For the next one month, the Election Commission (EC) will go all-out to enrol the young voters of Delhi, particularly those in the age group of 18-19, through a multi-pronged campaign, including radio spots and social media engagement. The special drive, which begins on July 1, will also include door-to-door visits by booth level officers (BLOs) in all the 70 Assembly constituencies of the national capital and special camps in high schools, colleges, universities, ITIs and polytechnics at 730 locations, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Delhi, Chandra Bhushan Kumar told reporters here today. The exercise primarily seeks to bridge the shortfall in the number of young electors vis-a-vis their projected number in the 2011 Census. “The objective of the drive is the enrollment of the eligible young electors, particularly in the 18-19 age group (extendable up to 21 years of age) as on January 1, 2017,” said Kumar.
According to the figures available with the CEO’s office, the projected population of the Delhi youth, in the 18-19 age group, is 6,34,584. On the other hand, the number of such youth enrolled with the CEO’s office till June 28 stands at 1,80,936 — 1,13,647 males and 67,289 females. Kumar said besides the door-to-door visits by BLOs, the young voters would also be reminded to get themselves registered with the CEO’s office through Facebook and Twitter. “Besides, a 30-second radio spot has been created for the campaign with a jingle. The youth are media-savvy, so we hope the multi-media and social media campaign will help us attract them,” he added. The CEO’s office said as additional services to the voters and citizens, a mobile app developed by the EC could be downloaded from the commission’s website. “Users can fill a form, track its status, make electoral search etc. through the app,” it added.
Kumar said the number of online registrations, currently at about 66 per cent, had risen. Also, this time, new BLO registers have been printed. The last time they were printed was in 2012. One of the challenges of carrying out a door-to-door campaign is that many households have single residents, who are working professionals. “There are about 46 lakh households in Delhi, out of which about 20 lakh have single residents. We have instructed the BLOs to visit them on weekends or in the evening,” said the CEO. “We will also rope in the NCC and NSS volunteers to spread the word. Advertisements would be published in newspapers and put up at metro stations,” he said, adding that a WhatsApp group had already been created for the EC’s ambassadors in various colleges.
Special camps would be organised at senior secondary schools on July 13-14 and at colleges, ITIs, polytechnic colleges on July 27-28 for the submission of Form-6 for the left-out electors in the 18-21 age group. Kumar said the drive would also focus on the “removal of names of the expired electors”. “Any family member or relative can file Form 7, along with a copy of the death certificate, for deletion of name of the deceased elector,” he added. “The disposal of the forms will be done within 30 days from their receipt. The disposal of Form-7 (other than death cases), Form-8 and Form-8A, received during the special drive, will be done only after it is over,” said Kumar.