SVEEP Plan of Tamenglong District

GENERAL ELECTION TO THE MANIPUR LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY-2017
SVEEP PLAN (2016-17) OF TAMENGLONG DISTRICT

Background & Context

Voters’ participation in the democratic and electoral processes is integral to the successful running of democracy and reflects the health of a functioning democracy.

The level and the quality of voters’ participation in the electoral process depends to a great extent on knowledge and awareness of the voters in important areas like registration, EPIC/ identity proofs, Polling Station location, use of EVMs, timings of the poll, do’s & don’ts with regard to Model Code of Conduct, use of money/ muscle and liquor power by candidates or their associates to influence vulnerable sections of electorate. In this regard, there is a visible knowledge gaps among the voters because voters’ education had not received the requisite priority from election managers.

It is against this background that Systematic Voter Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) program by the Election Commission of India (ECI) was launched in 2009 with the objective of enhancing Electoral Participation in the country and building a culture of participative democracy. SVEEP is now central to our election management and has emerged as a phenomenon in the arena of election management.

Situational Analysis

As per 2011 census, Tamenglong district has a population of 140651. The total registered electors in the last Assembly Election-2012 was 78838 and the Elector-Population (EP) ratio was 56.05 percent. As on January, 2016, the total electors registered is 87964 and the projected population is 158145. So the current Elector-Population (EP) ratio is 55.66 per cent which is about 9 per cent below the expected EP ratio of 64.00 percent, indicating that about 13,248 eligible voters are yet to be enrolled in the electoral list. Voter turnout for the District in the last Assembly Election, 2012 was 66.37 percent which was much below the overall voter turnout of 79.19 percent in the State. The District SVEEP Plan (2016-17) is formulated to address these gaps through timely intervention and sustained campaign to educate and motivate voters to actively participate in the electoral process.

Objectives

The broad objectives of SVEEP Plan in respect of Tamenglong District are follows:

  1. Overall increase in voter turnout over last assembly election with special focus on polling stations with low voter turnout.
  2. Improvement in voter registration targeting new eligible voters throughout the district.
  3. Generating awareness on EVM, VVPAT (in VVPAT specific Assembly Constituencies) and poll process among the voters.
  4. Generate motivation and facilitate behaviour change among electors for an enhanced electoral participation.
  5. Visible enhancement in the quality of electoral participation in terms of informed, ethical and inducement free voting.
  6. Improvement in the overall experience of the voters on the poll day by providing all the basic minimum facilities at the polling stations.
  7. To build trust in and improve the image of the democratic system through greater facilitation measures, and through training and capacity building, and by creating linkages between the election management and the public.

The SVEEP Plan for the district in the upcoming Manipur State Assembly Election-2017 seeks to create new benchmarks in educating voters through outdoor/ print/ audio/ audio-visual media and interpersonal communications.

Strategy

In order to achieve the above mentioned objectives, SVEEP Plan shall adopt three (3) pronged strategy using 360 degree Media Campaign Approach. Under this approach, reliable and timely information will be provided to the public at key points of interaction using strategic communication approaches involving mass media, mid and outdoor media, interpersonal communications.

The three pronged strategy will include:

  1. Summary Revision and continuous updating of electoral rolls.
  2. Information, Educations and Motivations of voters and
  3. Voters Facilitations

Summary Revision and Continuous Updations

Special summary revision of electoral rolls of assembly constituencies will be organised on specified dates and all those who are 18 years on January 1 next year are eligible to submit applications for inclusion of their names in the electoral roll. Also large number of applications usually filled for deletion, correction, and change in the address will also be addressed. Trainings were imparted to all the booth level officers, sensitizing them on the important issues relating to roll revision.

Information, Educations and Motivations of voters

To encourage the masses to be a part of the electoral system and become electors, information will be imparted mainly in two stages: prior to election announcement and after announcement of the election. Prior to election announcement, the SVEEP programme focuses on providing voters information on:

  • Why voters should register themselves on the voters’ list
  • Benefits of registration
  • Time and dates and locations of registration process
  • How registration is done
  • Verification of information details of those already registered
  • How voters may change their place of residence on the Electoral Roll if they have shifted their residence/address

After announcement of election, SVEEP communication focuses on information to facilitate increased turnout on poll day. Various information that will be provided during this phase of SVEEP are as follows:

  • Time and Date of elections and location of polling stations.
  • Special voting services: Educating the voter on certain services which are provided for various categories of voters. The services include:
    1. Postal ballots and proxy voting for service voters
    2. Postal ballots or Election Duty Certificate (EDC) for polling personnel, security personnel and other staff on duty on poll day
    3. Tendered Votes
    4. Use of Braille on EVMs for visually challenged voters
    5. Separate queues for male and female voters
    6. Two female voters to be permitted to vote after every male voter
    7. Priority for senior citizens and facilities for women with children in arms
  • Documents required to prove identity and qualification to vote without EPIC
  • How to Cast Vote on EVM
  • Information about the polling process and also provisions for tendered vote, challenged vote, and provision for exercising voting right by choosing None of the Above (NOTA)3 option.
  • Polling and Poll Day Security Measures: This information aims at confidence building among the voters by giving details on observers, helpline numbers, security measures in place, videographers, contact numbers of control rooms and police stations etc.
  • List of Contesting candidates: Information regarding the final list of contesting candidates is posted on the notice board outside the Returning Officer’s (RO) office.
  • Code of conduct: Extensive circulation and dissemination of the code of conduct among citizens which will assist in reducing conflicts and violations during the election. Voters will be made aware of what to expect from the political parties.
  • Informed and ethical voting: Information about corrupt practices or electoral offences besides promoting informed and ethical voting.

The task of enthusing and inspiring the disinterested and alienated citizens and addressing their apathy and skepticism is imperative for greater electoral participation will also be emphasised

Voters Facilitations

In order to create an enabling environment for electors and enhance the supply side, various voters facilitation measures such as provision of basic minimum facilities (BMF), voter slip distribution, online registration, complaint facilities, polling station location facility, search facility will be made available in the District Web Portal. Help line number and SMS based information facility will be made operational in the district.

SVEEP Approach

To maximize the Public Engagement in the Electoral processes, reliable and timely information to the public at all points of interaction will be provided using strategic communication approaches involving mass media, mid and outdoor media, interpersonal communications.

360 Degree SVEEP Campaign shall inform, educate and persuade primary audiences to enrol themselves and their families in the electoral roll and participate in the upcoming Assembly Election. It will take into account the barriers and variables related to mindset, apathy and indifference towards electoral participations. The focus of any communication activity should be on awareness, sensitization, motivation and sustained practice of healthy behaviour.

The campaign will involve:

  • Use of local TV channels , Radio and Newspapers for specific target oriented and timely messages to ensure maximum reach of the campaign in a cost-effective way.
  • Identification of existing strategic points such as Anganwadi centers, PHC , banks, Govt office ATM, to reach large number of people through posters/ hoardings/ wall paintings.
  • Extensive use of Inter Personal Communication (BLO’s, BLA’s and BAG’s grassroots workers and activists) and mid-media. This strategy may be implemented during election period.
  • Leverage of existing social and community networks , NYK, NSS, NCC, rallies, festivals and cultural practices to disseminate key information's more widely.
  • Use Social Media like FB, YouTube, Tweeters, Portals to address urban apathy etc.

Plan of Activities

To educate and motivate voters for greater mobilization and enhanced participations variety of innovative physical events and activities may be taken up under the SVEEP

  1. Organising Youth Voters Festival targeting youth in the age group of 18 to 30 years. Singing and dance competition, traditional fashion show and talent show to be the main items of the festival.
  2. Organising inter school Essay Writing, Skit Plays, Debate and quiz competitions at District and Sub-Divisional level on topic related to election and voting.
  3. Organising song writing and singing competitions and rock festivals in public places to interest urban youth.
  4. Organising sporting events like football and badminton tournaments, and marathon runs
  5. Pledge to vote by masses in educational institutions, Gram Sabha gatherings and special events
  6. Special Campaigned and Dissemination of information through local print media in local language and local cable television channels and soliciting the participation of public leaders and representatives of civil society organisations in appealing the public to exercise their vote.
  7. Organising Seminars and Work-shops with students of schools and college to motivate young electors to get registered and vote.
  8. Leaflets, sharing important information on elections will be distributed at places with mass gathering all over the District.
  9. Hoardings, posters, flexes with messages on greater participation in voting system, ethical voting, and responsibility of citizens in a democratic country to cast their votes to make the country stronger for a bright future will be displayed at the busiest place in the District.
  10. Audio Visual Clippings on election matters will be displayed by the local cable operators regularly at frequent intervals.

Partnership

In order to expand our outreach program and maximize the turnout, the office of DEO will engage various agencies, government departments and civil society organizations to disseminate messages targeting voters for greater electoral participations. These departments/agencies will be actively engaged in publicizing SVEEP material at District HQ, Sub-Divisional HQs and districts and village level through various outreach activities. Departments and Civil Society Organisations that will involve in the process are:

  • Department of Youth and Sport Affairs
  • Social Welfare Department
  • Medical Department
  • Education Department
  • District Rural Development Agency (DRDA)
  • Information and Public Relation Department
  • Partnership with AIR/ TV Cable networks
  • Zeliangrong Student Union, Manipur (ZSUM )
  • Zeliangrong Youth Front
  • Rain Forest Club
  • Clean Election, Tamenglong

Review & Monitoring

Periodic review and constant monitoring of SVEEP programme in the districts will be conducted to assess the efficacy of the interventions including about the timely and proper utilisation of funds. Regular meetings with partners and district SVEEP nodal officers, field visits will be undertaken. In order to keep the track of the activity from HQ, daily, weekly and fortnightly reports will be obtained. Mid period review and constant monitoring of SVEEP in the district will be done by DEO. He is to submit a report to the CEO based on: analysis of the overall turnout in their district - analysis of the registration ahead of polls - analysis of the comparative turnout among women, urban voters and youth - analysis of the comparative turnout in the identified low turnout polling stations.

DC Tamenglong
Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Tamenglong
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