Patna, Oct 7: Given rumors of rampant vote buying during the Bihar Assembly elections, the chief electoral officer said that he has launched a campaign to promote ethical voting during the assembly elections, apart from improving the overall voting percentage.
Bihar's additional CEO R Lakshmanan said,"It is a challenge. Our focus is to tell the electors not just to exercise their franchise, but to vote without being lured by any promise or gratification." Innumerable posters and banners have been put up by the election department, which also include print media and jingles on the radio.
Interestingly, in a survey conducted by the office of Bihar's chief electoral officer, it was revealed that 80% of the people feel that taking money or gifts to vote for someone is wrong.
It is considered a standard practice to find out the voting patterns and voters' behaviour so that voters' awareness is improved. Going by the survey, it was found that the number of voters went up by 6% approximately from the general assembly elections in November 2010 to 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
[Details on Bihar Assembly Elections 2015]
The survey also revealed that the main reason behind the low turnout was that most of the people were not present on the voting day. To this, Lakshmanan said,""Incidentally, this election is around festivals and we hope that people will be back to their villages around the polling date."
Long queues has been another discouraging factor. The electoral board found a solution for this too.
Lakshmanan said,"This time, we have distributed booth slips among the voters with an 'appeal' which says that the morning and afternoon hours usually don't have long queues. The appeal on behalf of district electoral officer (DEO) cum DMs will also tell the voters about the facilities at the polling booths."