KATHMANDU, August 17: According to the Nepal Telecommunication Authority, 87 percent of the population in Nepal has access to the Internet and 64.8 percent of that is mobile Internet. In this way, it should not be difficult to deliver election promotional material to a large population through mobile internet.
Perhaps, keeping this in mind, the Election Commission tried to make voter education technology-friendly and digitized in the local level elections. The commission emphasized on digital content instead of door-to-door campaigning and teaching how to vote through volunteers, but the commission failed in its digital strategy.
Observing that voter education has not been effective in the local level elections, the Commission has decided to adopt the old style of canvassing by deploying volunteers door-to-door in the province and House of Representatives elections to be held on November 20.
According to Assistant Spokesperson Aryal, the commission is planning to spend 150 million rupees for door-to-door campaigns and voter education in the upcoming elections.
Although the Election Commission has invested millions of rupees in the past for voter education, there has been no significant reduction in voter turnout. Voters are confused about how to vote in the election. A lot of votes were wasted in the last local elections due to complicated ballot papers and lack of voter education.
Former Chief Election Commissioner Nilkanth Upreti says that very little time is allocated for voter education programs, which are not effective. Upreti points out the need for voter education to be provided by the commission one month before the election and voter education and civic education should be conducted at the local level along with schools.