What are the 2014 General Elections?

•Your chance to decide the Government at the centre

•Your golden opportunity to exercise your constitutional right & participate in world’s largest democratic exercise

•Elections to the Lower House or House of the People (Lok Sabha) of the Indian Parliament

•The 16th General Election

What are the Election dates?

•The Schedule for General Elections 2014 has been announced by the Election Commission of India

•Polling on 9 poll days from April 7th to May 5th , 2014

•Counting for all constituencies on May 16th , 2014

Elections to State Legislative Assemblies of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha and Sikkim & Bye-elections to various State Legislative Assemblies are also being held along with the Lok Sabha elections.

Why should I vote?

  • Your most sacred right
  • Your right is the at the heart of our democracy
  • Your chance to decide your future & that of your fellow citizens
  • Gives you the ultimate power to shape the destiny of your country
  • Every vote counts

What is an electoral roll?

  • Voters list – List of all eligible citizens who are entitled to vote in an election
  • Prepared for each Assembly Constituency
  • Each roll sub-divided into parts
  • Normally, one part will correspond with one polling booth
  • Polling booths set up so that no voter should ordinarily travel more than 2 kms to reach the booth

Why is the electoral roll important to me?

  • Having your name in the electoral roll is the first and foremost requirement for you to vote
  • Your duty to find whether your name has been registered in the roll or not

Can I cast my vote in this Election?

Yes, you can, if:

•You are a citizen of India &

•You have completed 18 years of age as on 1st January, 2014 &

•You are registered as a voter in the current electoral roll of the constituency where you ordinarily reside

How do I check my name in the electoral roll?

1. Find out the name of the assembly constituency where you reside

2. Check your name in the list. You have the following options:

i. Contact the Electoral Registration Officer of your area

ii. Find out from the website of the CEO of your state. For NCT of Delhi, it is www.ceodelhi.nic.in

iii. Send SMS: EPIC<space>Voter ID Card Number to 9211728082 (for NCT of Delhi)

iv. Call the toll-free election helpline no. 1950

 Do I have a Voter ID?

•Voter identification is mandatory at the time of poll

•To cast your vote, you have to identify yourself with your Voter ID issued by the Election Commission or by the Photo Voter Slip issued by the Election Office or by alternate documents prescribed by the Election Commission

•Voter ID is also known as Electors’ Photo Identity Card (EPIC)

I have a Voter ID; is it enough to vote?

• No, having Voter ID is not in itself a sufficient condition to cast vote.

• You can vote only if your name appears in the current electoral roll of your constituency.

• You can vote if i) your name is there in the roll & ii) you have an ID prescribed by the Election Commission.

I have lost/misplaced my Voter ID; does this mean that I cannot cast my vote in this Election?
No, you can still vote by producing the Photo Voter slip issued by the Election Office or alternative documents prescribed by the Election Commission

What is a Photo Voter Slip?

  • A voter slip with your photo (if present in the voters list) issued by the election office
  • To facilitate you to know where you are enrolled as a voter at a particular polling station & serial number in the voters list
  • It will be in the language in which the voters list is published for your constituency
  • It will be accepted as your identity proof at the polling station

How can I get my Photo Voter Slip?

  • It will be given to you at your residence by the Booth Level Officer for your area
  • In case you misplace it or do not get it by the day of voting, you can collect it on the poll day from the Booth Level Officer positioned outside the polling station at the Voter Assistance Booth.

My photograph in the Voter ID does not match with the photo in the voters list; can I still cast my vote?

•Yes , you can still cast your vote (provided your name is in the current electoral roll), by producing any of your following alternative photo documents:

1. Passport

2. Driving License

3. Service identity cards with photograph issued to employees by Central / State Govt. PSUs/ Public limited companies

4. Passbooks with photograph issued by Bank/ Post Office

5. PAN card

6. AADHAAR card

7. Smart card issued by RGI under NPR

8. MNREGA Job Card

9. Health insurance smart card issued under the scheme of M/o Labour

10. Pension document with photograph

Before coming to the polling booth, I need to know some other important aspects as a voter and citizen of the country.

Know the candidates

•It is your right to know about the candidates & make an informed choice

•Every candidate must file an affidavit along with their nomination form

•Affidavit contains details of the candidate such as:

•his/her criminal antecedents

•his/her assets and liabilities and those of his/her spouse and dependents

•his/her educational background

•Details of dues owed by the candidates to the Government are published by giving an advertisement in leading newspapers by Returning Officer for your benefit

What are some corrupt practices & electoral offences I need to know & guard against?

•Offering or accepting money or any other gratification either to vote for or not to vote for a particular candidate

•Inducement by way of liquor, feast, gifts, etc. to vote for or not tovotefor a particular candidate

•Inducement to vote or not to vote for a particular candidate on the grounds of religion, caste, community, language or place of birth

•Threat of ex-communication to a voter if he votes for or against a particular candidate

•Offer of free conveyance to any elector to go to or from any polling station

My vote is secret

•You must keep your vote secret

•If you fail to do so:

•you may not be permitted to vote

•Attempt by anyone – including election officials – to obtain information on who you voted for isan offence

•Photography of a votercasting vote is prohibited

•No polling official or agent can come inside the voting compartment under the pretext of helping you to vote

•You can however, be permitted to take a companion of not less than 18 years with you for recording your vote, if for any physical infirmity, you require such assistance

 How do I Cast my Vote?

Which is the day of voting?

•Depending on your constituency, voting day would be one of the following nine poll days: April 7, 9, 10, 12, 17, 24, 30 and May 7, 12 of 2014

•Wide publicity has been given for the poll days as above

•You can also find out the poll day for your constituency from the website of the Election Commission www.eci.nic.in

•You have to cast your vote for both Lok Sabha elections & State Assembly Elections on the same day in the same polling booth (in those constituencies where Assembly elections too are being held)

What is the time allotted for voting?

•From 07:00 AM to 06:00 PM in general in all constituencies

•From 07:00 AM to 05:00 PM in the North Eastern Region

•From 07:00 AM to 04:00 PM in Manipur & Nagaland

•From 07:00 AM to 04:00 PM in some other constituencies

•You can find out the poll hours for your constituency from the website of the Election Commission www.eci.nic.in

•The Commission has also instructed the CEOs/DEOs to give wide publicity regarding the same in their states/districts

Paid Holiday on Poll Day

  • You shall either be granted a paid holiday on the poll day in your constituency so that you can cast your vote or be allowed to visit polling station to cast your vote and come back to attend to your work
  • Applicable for every person employed in any business, trade, industrial undertaking or any other establishment and entitled to vote in the 2014 Elections, including those who are working outside the bounds of the constituency

Where do I go to cast my vote?

•You can find out the name and address of your polling station from the Photo Voters slip issued to you by the Election Office

•You can also find this out from the website of the Election Commission of India ( www.eci.nic.in):

•Locations of most polling stations in the country have been plotted on maps

•You need to click on the tab ‘Polling Station Maps’ on the ECI website

•You would then see the names of the States ‘UTs for which maps of polling stations are available

•If maps are available for your state ‘UT, you can:

•Select your State’UT

•Select District, Assembly Constituency and Polling Station names from drop down lists

•Click a button to see Polling Station Locations of the selected area on the map viewer on the page.

•Polling Station Locations are seen as Pins dropped on the map for each Polling Station.

•On clicking on the Pin, a balloon opens up showing the names and cell phone numbers of the Chief Electoral Officer, District Election Officer, Electoral Registration Officer and Booth Level Officer

•There is also a link provided for Electoral Rolls. On clicking this link, Electoral Roll for that Polling Station opens up in PD F format and can be saved by the user on his local computer and also printed from the local computer

 The Voting Process

Stage0: Reaching the Polling Station

•You must carry your Voter ID, Photo Voter Slip or other alternative photo document as required for identifying yourself at the polling station

•It is advisable to leave your mobile phone at home

•If you take a private vehicle to reach the polling station, you should park the vehicle at a reasonable distance – usually more than 200 metres – away from the polling station

•When you reach the polling station, entry will be regulated by queues

•There will be separate queues for men and women voters and for physically handicapped persons

•At atime, 3–4 voters will be allowed into the polling station

•Physically handicapped voters and women voters with babies in arm will be given precedence over other voters in the queue

Stage 1: Establishment of your Identity

•You should first go to the First Polling Officer who is in charge of the marked copy of the electoral roll and responsible for identification of voters.

•You should keep your identity document ready to show to the First Polling Officer.

•You can also show to him ‘her the unofficial identity slip giving your particulars. However, you should remember that the unofficial identity slip only helps in locating your name in the electoral roll; it is not a guarantee of your identification.

•Your name and serial number will then be called out by the First Polling Officer so that the polling agents become aware of your presence and your identity is not challenged.

Stage2: Marking of indelible ink, obtaining of your signature or thumb impression & Issue of signed Voter’s slip(s)

•If your identity is not challenged, you should proceed to the Second Polling Officer

•He’she will mark your left forefinger with the indelible ink.

•He’she will then proceed to record your serial number in the electoral roll in the Register of Voters.

•Once this is recorded, you should sign in the appropriate column in the Register of Voters.

•If you cannot sign, your thumb impression will be obtained.

•Now, in case of election to only Lok Sabha:

•The Second Polling Officer will give you a signed voter’s slip.

•In case of simultaneous elections to both Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assembly:

•The Third Polling Officer, who will be sharing the table with the Second Polling Officer, will give you two identical voter’s slips – one on white paper and the other on pink paper.

•He will then direct you to the Fourth Polling Officer.

•The voter’s slip(s) will record your serial number in the register of voters and your serial number in the electoral roll.

Stage 3: Activation of Ballot Unit for the Lok Sabha Election

•You should then proceed to the Third Polling Officer (in case of election to only Lok Sabha) or Fourth Polling Officer (in case of simultaneous elections).

•He will take the voter’s slip for Lok Sabha election issued to you by the Second Polling Officer (in case of election to only Lok Sabha) or Third Polling Officer (in case of simultaneous elections).

•He will then press the “Ballot” button on the Control Unit of voting machine for the Lok Sabha Election, thus activating the Ballot Unit in the voting compartment for the Lok Sabha election.

•He’ she will then direct you to the voting compartment for the Lok Sabha election.

Stage 4: Casting your vote on the Ballot Unit for the Lok Sabha Election

•You should then record your vote on the ballot unit of the voting machine for the Lok Sabha election.

•You should remember that each voter will proceed to the voting compartment in exactly the same sequence in which his’her serial number is recorded in the voters’ register.

In case of election to only Lok Sabha:

•The voting procedure ends here. You should then leave the polling station and clear way for other voters. In case of simultaneous elections, proceed to Stage 5.

Stage 5: Activation of Ballot Unit for the Assembly Election

•After casting your vote for the Lok Sabha election, you should proceed to the Fifth Polling Officer.

•He will take the voter’s slip for Assembly Election issued to you by the Third Polling Officer.

•He will then press the “Ballot” button on the Control Unit of voting machine for the Assembly Election, thus activating the Ballot Unit in the voting compartment for the Assembly election.

•He/she will then direct you to the voting compartment for the Assembly election.

Stage 6: Casting your vote on the Ballot Unit for the Assembly Election

•You should then record your vote on the ballot unit of the voting machine for the Assembly election

•The voting procedure ends here. You should then leave the polling station and clear way for other voters.

Things to Remember while Inside the Voting Compartment

•You should press the blue candidate button on the Balloting Unit against the name and symbol of the candidate of your choice.

•You may also press the new None of the Above (NOTA) button at the end of the unit if you don’t want to vote for any candidate

•You should press the button only once.

•When you press the blue button, you should watch out for:

•The red lamp glowing against the name and symbol of your candidate

•The beep sound to indicate that your vote has been recorded

•Simultaneously, the busy lamp in the Control Unit will go off.

•With this, your vote is cast.

What happens when my vote is challenged?

•Your identity as a voter can be challenged by a polling agent of a candidate, on the ground that you are not the person whose name is listed on the rolls

•If this happens, then the Presiding Officer will:

•ask the challenger to give evidence in proof, of his challenge

•ask you for your proof of identity

•You can use your Voter ID (EPIC) or any other supporting document like Passport, Ration card, etc. for this purpose

•If the challenge is not established, you will be allowed to vote

•If it is established, you will be debarred from voting and handed over to the police with a written complaint by the Presiding Officer.

What if someone else has cast the vote in my name?

The First Polling Officer may tell you on arrival inside the polling station that your vote has already been cast

•If this happens, you should inform this to the Presiding Officer immediately

•The law allows you to cast a Tendered Vote

•A Tendered Ballot Paper, as per Rule 49P of the Conduct of Elections Rules, will be given to you

•If you choose to vote, you will be required to:

•sign your name on the list of tendered votes

•mark your choice of candidate with the help of Arrow Cross Mark rubber stamp on the ballot paper given to you

•hand over the tendered ballot paper to the Presiding Officer

•In this case, you will not cast your vote on the EVM

•A Tendered Ballot Paper is the same as the ballot paper displayed on the balloting unit, except that it shall be endorsed on the back, with the words, “Tendered Ballot Paper” either stamped by the Returning or written by the Presiding Officer in hand at the time of issuing it

What is New for me the Voter in 2014 Elections None of the Above (NOTA)

·Introduced in 2013 in State Assembly Elections

·Shall be the last button on the Electronic Voting Machine

·You may press this button if you do not wish to vote for any of the candidates

Photo Voter Slip

Avoter slip with your photo (if present in the voters list) issued by the election office (please refer above for more details)

Model Polling Stations

·Afew model polling stations are planned to be set up in the country for the first time

To attract voters to the polling booths and give a festive look to the electoral exercise

What are the complaint redressal mechanisms available to me?

•If you have any grievance in regard to voters list, voter ID or any other election related matter, you can make use of the following mechanisms.

•Every state and UT will have a complaint redressal mechanism based on a dedicated Call Centre and website.

•The URL of the complaint registration website will be announced for each State’ UT by the respective Chief Electoral Officer separately.

•You can therefore register your complaint by:

•Making a call to the toll free call centre of your state’UT

•Visiting the website of the complaint redressal mechanism for your state’UT & registering your complaint on the site

•Calling the National Call Centre number 1950, which is a tollfree number.

•Action will betaken within a time limit on all complaints

•You will also be informed of the action taken, by SMS, if you have registered your Mobile Phone number and also by the Call Centre.

•You can also see the details of the action taken on your complaints, on the website.

During every election, the Commission appoints Observers who are senior civil service officers from outside the state. You may approach them as well. (Detailed addresses, etc. may be obtained from the CEO).

Basic Minimum Facilities at Polling Stations

•The Election Commission has recently issued instructions to the Chief Electoral Officers of all States’ UTs to ensure that every Polling Station is equipped with Basic Minimum Facilities (BMF) like drinking water, shed, toilet, ramp for the physically challenged voters and a standard voting compartment etc.

Special Support for Differently Abled Voters (in NCT of Delhi)

•The Chief Electoral Officer (Delhi) shall have a link on his website for registration of differently abled voters in NCT of Delhi

•People registering themselves can give suggestions on the kind of facilities that may be provided at polling stations to make voting a better experience for them

•This would enable all possible assistance to be provided to them

•Arrangements are being worked out for having wheelchairs in each polling station along with ‘May I Help You’ volunteers

•This facility can also be availed by senior citizens

•One officer at each polling station would be responsible for providing facilities to differently abled voters and senior citizens; action would betaken in case there are complaints

•Aimed at making the voting experience of differently abled voters comfortable by ensuring seamless travel and other facilities for them from the gate to the voting compartment in the polling booth, so as to encourage them to come out and vote

Special Facilitation Centre for Delhi Police Personnel

•Operational in each of the seven constituencies of Delhi, from 31st March to April 2nd, 2014, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

•To facilitate Delhi police staff who are voters in Delhi and have applied in Form 12for postal ballot

•Such voters may visit the Special facilitation centre of the constituency in which they are registered as a voter, on any of the above three days during the aforesaid hours to cast their vote by postal ballot

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0 responses to “My Vote : My Voice – A Guide For Voters”

  1. hemen parekh says:

    A Software Powerhouse ?

    Yesterday , when I went to polling booth , there was a chaos , with a number of people complaining that their names were missing from the Electoral Rolls ( Voter Lists )

    As per news-reports , in Mumbai alone , some 50,000 people returned home without casting their votes – including Deepak Parekh ! Altogether , names of some 15 lakh voters ( out of a total of 98 lakh ) were missing !

    Then there are some 300 million people who will simply won’t walk down to the nearest polling booths , and wait for 1 hour to cast their votes ( – assuming that some 40 % of the 814 million eligible voters do not exercise their right to vote )

    WHY ?

    Going out to vote is becoming a big hassle


    Sure , if Central Government and the Election Commission care to implement my suggestion for developing a mobile App for voting . I called it , VotesApp

    see .. hemenparekh.in/2013/08/votesapp.html

    Or , just type in Google , ” VotesApp ”


    > No need for 930,000 polling booths / EVMs / Ink / Papers etc
    Every voter’s own mobile becomes a miniature EVM !
    Any registered Voter can vote from anywhere in the World !

    > Nor any need to deploy 1,100,000 people to conduct the polls

    > No need for millions of Police / Military personnel

    > No need for months of advance preparations, across entire country

    > Voting can be completed in just ONE day – instead of over 6 weeks –
    and results can be declared next day !

    > Voting could be 95 % or more !

    > No worry for booth-capture

    > No bogus voting ( Bio-metric ID from built-in camera )

    > No duplicate voting ( Self-destruct after single usage )

    > No worry for any terrorist attacks

    > Enormous saving of time for Voters

    > No need to declare a public holiday – costing thousands of crores
    worth of production

    > Central Government will save, at least , Rs 2,000 Crores .

    If business-friendly BJP government comes to power , it would not
    hesitate to earn Rs 20,000 crores , by enabling 15 million Indian
    businesses to advertise to 814 million voters , thru this mobile VotesApp –
    sharply targeting by Gender / Age / Marital Status / City / Street /
    Education / Income Tax paid / Employed or Jobless ..etc

    > No need for Central Government to stop taking even routine decisions

    If a tiny country like Estonia ( population 1.6 million ) can elect its Members of Parliament thru a VotesApp type mobile App , why can’t we ?

    Already 900+ million Indians have mobiles – all of which , will soon become Smart Phones

    And we call our country , a ” Software Powerhouse ” !

    * hemen parekh ( 25 April 2014 / Mumbai )

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