Assam election dept takes innovative steps to woo voters to polling booths

GUWAHATI, April 6: From waiting areas for mothers, play zones for children to selfie zones for voters, and many more out-of-the-box steps to woo people to the polling booths, the Assam election department has left no stone unturned to make the “Festival of Democracy” a day to remember and share.

Like in the previous two phases, the state election department had set up several (149) model polling stations in the third phase conveying relevant social messages through several themes.

“One of them at Makhipara Govt JB School under Dudhnoi constituency (in Goalpara district) was set up based on the concept of unity and diversity as Dudhnoi is a place of multiple cultures, linguistics, religions and ethnicities. The polling station includes a bamboo arch gate and display area with cultural decorations, ethnic fabrics and handicrafts and mannequins adorned with indigenous attire placed at the selfie zone,” an official source said.

Similarly, the Baladmari Chah Bagan model polling station under Goalpara East is based on the concept of the “red carpet award”.

“The polling station has several components such as a children play zone, seating lounge and selfie zone which resembles the red carpet zone seen in red carpet events giving the people a celebratory experience. A mini seating area themed on inclusivity and transgender rights has been made with rainbow colour fabric,” the source said.

The Ambari Tiniali Bazaar High School under Goalpara West polling booth had a theme on the upcoming Bihu festival with its arch gate adorned with several Assamese traditional items.

On the other hand, a model polling station (Mirza Girls High School) in Palashbari constituency was dedicated to the frontline COVID-19 warriors with wall paintings of health workers in PPE kits, police personnel, etc, as voters took pictures and selfies before the wall art for memory.

“The launch of our Divyang Sarathi App led to pouring of many requests from PwD (persons with disabilities) voters for transportation from their homes to the polling stations. Besides at each polling station, in addition to wheelchairs, health workers have been deployed to assist the needy voters,” the source said.

The efforts are in some way or the other reflecting on the healthy poll percentage of the first and second phases, with 79.97 percent in (47 constituencies) phase one and 80.96 percent in (39 constituencies) phase two.

The voting trends were encouraging in phase three as well, with 68.31 percent polling by 3pm itself across the 40 constituencies.

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