Control unit and Balloting Unit ofElectronic Voting Machine
11. Why should you vote?
India is the largest democracy in the world. The right to vote and moreimportantly the exercise of franchise by the eligible citizens is at the heart ofevery democracy. We, the people, through this exercise of our right to votehave the ultimate power to shape the destiny of country by electing ourrepresentatives who run the Government and take decisions for the growth,development and benefit of all the citizens.
2. Who can vote?All citizens of India who are 18 years of age as on 1st January of theyear for which the electoral roll is prepared are entitled to be registered as avoter in the constituency where he or she ordinarily resides. Only personswho are of unsound mind and have been declared so by a competent court ordisqualified due to ‘Corrupt Practices’ or offences relating to elections are notentitled to be registered in the electoral rolls.
3. What is an electoral roll?3.1 An electoral roll is a list of all eligible citizens who are entitled to casttheir vote in an election. The electoral rolls are prepared AssemblyConstituency wise. An electoral roll for any Assembly Constituency is subdividedinto parts corresponding with the polling booths. The ElectionCommission of India has decided to generally have a maximum of 1200electors per booth. The polling booths are so set up that no voter shouldordinarily travel more than 2 kms. to reach the polling booth. Normally, onepart will correspond with one polling booth.3.2 To exercise your franchise, the first and foremost requirement is thatyour name should be in the electoral roll. Without your name registered in therelevant part for the area where you ordinarily reside in the AssemblyConstituency, you will not be allowed to exercise your franchise. Therefore, itis your duty to find out whether your name has been registered or not.
24. How to register?4.1 The Election Commission prepares the electoral rolls through aprocess of intensive revision where house-to-house enumeration is done andelectors residing in each house are registered by official enumerators who gophysically from door-to-door to collect the information about electors. Thisprocess is done normally once in five years. Between two Intensive revisions,summary revisions are done every year during a specified period whenpersons who are left out of the electoral rolls are given an opportunity toregister themselves by applying in Form-6. It is also expected from you to getyour name deleted from the place where you earlier resided, and get itincluded at new place in case you have shifted. For this, on your part, it issufficient that you file claim application in Form 6 before the ElectoralRegistration Officer of the new place and in that application give the fulladdress of your earlier place of residence. Short absence from place ofresidence does not debar one to continue his/her name in electoral roll.Similarly, deletions are carried out of electors who have died or who haveshifted residence from one area to another outside the prescribed part of theelectoral roll. You should note that you can be registered only at one place.Registration in more than one place is an offence.
4.2 During Intensive Revision of electoral rolls which normally takes placeonce in five years, a draft roll is prepared after house to house enumerationand published at every polling booth location for inviting claims andobjections. Any eligible person can file claim in Form No. 6 for inclusion of hisname in the roll or raise an objection to somebody’s name or for deletion ofhis or any other person’s name in Form No. 7. Similarly if any particulars inthe electoral roll are to be modified such as name, house number, middlename, last name, age, sex, epic number etc. a claim in Form No. 8 can befiled. In case any elector has changed his house from the polling area of onebooth to other booth in the same Assembly Constituency he can fileapplication in Form No. 8A for change/transposition from one electoral part toother part.4.3 During Summary revision of electoral rolls which takes place everyyear, the existing electoral rolls are published at each polling booth locationsto invite claims and objections for inclusion, deletion, modification and3transposition. After due enquiry all the claims and objections are decided anda supplementary electoral roll is prepared and published.4.4 Even after the final publication of electoral rolls the process ofcontinuous updation of electoral rolls goes on and the citizens are free to fileany application for the addition, deletion, modification and transposition withthe Electoral Registration Officer.4.5 As per the law, your name can be registered upto the last date of filingnominations by candidates that has been notified by the Election Commissionfor any general election or bye-election to an Assembly or Parliament. Toenable the Electoral Registration Officer to take action on your application,you must apply at least ten days before the last date of making nominationsas he has to mandatorily invite objections by giving a seven clear days noticebefore including your name in the roll. If you apply later than ten clear daysbefore the last date for nominations your name may not be included for thepurposes of that particular election.
5. How to check your name in the electoral rolls and to findthe polling station where you have to go to vote?As an elector you should immediately check whether your name hasbeen included in the electoral roll of the constituency where you reside or not.You can find out this information from the Electoral Registration Officer of yourarea. Electoral rolls in all major cities have now been displayed on officialwebsites also.
6. Do you have an Electors’ Photo Identity Card (EPIC)?The Election Commission of India has made voter identificationmandatory at the time of poll. The electors have to identify themselves witheither Electors Photo Identity Card (EPIC) issued by the Commission or anyother documentary proof as prescribed by the Commission.
47. Will possession of an EPIC alone entitle you to vote?7.1 You should note that mere possession of an EPIC issued to youdoes not guarantee you your vote, because it is mandatory that yourname should appear in the electoral roll.Once you have found out that your name is there in the electoralroll and you also possess an identification document prescribed by theElection Commission (EPIC or others), you are entitled to vote.7.2 Before you come to the polling booth, there are some other importantaspects that you need to know as an elector and a conscientious citizen of thecountry.
8. What is the Disclosure by Candidates?8.1 Recently the Election Commission of India has made it mandatoryconsequent upon a Judgment of Hon’ble Supreme Court that all candidatesmust file an affidavit along with their nomination form with details such as:-i. his/her criminal antecedents,ii. his/her assets and liabilities and those of his/her spouse anddependents, andiii. his/her educational background.This has been done with a view that every citizen has a right to know aboutthe candidates contesting an election and make an informed choice.8.2 The Election Commission has directed all Returning Officers to displaythe copies of nomination papers and accompanying affidavits received duringany day on his notice board immediately on receipt and make copies of thesefor distribution to the press and any members of public who want thisinformation, free of cost. Any citizen of the country can obtain copies ofthe nomination form and the affidavit filed by any candidate from theReturning Officer and it shall not be refused. As a voter you have everyright to seek this information and get it.8.3 The details of the dues owed by the candidates to the Government arepublished by giving an advertisement in the leading newspapers by theReturning Officer for the benefit of electors.8.4 Above measures help the electors make an informed choice about thecandidate they are going to vote for.
59. What are the basic do’s and don’t’s as polling dayapproaches?9.1 As a voter you should also know the aspects that are considered ascorrupt practices or electoral offences:(i) Offering or accepting money or any other gratification either to vote foror not to vote for a particular candidate.(ii) Inducement by way of liquor, feast, gifts, etc. to vote for or not to votefor a particular candidate.(iii) Inducement to vote or not to vote for a particular candidate on thegrounds of religion, caste, community, sectarian beliefs or place ofbirth.(iv) Threat to an elector of ex-communication if he votes for or against aparticular candidate.(v) Offer of free conveyance to any elector to go to or from any pollingstation.
10. What is the process of voting? How do you go about it?10.1 The poll date and hours are fixed by the Election Commission Indiaand they are well publicized before all elections.10.2 When you reach the polling station, entry will be regulated by queues.There will be separate queues for men and women voters and the physicallyhandicapped persons. The persons who enforce the queues will allow 3-4voters into the polling station at a time. Physically handicapped voters andwomen voters with babies in arm will be given precedence over the othervoters in the queue.10.3 Stage 1: When you enter the polling station, you will go to the FirstPolling Officer who is in-charge of the marked copy of the electoral roll andresponsible for identification of electors. You should keep your identitydocument ready to show to the First Polling Officer. You can also show to himthe unofficial identity slip giving your particulars. However, you should notethat unofficial identity slip only helps in locating your name in the electoral rollbut is not a guarantee of your identification. The First Polling Officer will thencall out your name and serial number so that the polling agents becomeaware of your presence and your identity is not challenged.610.4 Stage 2: Thereafter, if your identity is not challenged, you willproceed to the Second Polling Officer who will mark your left forefinger withthe indelible ink. Thereafter, he will proceed to record your serial number inthe electoral roll in the Register of Voters. Once this is recorded, you are tosign in the appropriate column in the Register of Voters. If a voter cannot sign,his/her thumb impression will be obtained. The Second Polling Officer willthen give you a signed voter’s slip which will record your serial number in theregister of voters and your serial number in the electoral roll.10.5 Stage 3: You will then proceed to the Third Polling Officer who willtake the voter’s slip issued to you by the Second Polling Officer. The ThirdPolling Officer will press the “Ballot” button on the Control Unit of votingmachine and direct you to the voting compartment where you will record yourvote on the balloting unit of the voting machine. Please note that each voterwill proceed to the voting compartment in exactly the same sequence in whichhis/her serial number is recorded in the voters’ register.10.6 Stage 4: Voting Procedure.• Inside the voting compartment, you are to press the blue candidate buttonon the Balloting Unit against the name and symbol of the candidate of yourchoice.• Press the button only once.• On the candidate button being pressed, the red lamp will glow against thename and symbol of that candidate.• There will also be a beep sound heard to indicate that your vote has beenrecorded and the Busy lamp goes off in the Control Unit.• This process is repeated for other voters till end of the poll.10.7 You must remember that secrecy of voting is important. Every electoris expected to maintain the secrecy of voting and in case of failure to maintainsecrecy the elector may not be permitted to vote. Any person who violates thesecrecy, will be booked for an offence under Section 128 of Representation ofPeople Act, 1951. You should, therefore, not disclose to any person who youhave voted for. Similarly, if any election official attempts to obtain informationon who you have voted for, it will amount to an offence committed by thatofficial. Photography of a voter casting vote is prohibited. It may also be notedthat no polling official or agent can come inside the voting compartment under7the pretext of helping you to vote. You can, however, be permitted to take acompanion of not less than 18 years with you for recording your vote, if forany physical infirmity you require such assistance.
11. Can you decline to cast your vote at the last stage?11.1 The law enables a voter to decline casting his vote at the last stage. Ifyou decide not to cast your vote after having signed on the Register of Votersand after having received the voters’ slip from the Second Polling Officer, youmust inform the Presiding Officer immediately. He will then take back thevoters’ slip from you and proceed to record in the remarks column of theRegister of Voters that you have declined to exercise your franchise and youwill be required to put your signature under such entry. After this is done, youcan leave the polling station without proceeding to the Voting Compartment.
12. What happens when your vote is challenged?In case your identity as a voter is challenged by a polling agent of anycandidate, on the ground that you are not the person whose name is listed onthe rolls, the Presiding Officer will ask the challenger to give evidence in proof,of his challenge. Similarly, he will ask you for proof of your identity. You canuse your EPIC or any other supporting document like Passport, Ration cardetc. for this purpose. If the challenge is not established, you will be allowed tovote. However, if challenge is established, you will be debarred from votingand handed over to the police with a written complaint by the PresidingOfficer.
13. What happens if someone else has cast the vote in yourname?13.1 If the First Polling Officer tells you on arrival inside the polling stationthat your vote has already been cast, bring this to the attention of thePresiding Officer immediately. The law allows you to cast a Tendered Vote. ATendered Ballot Paper, as per Rule 49P of the Conduct of Elections Rules,will be given to you and you will be required to sign your name on the list oftendered votes. A tendered ballot paper is the same as the ballot paperdisplayed on the balloting unit, except that it shall be endorsed on the back,with the words, “Tendered Ballot Paper” either stamped by the Returning orwritten by the Presiding Officer at the time of issuing it.813.2. After marking your choice of candidate with the help of Arrow CrossMark rubber stamp you should hand over the tendered ballot paper to thePresiding Officer, who will keep it in a separate cover. Please note that insuch case, you will not cast your vote on the EVM.
14. What are the grievance redressal mechanisms available toyou?14.1 If you have any grievance in regard to electoral roll, Electors PhotoIdentity Card or any other election related matter you may approach followingOfficers:-Chief Electoral Officer—————- At the State LevelDistrict Election Officer—————At the District LevelReturning Officer———————–At the Constituency LevelAssistant Returning Officer———–At Taluka/Tahsil LevelElectoral Registration Officer———- At the Constituency LevelPresiding Officer———————–At Polling StationZonal Officer ————————For a group of Poling stations(Detailed addresses etc. to be provided by the CEO)14.2 During every election, the Commission appoints Observers who aresenior civil service officers from outside the state. If you have any grievancesor problems, you should approach them.