Does old-school communication work best? The Ranchi district administration will soon find out the answer once it puts an almost archaic postal method to poll test in this e-age.
From next week, the deputy commissioner’s office will reach out to some 100,000 voters across the constituency through Inland Letter, appealing them to exercise their franchise on April 17.
Returning officer Vinay Kumar Choubey said besides making an earnest appeal to vote, the letters would also remind the electorate to use their common sense while choosing a candidate instead of getting lured by gifts. “The initiative is being taken to improve the voting percentage in Ranchi,” Choubey added.
According to EC records, the Ranchi seat had registered a poor turnout of 48 per cent during the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, held in two phases on April 16 and 23 in the state. Singhbhum, a Maoist-hit constituency, had on the other hand notched the highest voting percentage of 58.
Choubey said the district election cell was in the process of identifying pockets in Ranchi, which witnessed lowest turnouts in the last polls. A roster of receivers will be prepared on the basis of the existing voter list in these areas and the Inland Letters will be posted.
An Inland Letter is, currently, priced at Rs 2. So, the administration is expected to shell out around Rs 2 lakh for its awareness campaign.
“The process of dispatching letters will begin by the end of this week. We wish to reach out to voters by April 14-15 so that the letters work as a reminder,” Choubey added.
Sadhan Kumar Sinha, assistant director (mail), said though they had no information about the district administration’s initiative, it would not be a complex method and would not require elaborate official intervention.
Explaining how an Inland Letter would reach a voter, he added: “Once the bulk is dispatched, it will reach the Rail Mail Service for sorting. Then, the letters will be distributed among post offices, which will send them to doorsteps.”