The Election Commission of India yesterday organized a conference with the Chief Electoral Officers of all States/UTs in New Delhi. The conference was organized to discuss and review various thematic issues related to Electoral Roll, Polling Stations, ongoing Special Summary Revision, IT Applications, timely resolution of grievances, EVMs/VVPATs, training & capacity building of polling staff, media & communication & extensive voter outreach program amongst others.
During his address, CEC Shri Sushil Chandra stressed on the significance of effectiveness and visibility of CEOs, as CEOs represent the Commission in the States. He asked CEOs to ensure purity of the electoral roll, availability of Assured Minimum Facilities and to ensure better facilities at all Polling Booths for all voters. He asked the CEOs for expeditious redressal of all pending applications especially with regard to voter registration. He reiterated that all efforts should be made to ensure better voter experience in reality. He added that the CEOs should have regular interaction with political parties to redress their grievances, if any.
CEC Shri Sushil Chandra during his address added that the objective of this conference is to identify the gaps and challenges to ensure instructions of the Commission are implemented uniformly in all States /UTs across the country. CEC also emphasised that new initiatives and best practices by the CEOs for election related activities should be regularly disseminated through media for enhanced outreach.
Election Commissioner Shri Rajiv Kumar while interacting with the Chief Electoral Officers said that the legal and regulatory framework of the elections is quite robust, however the implementation of various instructions of the Commission at the field is very critical. He stressed that CEOs need to be innovative, more active and should learn from each other’s best practices and challenges. He urged CEOs to regularly interact with DEOs for coordination and monitoring and visit the field for critical feedback to ensure necessary course corrections.
Election Commissioner Shri Anup Chandra Pandey stressed upon Training & Capacity Building of BLOs as effectiveness of ECI’s activities depends upon the effective implementation by field level election officials. He also emphasized on the involvement of different stakeholders and officials in the field for outreach & SVEEP activities at the ground level throughout the year even in non-election period. He emphasized that CEOs need to ensure that correct information and facts are regularly shared with local media for enhanced outreach.
Secretary General Shri Umesh Sinha in his welcome address stated that this conference is being organized to understand the field level functioning, coordination with different stakeholders and implementation of instructions of the Commission. He stressed that CEOs need to be active throughout the year and ensure regular engagement with election officials for assessment and necessary course corrections.
During the conference the Commission yesterday released ‘Compendium of Cases on Election Law’. The Commission also released a Coffee Table Book “Conduct of General Elections to the Assam Legislative Assembly 2021”, and a short video titled “Call of Duty” developed by CEO Assam. The video highlights various challenges faced by election officials in setting up polling stations in remote & difficult terrains. A voter anthem titled “Power of 18” prepared by CEO Manipur for the new voters was also released during the Conference.
A multimedia exhibition of SVEEP activities for Special Summary Revision of Photo Electoral Roll 2022(SSR2022) by States /UTs was also displayed during the conference. Various audio visual creatives, print advertisements and messages from State Icons for SSR 2022 received from States /UTs were showcased.
The conference was attended by Chief Electoral Officers from all States/UTs, Senior DECs, DECs, DG and other senior officers from the Commission. A separate one day review meeting with all the poll going states is also scheduled at ECI today to discuss various matters related to election management.