Social media giant Facebook has expressed its desire to collaborate with the Meghalaya election office and launch a drive on the polling day to encourage greater electoral participation, Chief Electoral Officer of the north-eastern state, F R Kharkongor said.
Meghalaya is set to go to the polls on February 27 and the results will be announced on March 3. As a part of the collaboration, Kharkongor said, Facebook will set a reminder in its Meghalaya users’ newsfeed on February 27, asking them to exercise their franchise.
“In continuation to Facebook’s civic engagement efforts, we would now like to collaborate with Meghalaya’s Chief Electoral Officer to increase engagement and participation in the upcoming election,” Facebook’s public policy head for India, South and Central Asia, Nitin Saluja said in a communication to the state election office on Sunday.
The drive will follow a similar format to the ones used during the UK, US, Canada elections as well as the recent polls in Tamil Nadu and Gujarat, Kharkongor said.
“This hill state in India’s north-east has always registered a high voter turnout. With this reminder, we expect the voting percentage to improve further,” the CEO added.
In the 2013 Meghalaya Assembly polls, 86.8 per cent voters had exercised their franchise. This year, the number of registered voters in the state has increased from 15.03 lakh to 18.3 lakh, according to the election office records. The number of polling stations has also gone up from 2,485 in 2013 to 3,082 this year, an increase of about 24 per cent.