Commemorating the foundation day of the Election Commission of India in 2011, the 13th National Voters Day was observed today on the theme, “Vote for Sure-Nothing like Voting”. The programme organized by the office of the Chief Electoral Officer, Meghalaya was held at the premises of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, Khyndailad, Shillong. Meghalaya Chief Secretary, D P Wahlang graced the occasion as the Chief Guest.
Speaking during the programme the Chief Secretary said that the National Voters Day is an annual event with the purpose of celebrating the power of the citizens for a free and fair right to vote. He stated that the importance of the day was to remind every citizen of this country of their rights as voters and by participating in the electoral process, citizens who have attained the age
of 18 play a crucial role in ensuring that the fundamentals of democracy, a government by the people, of the people and for the people, are kept alive and the whole purpose is to sensitize, to disseminate information and create awareness especially for young voters.
The 13th National Voters Day celebration is more important to Meghalaya since the state is going to polls on the 27th February this year, he added. Wahlang also informed that there are 21.65 lakhs voters in the state with 10.68 lakhs comprising of male voters and 10.92 lakhs of female voters, he also acknowledged that Meghalaya is one of the few states where female voters are more than male voters. He added that there are 290 voters who are above 100 years of age and 22,658 voters who are above 80 years of age and also for the first time there are 2 voters from third gender and 7400 voters who are differently abled and 81,443 voters who are first time voters, comprising 4% of the total number of voters.
The Chief Secretary also congratulated the Chief Electoral Office for organizing and mobilizing all the resources and the different events which will go a long way in creating awareness among the voters, especially the young voters. He also lauded the Election Commission for its initiatives in making sure more neutrality is embedded in the system and for providing facilities in polling stations such as drinking water, ramps for differently abled persons, electricity in remote locations and toilets.
While stating that in the last general elections a turnout of 86.65% was achieved and in order to achieve a threshold of at least 95% in the upcoming general elections, he urged the citizens to move out of their comfort zones and actively take part in the biggest festival of democracy on 27th February, 2023.
During the day the Chief Guest and other dignitaries distributed prizes to the winners of the 10km, 5km and 1 km wheelchair marathon held earlier on the day.
Prizes were also distributed to Best RJ Wheels of Democracy, Best performing Rangbah Shnong, Best performing Seng Samla in Roll 2 Poll Campaign- Mission Unite 2.0 and winners of various youth centric competitions.
The Chief Guest during the day flagged off the Wheels of Democracy, administered the voter’a pledge, released the “I vote for sure” music video, KAP report and Super Six photo book. The other highlights of the day included the Inclusive Drum beats of Democracy, a Saxophone performance – Notes of Democracy, Super Six ensemble performance and others.