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ECI hosts International Election Visitors Programme

The Election Commission of India organized a Virtual International Virtual Election Visitors Programme 2020 (IEVP) for foreign Election Management Bodies (EMBs)/Organisations from November 5-7, 2020, in the context of the Bihar Legislative Assembly Elections.

In the past, ECI has organized International Election Visitor Programmes (IEVPs) for foreign EMBs/Organizations in 2014 Lok Sabha elections; elections for a few State Assemblies in Feb/March 2017 and Lok Sabha Elections in May 2019.

Bihar has an electorate of over 72 million, one of the largest in the world to vote so far amid the COVID19 pandemic. This provided us with an opportunity to share our best practices and experience of the conduct of our poll process during the pandemic period.

Delegates from over 40 countries across the world including Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malawi, Maldives, Moldova, Mongolia, Mauritius, Nepal, Philippines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Zambia etc. and 3 international organizations (viz. International IDEA, International Foundation of Electoral Systems (IFES) and Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB) was invited to participate in the IEVP 2020.

The IEVP 2020 Programme included an online briefing session on November 5, 2020 where participants were given an overview of the large canvas of Indian electoral process, the new initiatives taken by ECI on voter facilitation, transparency and accessibility of electoral system; and ECI’s response to the changing needs of training and capacity building.

The keynote address at the inaugural session was delivered by Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora.

On the second day, an overview of the Commission’s flagship programme for voter awareness – SVEEP (Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation) was presented. The Chief Electoral Officer of Bihar also shared the State’s experiences of conducting an election amidst pandemic with the global audience. Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar along with other officials of the Commission addressed the audience.

The participants were given virtual tour of polling stations in Bihar with a walkthrough of the electoral process. The visit was amplified by exclusive footage, a walkthrough of the electoral process, and various arrangements at the polling station for a free, fair, participative and safe election. The concluding remarks was given by Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra.