Tech-savvy voters key feature of State's success saga

Poll panel's awareness drives promote use of helplines, Internet

Tech-savvy voters key feature of State's success saga

The Election Commission’s efforts to create awareness about polls and related issues are surely bearing fruits. 

The reasons are not far to seek. A total of 32,819 calls have been made in the State on its helpline 1950 in the past two months, in the run-up to and during the Lok Sabha elections. 

Also, the website of the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer (OCEO), Karnataka, has recorded about five lakh hits in the same period.

Last year’s Assembly polls too had generated equal interest and curiosity among voters. The helpline received 24,504 calls in March-April, 2013. The SMSes sent to voters with details about the polling booths were a whopping 4.5 lakh on the day of the elections.

Apart from this, on an average, there were about 200 calls per day in the past two months for general enquiries.

K N Ramesh, special officer (technical), OCEO, Karnataka, said, “During the election period, most of the time, the lines were busy because of so many calls. People from across the State called up most to enquire about missing names in electoral rolls.”

The complaint calls mostly pertained to names not being found in the voters’ list, polling stations being mentioned wrong in voters’ slips, old EPIC numbers being mentioned and even illegal use of loudspeakers for campaign.

The website and the SMS system were both utilised overwhelmingly by people of the State during the Assembly polls in 2013. The OCEO, Karnataka, was even awarded the first prize among states for best poll management.

Karnataka and particularly Bangalore, being the IT hub, people are well versed with technology and use of the Internet. The State has always been holding the number one position.

The website of the OCEO, Karnataka, has a separate link for EPIC numbers and it recorded maximum hits. In 2013, there were 4.5 lakh hits on election day alone, Ramesh said.

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