Free Press Journal

New and young voters to play important role this election


Kolkata: New and young voters who have increased substantially in West Bengal are the target of the Election Commission this time to boost voter turnout, an official in the Chief Electoral Officer’s office said today.

“New and young voters are our target to increase voter participation this time. Number of such voters have increased substantially,” Assistant CEO Amitjyoti Bhattacharya said here.

As mark of special care to new voters, Bhattacharya said the Commission has projected a new imaginary voter ‘Ananya’ as its state icon, besides former President A P J Abdul Kalam as its national icon.

“Voter turnout in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls was over 81 per cent and in the 2011 Assembly election it was 84.49 per cent, but we are expecting it to be more this time,” he said.

Stating that enlistment of about 20 lakh new voters from 18 to 20 years of age would be a key factor this time, Bhattacharya said youth voters comprising the new ones would play an important role.

Besides, the low turnout booths identified in the 2009 and 2011 elections would also be dealt with special care to increase voter turnout, he said.

The Commission has also undertaken a special drive on ethical polling with its campaign for fair and inducement-free polling in the state.

In this regard, a massive campaign strategy, both in audio and audio-visual format, has been drawn up by the Commission in partnership with All India Radio and Doordarshan, Bhattacharya said.

EVM awareness has also been identified as a key programme since the number of new voters has increased this time, he added.