A new dawn of e-governance has arrived in India, powered by social media.
For the first time ever, Election Commission has partnered with Facebook to run voter registration drive across 5 Indian states, where elections would be held in next year. In of the rare collaboration for e-governance, Facebook users who are 18 years or older can now register for vote by clicking one button on their timeline.
This is a major step for the world’s largest democracy, where low turnout of votes often encourage criminals and anti-social elements to come into power. And, this is for the first time ever that social media is being used for such an important democratic function.
Register for Vote on Facebook
5 Indian states would go for polls next year: UP, Goa, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Punjab. And there are 155 million Facebook users all over India.
Combining these two facts, Election Commission of India has decided to use the massive reach of social media users to encourage them to register for voting.
Using age as demographic targeting, Facebook would show ‘Register to Vote’ button to youths across these 5 states, and encourage them to vote.
Once clicked, the user would be directed to the National Voters’ Services Portal, wherein they can register themselves as voters for these forthcoming state elections.
Facebook users from Punjab can view this new feature from October 6th, Manipur users from October 7th, Uttarakhand and UP from October 8th and Goan users from October 9th.
Besides, the users from these states would be receiving notifications and reminders to get registered to vote.
Chief Electoral Officer Radha Raturi said, “Youth is the future of India and it is very important that they take part in the biggest democratic exercise of elections,”
Confirming this development, Ankhi Das, Director, Public Policy, Facebook India, said, “Every day we see the power of connecting people in big and small ways. We have a unique ability and responsibility to show people this reminder and deliver relevant information on where to vote.”
Special emphasis would be given to those youths, who are turning 18 years on January 1, 2017, so that new blood can take part in the democratic process of India, and serve their responsibility.
Kudos to both Facebook and Election Commission to use social media as an e-governance tool, and enable more participation from the youths in the election process.