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New Delhi: Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of India, Dr Nasim Zaidi, on Wednesday gave a call to bring about a mutually agreed vision framework on engagement among Election Management Bodies (EMBs) around the world titled New Delhi Declaration on Voter Education.

Zaidi was delivering the keynote address here after inaugurating the first ever Global Conference on Voter Education titled Voter Education for Inclusive, Informed and Ethical Participation’ organized by the Election Commission of India (ECI) in association with UNDP. The three-day conference will conclude on October 21, 2016The proposed Draft Resolution of the conference notes that the voter is the central point of the electoral framework and every voter must be thoroughly aware and educated about the electoral processes and proceduresto ensure his or her informed and ethical participation, according to a PIB release.

Dr Zaidi also highlighted the success of the Systematic Voters Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) in 2014 Parliament Elections in India. The programme was initiated in 2009 by the ECI after coming across a glaring deficiency on the aspect of voter education in India. The SVEEP resulted into highest ever voter participation(66.4%) in 2014 General Elections and an unprecedented success in reducing the gender gap from 4.4% (2009) to 1.55% (2014), he informed.

Dr Zaidi proposed that the participating EMBs resolve to establish a Global Knowledge Network on Voter Education, VoICE.NET, which will be an innovative wide platform to share knowledge resources, interact on discussion board, sharing platform for events and practices in various countries. The CEC also inaugurated an exhibition showcasing Voter Education tools and materials from India and across the world consisting of informational material, model polling station, provision of live voting on EVM, photos, videos, 3D models, interactive games developed by ECI has been kept on show. 

In their address, Election Commissioners:  A K Joti and O P Rawat touched upon various issues, challenges and innovative solutions that the ECI has taken for augmenting Voter Education and Participation. EC Joti stressed upon the need of tapping the young voter through the use of Social Mediaand increasing accessibility for voters with disability by establishing special polling stations in hospitals, old age homes, blind schools etc.









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