With only a few days away from the mammoth general elections 2019 spread across 7 phases that begin on April 11, 2019, India is geared up to elect it’s central government in the largest democratic set-up in the world. As an Indian citizen, it’s your constitutional right to have a say in who will govern India in the next session.
A whopping 900 million voters will be eligible to vote in the LS elections 2019 of which 15 million will be first time voters.
THE VOTING SAGA
The General elections 2019 will be starting from April 11 and ending on May 19. These seven phases of elections will be held on April 11, April 18, April 23, April 29, May 6, May 12 and May 19 in 29 states and 7 union territories. Assembly Elections in Jammu and Kashmir will not be held simultaneously with the LS elections. There will be a total of one million polling stations.
With close to 90 political parties and numerous independent politicians taking part in these elections, the elections 2019 would be nothing short of a magnum opus drama unfolding!
The results will be declared on May 23, 2019.
Means to Vote
Voting in India is primarily done through polling booths and postal ballot. The postal ballot voting facility is extended only under exceptional circumstances and to the armed forces of India stationed at posts and overseas. Officials who are on election duty can also vote through this.
All other individuals who are 18 and above need to physically go to a polling booth of their constituency to ensure that their registered vote is not misused by an impersonator.
Know Your Voting Rights
The constitution of India empowers all eligible voters to seek information on any contesting candidate pertaining to the election manifesto their assets, finances, criminal record, etc.
If at all you feel that none of the contesting political parties or individuals is worthy enough of your vote, you can go for NOTA(None of the above). The EVM also gives a count of the NOTA votes cast.
Voters with physical disability can request for a postal ballot. Voters from rural areas who may have a difficulty in understanding the working of the electronic voting machine can ask for the assistance of officer present at their booth.
In case someone has voted falsely under your name, you can submit valid identity proof and vote separated under the tendered votes provision.
EVM: For First timers and Old timers
The Electronic Voting Machine that facilitates electronic voting was first introduced on a pan India level in 1999 and has been in use ever since.
The EVM is placed inside an enclosed area being supervised by the booth officer. The balloting unit on the EVM has blue buttons that function as switches corresponding to each party/candidates. The corresponding button pressed counts as one vote for that party/candidate. After a voter has pressed the button of their preference, the presiding officer resets the balloting unit which enables only one vote per person.
After the voting for the constituency has finished, the Polling Officer will press the Close button which will prevent any fraudulent activity on the EVM.
Your Name on the Electoral and your Polling Booth
Holding a voting card is only one part of exercising this duty. You MUST have your name in the electoral list to be a valid voter, the absence of which will prohibit you from voting even if you have a card. The electoral list has been released by the EC (Election Commission) on January 30.
In order to check for your name on the list, you can log on to the official website of National Voters’ Services Portal (NVSP). Look for the electoral search page and fill in the requisite fields or search through your EPIC number. If the search returns your name, you are registered on the list. If your name doesn’t show up for some reason, well, you are too late to do anything now! Bad luck!
To find out your polling booth, on the same site, look for ‘know your booth’ under ‘citizen Information’. Fill in the required details and the booth details will be furnished.
The voting timings usually will be between 7 AM and 5 PM. To find out the poll hours for your constituency, you can go to the official website of the Election Commission https://eci.gov.in/
Be wise, Vote Right
Make sure you vote wisely, and with utmost deliberation. As a responsible, vigilant and aware citizen of India, it’s not only your fundamental right to cast your vote but also a huge responsibility for the betterment of the nation you live in. Keep real issues in mind and picture a powerful leader who can nurture the nation with the interests of all the citizens as their topmost priority. So, make an informed decision and vote right.
You have an absolute right and freedom to align yourself to any political party or ideology, Left or Right, make sure you vote! Remember, don't vote, don't complain!
Peachmode urges all the citizens of India to exercise their voting right and establish maximum turnout. Endorse this right and make sure that people around you vote too. It is solely upon us to bring about an efficient, conscientious and able government.