In a first of its kind initiative, the Election Commission of India has partnered with Facebook to encourage the youth to participate in the upcoming Assembly polls. Facebook, which currently has around 148 million monthly active users in India, has collaborated with the commission to run a voter registration drive for Indian users.
The social media giant will run a voter registration drive in five Indian states, which are set to go to polls next year. The states are Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Manipur and Uttarakhand. This is the first instance of the Election commission teaming up with a social media platform to run a voter registration drive.
Facebook and the Election Commission intend to make voter registration in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Manipur and Uttarakhand easier with the help of a simple call to action button. Facebook’s role will be limited to that of being a facilitator in the election process. It will serve to remind eligible voters of their democratic duty and lead them to the official National Voters’ Services Portal.
Users from the five states will see the ‘Register to vote’ button. The button has been designed to encourage citizens across these five states to exercise their vote in the upcoming elections. Users, who are 18 years and above, will receive a reminder in their News Feed to register between October 6 to October 9. To be specific, the feature will be available for people on Facebook in Punjab on October 6, for those in Manipur on October 7, for those in Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh on October 8 and in Goa on October 9.
Welcoming this new initiative, Chief Electoral Officer Radha Raturi said:
Election commission in collaboration with Facebook is conducting a special drive in Uttarakhand to register young people as voters who will attain the age of 18 years on January 1, 2017. I appeal to people from all walks of life to register as voters through the process.
Ankhi Das, Director, Public Policy, Facebook India, added,
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.
The logic is certainly sound. Facebook has turned out to be a huge influencer and young India in particular, appear to be deriving a significant portion of their motivation from the web. That said, lets hope that the Election Commission’s latest tryst with the social networking giant is able to get more of the youth to actively participate in the upcoming polls.