A host of activities are on track to keep an eye on activities in the upcoming elections and to help voters with their queries, under the Gujarat Election Watch programmes of the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR). Apart from ADR, the Mahiti Adhikar Gujarat Pehel (MAGP) that works to propagate the Right to Information Act is also involved in the election watch.

The organisation has come out with a helpline number 08320609853 where voters can get their doubts about the whole process cleared. Pankti Jog of MAGP said the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) is a matter of concern for many voters.

"A lot of the calls we received are about VVPAT machines. Our efforts to improve voting among the remotests of voters found that people have various misconceptions about VVPAT," said Jog.

She said they will also create a cadre of citizen journalists who will encourage voters in their respective constituencies to vote, provide genuine information and counter the misinformation campaign about voting that is spread through WhatsApp and other social media.

"So far, we have registered 50 volunteers who have agreed to act as citizen journalists. We are looking at at least one volunteer for each constituency," said Jog. She said the journalist will also help address queries on how to get voters name registered in the voter list, how to get it changed, how to report instances of malpractice etc.

"They will also help spread awareness about the criminal background of a candidate if any, the educational qualification and the assets of the candidate," said Jog.

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