The Election Commission of India is collaborating with Facebook to encourage youth to participate in the democratic exercise, in a first-of-its-kind initiative by the social networking giant. Facebook, which currently has 148 million monthly active users in India, will run a voter registration drive in five Indian states, which are set to go to polls next year. Also Read - Facebook smartwatch to feature cameras alongside fitness functions: Yes, detachable cameras!Also Read - What happens to your Facebook account after you die?
Social media is seen as a huge influencer in developing and developed nations alike. Right from making a local artist go viral to bringing the global spotlight on issues of grave social importance, platforms like Facebook and Twitter have time and again proved to be a great facilitator of information. With the use of a simple action button, Facebook and the Election Commission intend to make voter registration in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Manipur and Uttarakhand easier. Facebook s role will be limited to that of being a facilitator in the election process as the site will only remind votes over 18 years of age to register and lead them to the official National Voters’ Services Portal. Also Read - WhatsApp Multi-device support confirmed, public beta rollout begins in two months: Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook will be working with the Election Commission and the office of Chief electoral officers in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Manipur and Uttarakhand for the first time in the country to run a voter registration drive. With over 155 million people in India on Facebook, the ‘Register to vote’ button is designed to encourage citizens across these five states to exercise their vote in the upcoming elections. ALSO READ: Facebook now has 148 million monthly active users in India
From October 6 to 9, Facebook users in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Manipur and Uttarakhand who are 18 years and above will receive a reminder in their News Feed to register to vote.
By clicking on the ‘Register Now’ button, people will be directed to the National Voters’ Services Portal which will guide them through the registration process, Raturi said. 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.
“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,” Raturi added.
With a view to connect with the young generation and voters, the Office of CEO Uttarakhand has also come up with its own official Facebook page. The page aims at effective dissemination of election related information and to develop a live interaction platform soon in near future, she said, adding her office has also started a twitter account @UttarakhandCEO.