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CEO's National Voters' Day Message

Shri Shashank Shekhar, IAS
Chief Electoral Officer Nagaland

I consider it my privilege to write this message on behalf of all the officers and staff of the CEO’s office.

The National Voters’ Day has been celebrated on January 25 every year since 2011, all across the country, to mark the foundation day of Election Commission of India, i.e. 25th January 1950. The main purpose of the NVD celebration is to encourage, facilitate and maximize enrolment, especially for the new voters. Dedicated to the voters of the country, the day is utilized to spread awareness among voters and for promoting informed participation in the electoral process. New voters are felicitated and handed over their Elector Photo Identity Card (EPIC) in the NVD functions. Awards for the best election related works are also conferred on State and District level officers, and other stakeholders for their outstanding performance.

This year the theme for NVD is “Making elections inclusive, accessible and participative”.

Last year, speaking as Chief Guest during the national function in Delhi, the Honourable President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, had said that on the National Voters’ Day, he would like to remind that we should always respect the valuable right to vote. The right to vote is not a simple right; people around the world have struggled a lot for this. Since independence, our Constitution has given equal voting rights to all citizens without any discrimination on the basis of merit, religion, race, caste. For this, we are indebted to the makers of our Constitution. He had added that it is the responsibility of all of us, especially our youth, who get the right to vote for the first time, to exercise their franchise with the utmost sincerity and inspire others too to do so. He had also referred to the deep and ancient roots of democracy in our country and the fact that the Chief Election Commissioner of India is the current chairman of the Association of World Election Bodies.

The voters’ pledge administered on this day reads, “We, the citizens of India, having abiding faith in our democracy, hereby pledge to uphold the democratic traditions of our country and the dignity of free, fair and peaceful elections, and to vote in every election fearlessly and without being influenced by considerations of religion, race, caste, community, language or any inducement.”

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected all aspects of life throughout the world. Election related works such as the Special Summary revision (SSR) or bye-elections have also been conducted during this unprecedented situation. We would like to deeply appreciate all those who have been selflessly serving society and the people, during this difficult time of the pandemic.

During the SSR conducted in November, 2021, in Nagaland, we received more than 50,000 applications, most of which are for registration of new voters. Many online applications were received with Kiphire and Mon district having the highest percentage 82% and 63% respectively, of online applications. Our number of total voters is now 12.67 lakhs, out of which 6.29 lakhs are women.

We would like to congratulate everyone on the occasion of the “National Voters’ Day”. We also hope that everyone, every citizen, will make all efforts, individual and collective, to strengthen the electoral process and to manifest the true spirit of democracy.