Officials of the Election Department
Dignitaries and invitees
My dear friends
I am very happy to be the Chief Guest at the National Voters’ Day, 2023. Since 2011, 25th January has been observed as National Voters’ Day. Today marks the 13th National Voters’ Day, and it is being celebrated across the country.
The theme for this year’s National Voters’ Day is: ‘Nothing like voting, I vote for sure’. Using this theme, the Election Commission encourages people to actively participate in the electoral process.
In Mizoram, the Election machinery has successfully conducted 12 Assembly and 11 Parliamentary elections over the years.
Mizoram was the first State in India to use the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail or VVPAT on a large scale, in the 2013 Assembly election.
Active involvement of political parties as well as civil society organizations has contributed greatly to the conduct of free and fair elections. In particular, the role played by the Mizoram People’s Forum (MPF) and the Young Mizo Association (YMA) must be lauded.
On this auspicious day, I thank all the District Election Officers and all the election machineries involved for the successful publication of Summary Revision of Photo Electoral Rolls on 13th January 2023, with reference to 01st January 2023 as the qualifying date. At present, there are 8,42,388 voters in Mizoram, out of which 48.5% are male, and 51.5% are female.
In the spirit of enhancing maximum enrolment of eligible voters, the Election Commission of India, by making amendments to existing electoral laws, has introduced four qualifying dates for registration, i.e, 1st January, 1st April, 1st July and 1st October.
Earlier, people who turned 18 after the qualifying date of 1st January had to wait till the next year to register as a voter.
However, this delay can now be avoided as eligible voters can submit advance application for enrolment, and they will be formally registered once they turn 18.
The Election Commission of India has taken several important steps in introducing IT and IT enabled services to the election process, both in the registration and voting processes.
The Commission has also taken several special initiatives to facilitate inclusion of those voters who face difficulties in registration or voting.
It has taken proactive steps to ensure easy registration of voters through different online platforms, whereby voters can enrol their names or make necessary corrections without having to approach their Booth Level Officers.
The Commission has always paid special attention to the inclusion of Persons with Disabilities (PwDs). It has made many provisions such as ramps at the polling stations, out of turn voting and need based companion for PwDs, engraving braille font on EVMs, braille ballot paper, and so on.
Improvement in general infrastructure and introduction of information and communication technologies have provided better amenities to voters with disabilities.
Today, I place my sincere appreciation to the Election Department of Mizoram for introducing and issuing Braille Epic Cards for Visually Impaired voters for the first time in the State.
I hope that this initiative would ensure greater participation from PwD voters in exercising their franchise.
Mizoram has a long tradition of peaceful elections, and I urge all stakeholders to ensure that this wonderful practice is maintained in the upcoming general elections to the Mizoram Legislative Assembly.
In conclusion, I appeal to all the people of Mizoram to strive hard towards strengthening our democratic traditions by being actively involved in the electoral process. One of the most critical ways that individuals can influence government decision making is through voting.
I also encourage all voters to avail the different technological tools provided by the Commission for ease of voting, and to wholeheartedly participate in the electoral process.
I congratulate the Election Department for successfully organizing today’s function.