In a first-of-its-kind initiative in the country, social networking site Facebook is partnering with the Election Commission of India in five states going to polls next year to run a voter registration drive aimed at encouraging the youth to participate in the democratic exercise.
Facebook is collaborating 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, Chief Electoral Officer Radha Raturi said.
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. 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 6 October, for those in Manipur on 7 October, for those in Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh on 8 October and in Goa on 9 October.
"Youth is the future of India and it is very important that they take part in the biggest democratic exercise of elections," she 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 1 January, 2017. I appeal to people from all walks of life to register as voters through the process," Raturi said, welcoming the initiative.
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.