Gautami Kongara

‘Ethical Voting’ was the theme of the day on 25th January, the 64th National Voter’s Day celebration. It marked the foundation of the Election Commission on this day in 1950. The message was to choose the right candidate, those who were competent and educated. “A person might be standing in an election but that does not mean he is competent. Competence will be judged by voters and the perception of voters is important,’’ said the chief guest, AP High Court Chief Justice Kalyan Jyoti Sengupta.

A number of measures were in place to facilitate voters. SMS facility was available to the voters during polling time. “If any malpractices are detected during the elections, voters can directly sms the Commission. The identity of the voter will not be revealed” stated P.K. Mohanty, AP Chief Secretary.
The Election Commission’s objective was to increase enrollment of voters, especially of the newly eligible ones by spreading awareness through National Voter’s Day. “It is important that all existing and newly registered voters check their names in the voters’ list on the web page of the Commission from 31st January. Registration of voters would continue throughout the year in educational institutions,” added P Ramakanth Reddy, State Election Commissioner.
Newly enrolled voters formed 20%  of the the state’s existing voters’ list. Chief Justice Sengupta also requested the voters to cast their vote compulsorily as the governments formed would govern them for five years. P Ramakanth Reddy, the State Election Commissioner read out the voter’s pledge which was taken by all present for the celebration.

There was a prize distribution ceremony for winners of the the quiz, drawing and elocution competitions held by the Commission at the state level. Voter IDs were distributed to the newly enrolled voters of Goshamahal and Malakpet constituencies. Other dignitaries present included the Chief Electoral Officer – Bhanwar Lal, GHMC Commissioner – Somesh Kumar, and Special Commissioner Navin Mittal.