The Supervisor of Elections is currently attending the first ever Global Conference on Voter Education titled “Voter Education for Inclusive, Informed and Ethical Participation”, organised by the Elections Commission of India.The conference was inaugurated by the Chief Election Commissioner of India [ECI], Dr. Nasim Zaidi, who stressed the need for enhanced and innovative efforts in educating voters. Dr. Zaidi also shared some of the successes of the ECI’s ‘Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation’ program which resulted in an increase in voter participation in the 2014 General Election by over 125 million voters as well as recording the highest ever turnout in the Indian National Election.
“It is a privilege for the FEO to be invited to this historic conference and we offer our thanks to our friends at the Election Commission of India,” said Mr. Mohammed Saneem, Supervisor of Elections.
The Conference will provide a common platform for FEO to share experiences and adopt innovative practices from twenty five other Election Management Bodies [EMB’s] long with participants and research scholars from international organization likes UNDP, International IDEA, IFES, Malaysia Commonwealth Studies Centre and Haifa University on voter education.
As part of the Conference, all the participants called on H.E. The President of India yesterday. The President in his message to all the participants emphasized that voters must be educated to exercise their right to vote with full responsibility and seriousness.
Mr. Saneem will be presenting about the success of the FEO’s 545 SMS platform in the 2014 General Election.
“Our 545 SMS platform in 2014 demonstrates the FEO as an innovative election management body which utilises existing accessible platforms to deliver key electoral information and we are hoping other election management bodies can find such tools useful,” remarked Mr. Saneem.
The FEO is currently in the process of developing its 2018 General Election Communications and Awareness strategy and this Conference will allow it to familiarise itself with good practices from nearly all corners of the globe.
“The 2014 General Election has set some high benchmarks in terms two key elements – turnout and invalid votes both above and beyond internationally accepted benchmarks. We have to design strategies to keep within the international benchmarks firstly and to better the results in these elements in the upcoming election.” Mr. Saneem said.
The New Delhi Declaration on Voter Education is being discussed at the Conference and the final document will be the first such commitment by 25 country EMB’S representing nearly a quarter of the Earth’s population.
The FEO’s Stakeholder Awareness Coordinator is also attending the Conference which is being held at the Taj Palace Hotel, New Delhi from 19 to 21 October 2016.