Final briefing for BLOs held: Need to sensitize voters the importance of exercising their franchise stressed

Port Blair, Mar 13: As part of the preparations for the ensuing General Election – 2019, a final briefing for the Booth Level Officers (BLOs) was held in the auditorium of the DBRAIT here today. Addressing the BLOs of Port Blair and Ferrargunj Tehsils, the Returning Officer, A & N Island Parliamentary Constituency, Mr. Udit Prakash Rai reminded the BLOs about their duties and responsibilities in the coming weeks and on the Day of Polling.

The Returning Officer advised them to visit the respective polling stations once again to check the Assured Minimum Facilities (AMF) for voters in the Polling Stations and should remain vigilant and work as a team. The BLOs and the Sector Officers should ensure AMF in all the polling stations under their jurisdiction, the RO said adding that any lapse on their part will be viewed seriously.

The BLOs will start the distribution of voters’ slips to the eligible voters from April 1 onward. The election machinery should ensure that 100% voters’ slip is distributed and that every voter should possess the voters slip well before the polling day. The BLOs should also ensure that no complaint is received regarding the non receipt of voters slip by voters, the RO added.

The RO further said that as per the guidelines of the Election Commission ‘Chunav Patthshala’ will be organized in all the polling stations of South Andaman on Mar. 20 to create awareness among all eligible voters the need to exercise their franchise so that the motto of ‘No Voter to be left behind’ can be achieved. The RO informed that ‘Chunav Patthshala’ is a platform to sensitize the community members, mainly in rural areas, through discussion, of their electoral rights, EVMs safety, ethical voting without fear or favour, importance of voting, ECI’s effort to provide all eligible voters a conducive & hassle free environment to exercise their franchise and familiarize them with the electoral process of registration and voting. Voters of 18-19 years of age, young and middle aged women, senior citizens, people with disabilities and people from every community living in the area will be the members of the ‘Chunav Patthshala’ which will be coordinated by BLOs as its convener. BLOs will be the ‘Matdata Prashikshak’ of the Chunav Patthshala, the RO said adding that a Voter Guide will also be provided to each family by the BLO of his/her polling station. The RO also appealed the general public to visit the ‘Chunav Patthshala’ which will function in all the polling Stations from 10 AM to 1 PM on March 20, 2019.

The RO also had a word of praise for the BLOs for their hard and dedicated work so far in the electoral registration process. He said due to the constant effort of BLOs 25,000 new voters have submitted their forms for registration as voters. As per the guidelines of ECI, new forms will be entertained till March 25, being the last day of filing nominations after which no new forms will be entertained, the RO said adding that the process for distribution of new EPIC card to eligible voters is continuing and it is the responsibility of BLOs to hand over the EPIC card to the newly registered voters.

Voters Assistant Booth will also have to be established by the BLO outside each polling station, where the BLO will help voters by informing them their part number and serial number. The Sector Officer should ensure that all the polling station have Voter Assistant Booth, the RO added. The RO further said that a meeting with the Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) team will be convened on March 19, to ascertain the readiness of the team to provide all required facility to the PwDs to reach the polling stations and exercise their franchise without any problem on the Polling day, scheduled on April 11, 2019.

Mr. Gautam Gupta, Technical Director NIC informed about ‘cVIGIL’ App – a user-friendly and easy to operate Android application which has become operational. cVIGIL app enables citizens to report MCC/expenditure violations, he added.

Mr. Ranjeet Kumar Singh, ADM/ERO covered matters among others, like map making, door to door survey, voter slip distribution, all women polling booth and Model Polling Station.

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