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Film push for urban voters

Come January, audio-visual aids and short films would be used to convince urban voters of the state to exercise their franchise.

At present, the urban voting percentage for Assembly and general elections in the state is dismal — only 45 to 50 per cent, compared to 60 to 65 per cent rural turnout.

State chief electoral officer P.K. Jajoria, who was in Jamshedpur on Thursday to review the Kolhan-level special summary revision of the voters’ list in East Singhbhum, West Singhbhum and Seraikela-Kharsawan, said the chief election commissioner had been apprised about an innovative method to educate masses about the importance of voting.

The innovative method of reaching out to voters is being planned through the Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) programme.

“We are looking to start the SVEEP programme with much more vigour in January coinciding with National Voters’ Day celebrations planned on January 25. All 24 deputy commissioners would be asked to organise SVEEP programmes in rural and urban areas,” Jajoria said.

The plan includes using of mobile units to reach out. The mobile units would contain audio-visual clippings featuring celebrities like Team India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and ace archer Deepika Kumari and other prominent artistes, calling upon voters to exercise their franchise. This apart, there would be short films highlighting the importance of each and every vote.

The mobile units, which would be arranged by the respective district deputy commissioners, would also contain various forms for the voters and booklets containing rules and regulations.

“We would continue the programme in a phased manner and hope to derive benefits in the next Assembly and general elections in 2014,” said the senior bureaucrat. He added that the state had fared well in voter registration.

“We have 1.97 crore voters and so far, we have covered nearly 1.87 crore. We want to cover the remaining by January 15 during the summary voters’ list revision,” he said.