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Special event to woo young voters

- Valentine’s Day programme in Khasi hills

And even if the sun refused to shine,

Even if romance ran out of rhyme,

You would still have my heart until the end of time,

You're all I need my love, my valentine — Martina McBride (My Valentine)

Shillong, Feb. 12: If love can surmount the insurmountable, then it may also be an inspiration for someone to cast his/her vote.

This is basically the message behind “My Valentine: My Vote”, a programme to be hosted on Valentine’s Day by the office of the district election officer, East Khasi Hills.

As polls have come and gone, election authorities have been witness to a phenomenon where the young people, in the age range of 18-20 years, come to enrol themselves as voters but actually do not spend time in the queues to exercise their franchise.

“The response has not been upto the mark. Although the enrolment is high, participation is dismal. What we are looking for is maximum enrolment and maximum participation,” an election official from the East Khasi Hills said.

The official said various programmes have been organised in the past to motivate the youth to come out in large numbers to vote.

This year, too, with the elections to the two autonomous district councils in Khasi and Jaintia Hills and the Lok Sabha nearing, the administration is eager to make the youth come out of their homes to exercise their franchise.

Hence, on Friday, the programme My Valentine: My Vote has been slated for all eligible voters, 18 years and above, at Mattilang Park near Elephant Falls in the Upper Shillong area. The programme will commence from 11am and continue until 5pm.

“There will be songs, dances and games and there is an opportunity to win exciting prizes as well,” the official said.

Not only that. The “best couple” will win a complimentary dinner at the Royal Heritage, Tripura Castle here on Friday evening.

In the run-up to last year’s Assembly polls, the state election machinery had embarked upon the Systematic Voters Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) programme to create awareness about the value of one vote.

And the message is amply clear for Valentine’s Day: Pledge your love in ink, and woo your love to vote in 2014...Rock the Vote...