voter education messages) on the postal articles.

Despite successfully managing and conducting elections by the Election Commission over the years in 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 General Election to Lok Sabha 2019. The voting percentage was 67.4%, which the Commission has taken as a challenge to improve upon.

This collaboration with IBA and Department of Posts, signifies a significant step towards strengthening democracy by empowering citizens with knowledge and awareness about their electoral rights and responsibilities. Through concerted efforts, both organizations are committed to fostering a culture of informed and active participation in the electoral process.

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