How to Vote in Election 2019

Ready to vote?


The 2019 general election is special. This is the first time when those born around the turn of the millennium get to vote. Let us take you on a virtual tour of the polling booth.
Welcome to the largest democratic process in the world.

The election to the Lok Sabha is held as per the directions of the Election Commission of India. It was formed as an autonomous constitutional body on January 25, 1950.
About 90 crore voters are registered for the 2019 general election. Of them, about 1.5 crore are first-time voters aged 18-19. In India, you have to turn 18 to vote and 25 to stand for election.
Only those people who have enrolled themselves on the voters' list can exercise their right to vote.
You have to carry a photo identification card issued by the election commission.
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Voter assistant booths (VAB) have been set up at every polling stations. If you need any help or information regarding your vote, you may ask the officers at VABs.

India goes to vote in seven phases this time

Phases States Seats Counting
1 20 97 Apr-11
2 12 95 Apr-18
3 15 116 Apr-23
4 9 71 Apr-29
5 7 51 May-6
6 7 59 May-12
7 8 59 May-19

Votes cast will be counted on May 23

To the polling booth

You will see security officials guarding the polling booths. Videographers would be recording the surroundings including those who go to vote. Micro-level observers would make frequent trips to the polling booths.

First polling officer

The first polling officer would vet your identification document against the voters' list.

Polling agents

Polling officer would then call out your name for the polling agents, assigned by each candidate, to hear. If any of the polling agents doubt your identity, he/she can challenge your vote by paying a certain sum of money. The agent's money would be forfeited if he is found to have challenged your vote without a valid reason.

Second polling officer

If unchallenged, the second polling officer would smear indelible ink on your left index finger. You have to sign on the register or give your thumb impression. Then you would be given a voter's slip with a serial number.

Third polling officer

You would proceed with the slip to the third polling officer, who holds the authority to get any bogus voter arrested. If the officer is convinced that the voter is genuine, he would press the ballot button on the polling control unit. If you hear a long beep sound, the machine is ready for you to vote. In a polling booth with minimal voters, the third polling officer will also act as the presiding officer. If a polling station has a large number of voters, there will be three polling officers and one presiding officer.

1. When you see a green light on the left side of the balloting unit, the unit is ready to use.

2. You can press the blue button against the name and symbol of your favourite candidate. You only have to press once.

3. Once you have pressed the button, the green light will turn red with a beep sound. Your vote has been recorded. The machine is now locked, to prevent duplicate or invalid votes. The machine will be ready to vote only after the presiding officer presses the button on the control unit when the next voter is ready.

4. If you are not interested in any of the candidates listed, you can press NOTA (None of the Above). When you hear the long beep sound, it means voting has been completed. If you didn't hear the sound or the red light is not switched on, you can seek assistance from the presiding officer.

5. The election commission has introduced the VVPAT (voter-verifiable paper audit trail) for you to confirm if your vote has been cast against the intended candidate. Only you can see the paper audit. This is the first election where VVPAT machines are introduced countrywide.

6. After you have voted, the VVPAT machine will produce a slip with the name, symbol and serial number of the candidate who received the vote. This slip will be covered by a glass, making it impossible for the voter or anyone else to take it out. The voter has seven seconds to read the slip, after which it will fall into the machine. In case of complaints regarding foul play, the box will be opened and the slips counted.

In the voting compartment

The ballot unit of the electronic voting machine would feature the names and photos of all candidates along with their assigned symbols. A balloting unit can have up to 16 names. Up to four balloting units can be combined in case the constituency has more candidates. Still all of them will be connected to a single control unit. If the constituency has more than 64 candidates, the latest version of EVM, M-3, can be used. This can accommodate 384 candidates, including NOTA (None of the Above).

Voting Machine

Once the voting is over, the presiding officer presses the close button on the control unit.
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Counting on May 23.