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  1. Announcement of Schedule for General Elections to Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies in Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha & Sikkim, 2019

    Alternate link to download the press note: Announcement of Schedule for General Elections to Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies in Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha & Sikkim, 2019
     
     
     
     

    40,239 downloads

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  2. INVITATION FOR PRESS CONFERENCE

    Dated: 10.03.2019                                                             INVITATION FOR PRESS CONFERENCE
    Dear Sir/Madam,
    You are invited to cover the following event:
    Media Event
    :
    Press Conference by Election Commission of India
    Day & Date
    :
    Sunday, 10th March, 2019 
    Time
    :
    1700 hours
    Venue
    :
    Plenary Hall, Vigyan Bhavan,  New Delhi
     IMPORTANT INSTRUCTIONS FOR MEDIA ENTRY
    Ø Entry of TV Camerapersons and Still Camera photographers will be on the basis of PIB Accreditation Card only from 3.30 PM onwards
     To,
    All Accredited Correspondents/Camera Persons
    DG (News), Doordarshan / DG (News), All India Radio
    Photo Division at CGO Complex
    Photo Publicity Unit in PIB
     

    5,746 downloads

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  3. ANNOUNCEMENT OF SCHEDULE FOR GENERAL ELECTIONS TO LOK SABHA AND LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLIES IN ANDHRA PRADESH, ARUNACHAL PRADESH, ODISHA & SIKKIM, 2019.

    No. ECI/PN/24/2019     Dated:10th March, 2019
     PRESS NOTE
     SUBJECT: ANNOUNCEMENT OF SCHEDULE FOR GENERAL ELECTIONS TO LOK SABHA AND LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLIES IN ANDHRA PRADESH, ARUNACHAL PRADESH, ODISHA & SIKKIM, 2019.
     In continuation of the Commission’s Press Note No. ECI/PN/23/2019, dated 10th March, 2019, the following may be read as:
    2.         The date of poll in respect of Bye Elections for 18 ACs of Tamil Nadu, as mentioned at Sl.No. 14 to Sl. No. 31, as already scheduled for Phase 2(Two) of Election, shall be read as 18th April, 2019 instead of 23rd April, 2019.
    3.         In the details of Schedule No. 3, 4 & 5 in respect of PC (3-Anantnag) in Jammu & Kashmir, the Date of Issue of Notification, Last Date of Filing Nominations, Scrutiny of Nominations & Last Date for Withdrawal of Candidature, shall be read as 28th March, 2019, 04th April, 2019, 05th April, 2019 & 08th April, 2019, respectively only with Dates of Poll as 23rd April, 2019, 29th April, 2019 & 06th May, 2019, respectively.
    4.         Accordingly, the election schedule for Anantnag PC of Jammu & Kashmir will be held as per schedule:
    1
    Issue of Notification­
    28.03.2019
    2
    Last Date of filing Nominations
    04.04.2019
    3
    Scrutiny of Nominations
    05.04.2019
    4
    Last date for withdrawal of Candidature
    08.04.2019
    5 (a)
    Date of poll (in Anantnag District)
    23.04.2019
    5 (b)
    Date of poll (in Kulgam District)
    29.04.2019
    5 (c)
    Date of poll (Shopian & Pulwama Districts)
    06.05.2019
    6
    Counting of Votes
    23.05.2019
     

    4,673 downloads

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  4. Election Commission of India launches Voter Verification and Information Programme (VVIP) for upcoming General Elections 2019

    ECI/PN/16/2019     Dated: 08.02.2019
    PRESS NOTE
     Subject: Election Commission of India launches Voter Verification and Information Programme (VVIP) for upcoming General Elections 2019
    The Election Commission of India has launched a Voter Verification and Information Programme (VVIP) for citizens for verifications of their names, new registrations, changes in the voter details and corrections in the Voter Id Cards for the upcoming General Elections 2019.  ECI has enabled various channels for this VVIP programme. ECI has also set up Contact centers in all districts across India. The Voter Helpline number is 1950 . The Contact Centres are equipped with latest information and telecom infrastructure to help the callers. 

    The VVIP Programme was launched during the 2-day intensive Training-cum-Workshop on the use of Information & Communication Technology for the conduct of General Elections 2019. The Training-cum-Workshop was attended by Additional Chief Electoral Officers, Incharge of IT, Nodal Officers, State Level Master Trainers and technical resource persons from all States and Union Territories.
    Speaking on the occasion Election Commissioner, Sh. Ashok Lavasa said that the strength of technology is to make it easy for use by all. He exhorted those attending the workshop to imbibe and in turn explain extensively to all. Sh. Lavasa reminded the participants that the central theme of ECI's endeavours are to make Elections more inclusive. With the use of Apps,  prompt responses should be ensured as citizens demand a better quality of services.  
    Chief Election Commissioner, Sh. Sunil Arora said that technology is indeed a major game changer. The purpose at training workshops should be to listen, learn, absorb and apply. He pointed out that little time is now left before elections and intense consolidation of all learning should be ensured to actually facilitate the voter.  
    One of the important applications for which training was imparted to all States and UTs was cVIGIL . cVIGIL App provides time-stamped, evidence based proof of the Model Code of Conduct / Expenditure Violation, having live photo/video with auto location data. Any citizen can lodge a complaint through the Mobile App. Flying Squads then investigate the matter and the Returning Officer takes the decision. The status of cVIGIL can be shared with the cVIGIL complainant within a specified time limit.
    A CVigil User Manual and the EVM Management System User Manual was released on the occasion. A new Android-based mobile app called ‘Voter Helpline ’ was also launched today. This App provides convenience to all citizens for finding their names in the electoral roll, submitting online forms, checking the status of the application, filing complaints and receiving the reply on their mobile app. All forms, results, candidate affidavits, press notes, voter awareness and important instructions are available through the mobile app.
    A ‘PwD App’ to enable Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) to request for new registration, change in address, change in particulars and mark themselves as PwD through the use of the mobile application was also launched. By simply entering their contact details, the Booth Level Officer is assigned to provide doorstep facility. PwDs can also request for a wheelchair during polling.
    Use of the latest technologies by ECI has led to the spread of novel election activities, in addition to enhancing the existing election system.  For effective conduct of elections, the ECI has found a way of integrating the use of Smart Technology in the day-to-day processes of elections.

    3,334 downloads

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  5. Photo voter slips not to be valid as stand-alone identification document for voting

    No. ECI/PN/22/2019    Dated: 28th February, 2019
    PRESS NOTE
    Subject: Photo voter slips not to be valid as stand-alone identification   document for voting.
    Electors Photo Identity Card (EPIC) or one of the eleven specified photo identity documents, essential for casting vote.
    The Election Commission of India has directed that all electors in all constituencies who have been issued Electors Photo Identity Card (EPIC) have to produce the Electors Photo Identity Card for their identification at the polling station before casting their votes. Those electors who are not able to produce the EPIC shall produce one of the following alternative photo identity documents for establishing their identity. The list of eleven documents is: 
    Passport, Driving License, Service Identity Cards with photograph issued to employees by Central/State Govt./PSUs/Public Limited Companies, Passbooks with photograph issued by Bank/Post Office, PAN Card, Smart Card issued by RGI under NPR, MNREGA Job Card, Health Insurance Smart Card issued under the scheme of Ministry of Labour, Pension document with photograph, Official identity cards issued to MPs/MLAs/MLCs, and Aadhaar Card.  Overseas electors shall have to produce their original passport only for identification. To assist the Voters, the Commission has further directed its officers that in the case of EPIC, minor discrepancies in the entries should be ignored, provided the identity of the elector can be established by the EPIC. If an elector produces an EPIC which has been issued by the Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) of another Assembly Constituency, such card shall also be accepted for identification, provided the name of that elector finds place in the electoral roll pertaining to the polling station where the elector has turned up for voting.  If it is not possible to establish the identity of the elector on account of mismatch of photograph, etc. the elector shall have to produce one of the above mentioned alternative photo documents.
    Previously, the Commission had allowed Photo Voter Slip (PVS) as a document for identification. However, there have been representations against its use as a stand-alone identification document on the grounds of misuse since PVSs are printed after the finalization of the roll and distributed just close to the poll day through Booth Level Officers (BLO). The design of PVS does not incorporate any security feature. In fact, Photo Voter Slip was started as an alternative document, since the coverage of EPIC was not complete in earlier years. Currently, more than 99% electors possess EPIC, and more than 99% adults have been issued Aadhar Cards.
    Considering all the above listed facts, the Commission has now decided that PVS shall henceforth not be accepted as a stand-alone identification document for voting.  However, PVS will continue to be prepared and issued to electors as part of the awareness building exercise.  In order to make it clear to the electors that PVS shall not be accepted as a stand-alone identification document for voting, the words `THIS SLIP WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED FOR THE PURPOSE OF IDENTIFICATION IN POLLING STATION. YOU ARE REQUIRED TO CARRY EPIC OR ONE OF THE 11 ALTERNATIVE DOCUMENTS SPECIFIED BY THE COMMISSION FOR VOTING” shall be printed on the Photo Voter Slip in bold letters.
    All Returning Officers and Presiding Officers are being informed of these instructions. A copy of the instructions translated in the vernacular language will be supplied to each Presiding Officer. The Commission has directed to publicize the order immediately through Gazette notifications and through print/electronic media at regular intervals till poll day for public awareness.

    2,581 downloads

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  6. Voter Helpline: 1950

    No. ECI/PN/19/2019          Dated: 22nd February, 2019
    PRESS NOTE
     
    Subject: Voter Helpline: 1950
    In view of the impending General Elections, the Election Commission of India has strengthened its Voter Helpline to make it easy for the Voters to get authentic information pertaining to their voter registration.  The range of services provided by the Helpline Number 1950 have been refurbished and made easily accessible.
    The enrolled electors in the Electoral Roll can check the details of their personal information, the Polling Station planned for them to visit on the Poll Day and to know the contact details of Booth Level Officers, Electoral Registration Officers and District Election Officers, by using the Voter Helpline Mobile App or through www.nvsp.in  Portal or by calling 1950 Helpline Number.  In the same line, services through SMS can also be availed by citizens by sending SMS without any cost to 1950.  Formats in which such SMSs can be sent are:
    (i) ECI <EPIC Number>  <0 (for reply in English) or <1 (for reply in the regional language).   (ii) ECIPS <EPIC Number>    This will fetch the address of the Polling Station, where the said EPIC Number bearer needs to go to cast the vote.
    (iii) ECICONTACT <EPIC Number>   This will fetch the reply providing the sender with contact details of Booth Level Officers, Electoral Registration Officers and District Election Officers.
    Since mere possession of EPIC Card is not enough for the electors but their names should also be there in the electoral roll for enabling them to cast their vote on the poll day, it is necessary that the citizens/electors should check that their names figure in the electoral rolls.  If they are not enrolled, they can submit Form 6 online through www.nvsp.in or submit the form through Mobile APP or hard copy to the respective ERO Offices.  If there is any correction needed, they can submit Form 8 for necessary correction online through NVSP or through Mobile App or hard copy to respective ERO offices.  Also if their addresses are changed within the part, they need to submit Form 8A on the same lines as above.
    It is also clarified that all these services can be obtained directly or by approaching the concerned officials appointed by the Election Commission of India.  ECI has not authorized any intermediaries to provide these services.
     

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  7. General Election to Lok Sabha 2019 and State Legislative Assemblies 2019 - Allotment of Broadcast/Telecast time to Recognized National/State Political Parties -regarding.

    General Election to Lok Sabha 2019 and State Legislative Assemblies 2019 - Allotment of Broadcast/Telecast time to Recognized National/State Political Parties -regarding.

    1,365 downloads

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  8. Social Media Platforms present " Voluntary Code of Ethics for the 2019 General Election" to Election Commission of India

    Social Media Platforms present " Voluntary Code of Ethics for the 2019 General Election" to Election Commission of India

    1,112 downloads

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  9. ECI meeting with Political Party representatives

    ECI/PN/15/2019           Dated: 4th February, 2019
    Press Note
    Subject: ECI meeting with Political Party representatives
     A delegation of Representatives of some National and State level recognised Political Parties met the Election Commission of India at Nirvachan Sadan today.
    The Commission heard the concerns of the Representatives regarding the demands related to the counting of Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail machine (VVPAT) slips.
    The Commission assured the Political Parties that issues raised by them would be deliberated and examined. While considering the averments made by the Political Parties, the Commission shall also keep in view the pronouncements made by the different Hon'ble Courts as well as the report expected shortly from the Indian Statistical Institute on the subject besides the overall administrative and operational feasibility on the ground, before firming up any response.   
     
     

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  10. Biennial/Bye Elections to the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana Legislative Council –reg.

    ECI/PN/21/2019        Dated: 24nd February, 2019
    PRESS NOTE
    Subject: Biennial/Bye Elections to the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana Legislative Council –reg.
    The term of office of following sitting members of the Andhra Pradesh & Telangana Legislative Council are due to expire as per the details given below:
    ANDHRA PRADESH
    Sl. No.
    Name of  Constituency
    Name of the Member
    Date of retirement
    1.
    East –West Godavari Graduates’
    Kalidindi Ravi Kiran Varma
     
    29.03.2019
    2.    
    Krishna-Guntur Graduates’
    Boddu Nageswara Rao
    3.
    Srikakulam-Vizianagaram-Visakhapatnam Teachers’
    Gade Srinivasulu Naidu
    TELANGANA
    1.
    Medak-Nizamabad-Adilabad-Karimnagar Graduates’
    K. Swamy Goud
     
     
    29.03.2019
    2.
    Medak-Nizamabad-Adilabad-Karimnagar Teachers’
    Paturi Sudhakar Reddy
    3.
    Warangal-Khammam-Nalgonda Teachers’
    Poola Ravinder
    4.
    Hyderabad Local Authorities’
     
     M.S. Prabhakar Rao
    01.05.2019
     
    2. Also, one vacancy in Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council has occurred on 3rd October, 2018 due to death of sitting member, Dr. M.V.V.S. Murthi from Visakhapatnam Local Authorities’ Constituency. The term of Dr. M.V.V.S. Murthi is up to and including 11.08.2021.
    3. Amendment of Delimitation Order of Council Constituencies in Telangana  is under process; however, the Commission has decided to conduct the aforesaid elections as per the existing delimitation.
    4. Now, the Commission has decided to hold above mentioned Biennial Election to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana Legislative Councils and bye election to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council from Visakhapatnam Local Authorities’ Constituency, in accordance with the following schedule:
     
    EVENTS
    DATES & DAYS
    1
    Issue of Notifications
    25th February, 2019 (Monday)
    2
    Last date of making nominations
    5th March, 2019 (Tuesday)
    3
    Scrutiny of nominations
    6th March, 2019 (Wednesday)
    5
    Last date for withdrawal of candidatures
    8th March, 2019 (Friday)
    6
    Date of poll
    22nd March, 2019 (Friday)
    7
    Hours of poll        
    8.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.
    8
    Counting of Votes
    26th  March, 2019 (Tuesday)
    9
    Date before which election shall be completed
    28th March, 2019 (Thursday)

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  11. 9th National Voters’ Day to be celebrated on 25th January 2019

    ECI/PN/13/2019         Dated: 24th January, 2019
    Press Note
    Subject: 9th National Voters’ Day to be celebrated on 25th January 2019
    The country will celebrate the 9th National Voters' Day on 25th January 2019 at more than 6 lakh locations covering around 10 lakh Polling Stations across the country. New Voters shall be felicitated and handed over their EPIC (Elector Photo Identity Card) in the NVD function. 
    Hon’ble President of India Sh. Ram Nath Kovind will be the Chief Guest at the national function being organized by Election Commission of India at Manekshaw Centre, Delhi Cantt. Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Hon’ble Law Minister shall also grace the national function. In view of the upcoming Lok Sabha Election, ‘No Voter to be Left Behind’ has been selected as the theme for the NVD.
    My Vote Matters, a Quarterly Magazine is being launched on the occasion and the first copy shall be presented by the Commission to the Hon’ble President.
    The National Awards for the Best Electoral Practices shall be conferred to Officers for outstanding performance in the conduct of elections. In addition, awards are also being given to CSOs and Media Houses who have made outstanding contribution in the field of voter awareness and outreach.  
    Chief Election Commissioners and senior officials from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Kazakhstan, Maldives, Russia and Sri Lanka shall grace the occasion. Members of Political Parties, Members of Parliament besides Diplomats from various countries and representatives from national and international organizations working in the area of democracy and elections are also expected to attend the national function. 
    The National Voters’ Day (NVD) is celebrated all over the country on January 25 every year since 2011 to mark the Foundation day of Election Commission of India, which was established on this day in the year 1950. The main purpose of the NVD celebration is to encourage, facilitate and maximize the enrollment, especially for the new voters. Dedicated to the voters of the country, the Day is utilized to spread awareness among voters for promoting informed participation in the electoral process. 

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  12. Election Commission of India launches Voter Awareness Forums(VAFs) across the country

    ECI/PN/7/2019     Dated: 16th January, 2019
    Press Note
    Subject: Election Commission of India launches Voter Awareness Forums(VAFs) across the country
    Voter Awareness Forum(VAF) was launched by Election Commission of India in New Delhi, by the Chief Electoral Officers in the State capital and by District Election Officers in the Districts today. 
    Addressing the Nodal Officers from 44 Ministries, Government of India, and representatives from Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) at Pravasi Bhartiya Kendra, New Delhi today, the Commission exhorted them to immediately set up VAFs and facilitate enrolment of all employees and officials on the electoral roll.
    Chief Election Commissioner Shri Sunil Arora said that the founding fathers of the Constitution had an instinctive faith in the citizenry of country and therefore gifted Universal Adult Franchise to the Indian populace while other democracies took years before extending this right to all its citizens. It is therefore our collective responsibility to value and preserve this right and in this endeavour Voter Awareness Forums have a crucial role to play. He asked the Nodal Officers to commit themselves to the aims of the VAFs which is to promote informed and ethical electoral participation, first step of which is registration.

    Election Commissioner Shri. Ashok Lavasa said thousands of unnamed and faceless Government officials undertake the task of preserving the electoral process, in different capacities and roles. Hailing the Officers as “Ambassadors of Democracy”, Shri Lavasa said that as Nodal Officers, now they are invested with the additional responsibility of educating colleagues and staff in their work place and ensuring that all the members of their Ministry and Departments are familiar with the electoral procedure right from enrolment to the casting of ballot. 
    Earlier, speaking on the occasion, Senior Deputy Election Commissioner, briefed all present about the ‘Voter Verification and Information’ drive that the Commission is taking up and asked VAF to facilitate members to check their names and details on Electoral Roll through online NVSP portal of ECI and the Voter Helpline No 1950.
    The half-day briefing was conducted to familarise the Officers from various Ministries and Federations with the concept of Voter Awareness Forum and to brief them about their role as Nodal Officers of the VAFs. Similar briefing sessions are being held across the country by the Chief Electoral Officers and District Election Officers across the country where nodal officers of Departments, Non-Govt Departments, CSOs, Corporate and Media Houses in the State and District were briefed respectively.
    Voter Awareness Forums are informal Forums for generating awareness around electoral process through activities like discussions, quizzes, competitions and other engaging activities. All employees of the Organisation are expected to become members of the VAF with the Head of the Organisation acting as the Chair. 
    VAF is part of the Electoral Literacy Club programme of ECI. Launched on the 8th National Voters Day, 25th January 2018, the ELC programme envisages setting up of Electoral Literacy Club in every educational institution and Chunav Pathshala at every booth to cover those outside the formal education system.  Around 2.11 Lakh ELCs have already been established across the country in the first year of the launch of the programme.
     
     

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  13. Biennial Election to the Legislative Councils of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana by the members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) – reg.

    ECI/PN/18/2019     Dated: 18th February, 2019
    PRESS NOTE
     Subject: Biennial Election to the Legislative Councils of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana by the members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) –  reg.
    The term of five members each of Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council and Telangana Legislative Council elected by the members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) is expiring on 29th March, 2019, details are given as under:
    S.No.
    Name of the Member
    Date of Retirement
    ANDHRA PRADESH
    1.                 
    Ponguru Narayana
     
     
    29th March, 2019
    2.                 
    Lakshmi Siva Kumari Anguri
    3.                 
    Pamidi Samanthakamani
    4.                 
    Ramakrishnudu Yanamala
    5.                 
    Appa Rao Adireddy
    TELANGANA
    6.                 
    Ponguleti Sudhakar Reddy
     
     
    29th March, 2019
    7.                 
    Mohd. Ali Shabbir
    8.                 
    Thiruvaragarm Santosh Kumar
    9.                 
    Mohmmed Saleem
    10.              
    Mohd. Mahmood Ali
              Now, the Commission has decided to hold Biennial Election to the Legislative Councils of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana by the members of respective Legislative Assemblies in accordance with the following schedule:
     
    S. No.
    Event
    Days and Date
    1.                 
    Issue of Notification
    21st February, 2019 (Thursday)
    2.                 
    Last date of making nominations
    28th February, 2019 (Thursday)
    3.                 
    Scrutiny of nominations
    1st March, 2019 (Friday)
    4.                 
    Last date for withdrawal of candidatures
    5th March, 2019 (Tuesday)
    5.                 
    Date of poll
    12th March, 2019 (Tuesday)
    6.                 
    Hours of poll 
    9.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.
    7.                 
    Counting of Votes
    12th March, 2019 (Tuesday) at 5.00 p.m.
    8.                 
    Date before which election shall be completed
    15th March, 2019 (Friday)
     
     
     
     

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  14. Voter Awareness Forums shall be set up in Ministries, Departments and Other Institutions for promoting awareness on electoral process

    ECI/PN/6/2019       Dated: 14th January, 2019
    Press Note
    Subject: Voter Awareness Forums shall be set up in Ministries, Departments and Other Institutions for promoting awareness on electoral process
    Voter Awareness Forums will be set up in Ministries, Government Departments, Non-Government Departments and other Institutions to promote electoral awareness. Election Commission of India will be briefing the Nodal Officers of Ministries, Government of India and a representative from Federations on 16th January 2019 at Pravasi Bhartiya Kendra, New Delhi.
    Similar briefing sessions are being held across the country by the Chief Electoral Officers and District Election Officers on the same day where nodal officers of Departments, Non-Govt Departments, CSOs, Corporate and Media Houses in the State and District are being briefed respectively. 
    Voter Awareness Forums are informal Forums for generating awareness around electoral process through activities like discussions, quizzes, competitions and other engaging activities. All employees of the Organisation are expected to become members of the VAF with the Head of the Organisation acting as Chair of VAF. 
    VAF is part of the Electoral Literacy Club programme of ECI. Launched on the 8th National Voters Day, 25th January 2018, the ELC programme envisages setting up of Electoral Literacy Club in every educational institution and Chunav Pathshala at every booth to cover those outside the formal education system.  Around 2.11 Lakh ELCs have already been established across the country in the first year of the launch of the programme.
     The ELCs and Chunav Pathshala activities are conducted by the Convener using a resource Guide where step by step instructions are given for conducting each activity. Separate Resource books have been developed for Class IX, X, XI and XII. A calendar of activities in a year has also be indicated. Total of 6-8 activities, with specific learning outcome, running into approximately 4 hours in all, have been identified for each class.         

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  15. National Voters’ Day celebrated on 25th January; President of India lauds initiatives being taken up by Election Commission in preparation for the Lok Sabha Elections 2019

    ECI/PN/14/2019        25th January, 2019 
    Press Note
     National Voters’ Day celebrated on 25th January;
    President of India lauds initiatives being taken up by Election Commission in preparation for the Lok Sabha Elections 2019
    The 9th National Voters’ Day (NVD) is celebrated across the country on 25th January 2019. The theme for NVD this year was ‘No Voter to be Left Behind’ reiterating the commitment of Election Commission of India (ECI) in view of the Lok Sabha elections due this year.
     
    Hon’ble President of India Sh. Ram Nath Kovind, while presiding over the National Function organized by ECI at Manekshaw Centre, Delhi hailed various interventions taken up by the Commission for conduct of free, fair and participative elections and particularly appreciated the initiatives for reaching out to voters in the remotest corner to enroll their names in the electoral roll and to encourage them to exercise the Right to Vote. Referring to his recent visit to Gir National Forest in Gujarat where he came to know about set up of a polling station in the remote location that too for a single voter, Shri Kovind lauded the efforts of ECI to make every vote count in consonance with the theme of the year.
    He said that the framers of our Constitution set up the Election Commission as an independent and constitutional body one day before the birth of the Republic of India. This reflects an immense regard and deep-rooted belief in democracy and the democratic spirit. Talking about the electoral process – beginning with the preparation of electoral rolls and concluding with the declaration of election results – he said it is difficult for an ordinary person to comprehend the complexity of the entire process. The President said that through all this, the credibility of Indian electoral system has continuously strengthened and Indian voters have a firm belief in the integrity, diligence, fairness and transparency of the election mechanism of the country.
     
    Applauding winners of the National Awards the President asked them to keep contributing to conduct of free and fair elections. Congratulating the new voters who were handed over the EPIC on this occasion, he asked them to take informed decision while casting their vote and said that their decision will define the future of the country. He said, Voters and Election Commission are most crucial to democracy and they compliment each other and also appreciated various initiatives taken by the Commission under the SVEEP programme particularly mentioning the Electoral Literacy Club (ELC) Programme and the All Women Managed Polling Station initiative.
    On receiving the inaugural issue of the new magazine of ECI he said that the magazine is most appropriately titled “My Vote Matters” and Every Vote counts equally in the formation of a government.
    Speaking on the same occasion, Sh Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Minister, Law & Justice complimented ECI for the stellar role played by it for strengthening the Indian democracy. He lauded the courage, commitment and foresight shown by successive Commissions for conduct of free & fair elections and said that all should trust and believe the sanctity of the election process. Appreciating various initiatives of ECI for voter education and outreach he said voter education is integral to a good democracy.
    Earlier while addressing the audience, Shri Sunil Arora, Chief Election Commissioner reiterated Commission’s commitment to make elections more and more inclusive, voter friendly, transparent and festive and shared the new initiatives being taken up for efficient and effective connect with the voters and for strengthening the elector confidence.
    He briefed the audience about the cVIGIL initiative that provides time stamping proof of model code of conduct and expenditure violation by empowering every citizen to click a photo or video using Smartphone.
    In his welcome address, Shri Ashok Lavas, Election Commissioner briefed the audience about the significance of the day, saying that on this day we celebrate liberty and maturing of young minds into responsible citizens and thanked all stakeholders including voluntary organisations for their support.
    The First Issue of ECI’s quarterly bi-lingual magazine ‘My Vote Matters’ was presented by the Commission to the Hon’ble President of India. The new magazine hosts interesting and informative articles on many core subjects, new initiatives and topics of concurrent interest in elections, electoral processes and practices with the objective of developing a larger connect and interface with all the Stakeholders.
     As part of the regular NVD activity of felicitating the newly eligible voter, 6 young voters from Delhi were handed over their EPIC by the Hon’ble President.
    The National Awards for the Best Electoral Practices were conferred to Officers for outstanding performance in the conduct of elections. Special Awards were given to Departments and Officers from various departments for their contribution in smooth conduct of elections the general election to the Assemblies of 9 states in 2018. In addition, Awards were also given to CSOs and Media Houses who have made outstanding contribution in the field of voter awareness and outreach in these elections.  (Brochure attached)
    Chief Election Commissioners and senior officials from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Kazakhstan, Maldives, Russia and Sri Lanka and Heads/Senior Representatives of International Organisations viz. Malaysian Commonwealth Studies Centre, U.K.; International Centre for Parliamentary Studies, U.K. and International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) graced the occasion and also visited the new campus of the India International Institute of Democracy and Election Management (IIIDEM) at Dwarka, New Delhi. Members of Political Parties, Members of Parliament besides Diplomats from various countries and representatives from national and international organizations working in the area of democracy and elections attended the National Voters’ Day function.  
    The National Voters’ Day (NVD) is celebrated all over the country on January 25 every year since 2011 to mark the Foundation day of Election Commission of India, which was established on this day in the year 1950. The main purpose of the NVD celebration is to encourage, facilitate and maximize the enrollment, especially for the new voters. Dedicated to the voters of the country, the Day is utilized to spread awareness among voters for promoting informed participation in the electoral process.

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  16. ECI to organize Two-Day Chief Electoral Officers’ Conference to review Poll Preparedness for the Lok Sabha Election 2019

    ECI/PN/4/2019 Dated: 10th January, 2019 
    Press Note
    Subject: ECI to organize Two-Day Chief Electoral Officers’ Conference to review Poll Preparedness for the Lok Sabha Election 2019
    The Election Commission of India is holding a two-day Conference on 11th & 12th January, 2019 of the Chief Electoral Officers (CEOs) to review poll preparedness of the forthcoming General Elections to the Lok Sabha, 2019.  During the Conference, the Commission will discuss key issues related to poll preparedness such as Electoral Rolls, ERO Net, Polling Station arrangements, EVM-VVPAT  preparations, Security Management, Accessibility to Persons with Disabilities, Voter Education, use of IT applications, provision for Budget, manpower and other resources and so on.  Apart from reviewing the poll preparedness, the Commission will also discuss the takeaways and learnings from the recent poll gone States of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Rajasthan and Telangana.
    During the Conference, these CEOs will make their comprehensive presentations of their poll preparedness on all important parameters.  The Commission desires from the CEOs that elections are made totally voter-friendly and accessible for Persons with Disabilities, Senior Citizens and Gender.  The Commission has already directed the CEOs to build a campaign on various media platforms to register eligible citizens and voters; provide every facility for search of their names through website, SMS gateway and through Voter Facilitation Centre at every ERO level.  The Commission has also directed all States to activate the voter helpline centre 1950 so that the grievances of the voters are promptly redressed. During this Conference, the Commission would review the status of facilitation provided to voters by both online and offline methods.  The Commission has already given a checklist to all CEOs on each important parameter and detailed report has been sought from them on each point of checklist.  The Commission will also review the status of vulnerability mapping, security planning, availability of police forces and their requirement during forthcoming Lok Sabha Election.

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  17. Election Commission of India to host International Conference on ‘Making Our Elections Inclusive and Accessible’

    ECI/PN/11/2018     Dated 23rd January, 2019
    PRESS NOTE
    Sub: Election Commission of India to host International Conference on ‘Making Our Elections Inclusive and Accessible’ 
    In consonance with the 9th National Voters’ Day to be held on 25th January 2019, Election Commission of India (ECI) is going to host an International Conference on ‘Making Our Elections Inclusive and Accessible’ on 24th January 2019. Besides Chief Election Commissioner Sh. Sunil Arora and Election Commissioner Sh. Ashok Lavasa, Heads and dignitaries from six Election Management Bodies (EMBs) viz. Bangladesh, Bhutan, Kazakhstan, Maldives, Russia & Sri Lanka and three International Organisations viz. Malaysian Commonwealth Studies Centre, U.K and International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) and International Centre for parliamentary Studies (ICPS) will participate in the event. 
    There will be two sessions during the Conference where representatives from the EMBs and International Organisations will participate and share their experiences, best practices and initiatives aimed at electoral engagement, enrolment and active participation in inclusive and accessible voting exercise in various countries. 
    During the Conference another issue of ECI’s quarterly magazine “Voice International” will be released which will carry the theme of “Making polling stations accessible and voter friendly”. On the sidelines of the Conference, ECI will also renew Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for cooperation in the field of election management with the Election Commission of Bhutan.
    The MoUs provide for an institutional framework and aim for promotion of exchanges of knowledge and experience in the field of organizational and technical development, with a view to strengthen the administration of electoral processes; exchange of information, material, expertise and technical know-how relating to electoral processes and systems; training of personnel and organizational development and capacity building.
    Election Commission of India has, so far, signed MOUs with twenty-five Election Management Bodies and International Organizations (viz. Australia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Chile, Fiji, Georgia, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Republic of Korea, Kyrgyz Republic, Libya, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, South Africa, Suriname, Yemen and United Nations, Intl. IDEA & IFES). 
    The International Conference is being organised with the purpose of sharing the experience of different EMB’s, International Institutions and Experts with regard to analysis of barriers, policy interventions, strategies, programmes, good practices and technological innovation for inclusive and accessible election. The international delegates will also attend the National Voters’ Day Celebrations in New Delhi besides visiting the new campus of the India International Institute of Democracy and Election Management (IIIDEM) at Dwarka, New Delhi on 25th January 2019. 

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  18. General election to 17th Lok Sabha, 2019 and State Legislative Assemblies of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha and Sikkim 2019 - Media Coverage during the period referred to in Section 126 of RP Act, 1951.

    No. ECI/PN/ 36/2019            Date:   23rd March, 2019
    PRESS NOTE
    Sub: General election to 17th Lok Sabha, 2019 and State Legislative Assemblies of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha and Sikkim 2019 - Media Coverage during the period referred to in Section 126 of RP Act, 1951.
    The Schedule for holding general election to the 17th Lok Sabha 2019 and Legislative Assemblies of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha and Sikkim 2019 has been announced on 10th March, 2019.  Poll is scheduled to be held in multiple phases. Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, prohibits displaying any election matter by means, inter alia, of television or similar apparatus, during the period of 48 hours before the hour fixed for conclusion of poll in a constituency. The relevant portions of the said Section 126 are re-produced below:
    (126. Prohibition of public meeting during period of forty-eight hours ending with hour fixed for conclusion ofpoll-
    (1) No person shall-
    (a).....................
    (b) Display to the public any election matter by means of cinematograph, television or other similar apparatus;
    (c)........................
    In any polling area during the period of forty-eight hours ending with the hour fixed for the conclusion of the poll for any election in the polling area.
    (2) Any person who contravenes the provisions of sub-section (1) shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.
    (3) In this Section, the expression “election mater” means any.matter intended or calculated to influence or affect the result of an election)
    2. During elections, there are sometimes allegations of violation of the provisions of the above Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 by TV channels in the telecast of their panel discussions/debates and other news and current affairs programmes. The Commission has clarified in the past that the said Section 126 prohibits displaying any election matter by means, inter alia, of television or similar apparatus, during the period of 48 hours ending with the hour fixed for conclusion of poll in a constituency. "Election matter" has been defined in that Section as any matter intended or calculated to influence or affect the result of an election. Violation of the aforesaid provisions of Section 126 is punishable with imprisonment upto a period of two years, or with fine or both.
    3. The Commission once again reiterates that the TV/Radio channels and cable networks/internet website/social media platforms should ensure that the contents of the programmes telecast/broadcast/ displayed by them during the period of 48 hours referred to in Section 126 do not contain any material, including views/appeals by panelists/participants that may be construed as promoting/ prejudicing the prospect of any particular party or candidate(s) or influencing/ affecting the result of the election. This shall, among other things include display of any opinion poll and of standard debates, analysis, visuals and sound-bytes.
    4. In this connection, attention is also invited to Section 126A of the R.P. Act 1951, which prohibits conduct of Exit poll and dissemination of its results during the period mentioned therein, i.e. the hour fixed for commencement of poll in the first phase and half an hour after the time fixed for close of poll for the last phase in all the States.
    5. During the period not covered by Section 126, concerned TV/Radio/Cable/FM channels/internet websites/Social Media platforms are free to approach the state/ district/ local authorities for necessary permission for conducting any broadcast/Telecast related events (other than exit polls) which must also conform to the provisions of the model code of conduct, the programme code laid down by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting under the Cable Network  (Regulation)  Act  with  regard to decency,  maintenance  of communal  harmony,  etc.  All Internet websites and Social Media platforms must also comply with the provisions of The Information      Technology      Act,      2000     and      ECI     guidelines No-491/SM/2013/Communication, dt 25thOctober,2013, for all political content on their platform. As regards political advertisement, the same needs pre-certification by the Committees set up at State/District level as per the Commission's order  No. 509/75/2004/JS-I, dt 15th April,2004.
    6. Attention of all print media is also drawn to the following guidelines issued    by Press Council of India to follow for observance during the election:
    i. It will be the duty of the Press to give objective reports about elections and the candidates.  The newspapers are not expected to indulge in unhealthy election campaigns, exaggerated reports about any candidate/party or incident during the elections.  In practice, two or three closely contesting candidates attract all the media attention. While reporting on the actual campaign, a newspaper may not leave out any important point raised by a candidate and make an attack on his or her opponent. ii. Election campaign along communal or caste lines is banned under the election rules. Hence, the Press should eschew reports, which tend to promote feelings of enmity or hatred between people on the ground of religion, race, caste, community orlanguage. iii. The Press should refrain from publishing false or critical statements in regard to the personal character and conduct of any candidate or in relation to the candidature or withdrawal of any candidate or his candidature, to prejudice the prospects of that candidate in the elections. The Press shall not publish unverified allegations against any candidate/party. iv. The Press shall not accept any kind of inducement, financial or otherwise, to project a candidate/party. It shall not accept hospitality or other facilities offered to them by or on behalf of any candidate/party.
    v. The Press is not expected to indulge in canvassing of a particular candidate/party. If it does, it shall allow the right of reply to the other candidate/party.
    vi. The Press shall not accept/publish any advertisement at the cost of public exchequer regarding achievements of a party/ governmentin power.
    vii. The Press shall observe all the directions/ orders/instructions of the Election Commission/Returning Officers or Chief Electoral Officer issued from time to time.
     
    7. Attention of the electronic media is invited to the "Guidelines for Election Broadcasts" issued by NBSA dt 3rd March, 2014.
    i. News broadcasters should endeavour to inform the public in an objective manner, about relevant electoral matters, political parties, candidates, campaign issues and voting processes as per rules and regulations laid down under The Representation of the People Act 1951 and by the Election Commission of India. ii. News channels shall disclose any political affiliations, either towards a party or candidate. Unless they publicly endorse or support a particular party or candidate, news broadcasters have a duty to be balanced and impartial, especially in their election reporting.
    iii. News broadcasters must endeavour to avoid all forms of rumor, baseless speculation and disinformation, particularly when these concern specific political parties or candidates. Any candidate/political party, which has been defamed or is a victim of misrepresentation, misinformation or other similar injury by broadcast of information should be afforded prompt correction, and where appropriate granted an opportunity of reply.
    iv. News broadcasters must resist all political and financial pressures which may affect coverage of elections and election related matters.
    v. News broadcasters should maintain a clear distinction between editorial and expert opinion carried on their news channels.
    vi. News broadcasters that use video feed from political parties should disclose it and appropriately tagged.
    vii. Special care must be taken to ensure that every element of news/ programmes dealing with elections and election related matters is accurate on all facts relating to events, dates, places and quotes. If by mistake or inadvertence any inaccurate information is broadcast, the broadcaster must correct it as soon as it comes to the broadcaster's notice with the same prominence as was given to the original broadcast.
    viii. News broadcasters, their journalists and officials must not accept any money, or valuable gifts, or any favour that could influence or appear to influence, create a conflict of interest or damage the credibility of the broadcaster or their personnel.
    ix. News broadcasters must  not  broadcast  any  form  of  'hate  speech' or other obnoxious content  that may lead  to incitement  of violence or promote public unrest or disorder as election campaigning based  on communal or caste factors is prohibited under Election Rules. News broadcasters should strictly avoid reports which tend to promote feelings of enmity or hatred among people, on the ground of religion, race, caste, community, region or language.
    x. News broadcasters are required to scrupulously maintain a distinction between news and paid content.  All paid content should be clearly marked as "Paid Advertisement" or "Paid Content”: and paid content must be carried in compliance with the "Norms & Guidelines on Paid News" dated 24.11.2011 issued by NBA.
    xi Special care must be taken to report opinion polls accurately and fairly, by disclosing to viewers as to who commissioned, conducted and paid for the conduct of the opinion polls and the broadcast. If a news broadcaster carries the results of an opinion poll or other election projection, it must also explain the context, and the  scope and limits of such polls with their limitations. Broadcast of opinion polls should be accompanied by information to assist viewers to understand the poll's significance, such as  the methodology used, the sample size, the margin of error, the fieldwork dates, and data used. Broadcasters should also disclose how vote shares  are converted to seat shares.
    xii. The broadcasters shall not broadcast any "election matter" i.e. any matter intended or calculated to influence or affect the result of an election, during the 48 hours ending with the hours fixed for the conclusion of poll in  violation of Section 126(1)(b) of  the Representation of the People Act1951.
    xiii. The Election Commission of India (ECI) will monitor the broadcasts made by news broadcasters from the time elections are announced until the conclusion and announcement of election results. Any violation by member broadcasters reported to the News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) by the Election Commission will be dealt with by the NBSA under its regulations.
    xiv. Broadcasters should, to the extent possible, carry voter education programmes to effectively inform voters about the voting process,  the importance of voting, including how, when and where to vote, to register to vote and the secrecy of theballot.
    xv. News broadcasters must not air any final, formal and definite results until such results are formally announced by the Election Commission of India, unless such results are carried with clear disclaimer that they are unofficial or incomplete or partial results or projections which should not be taken as final results.
     
    8. Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) has also developed a “Voluntary Code of Ethics” for all the participating social media platforms to ensure free, fair & ethical usage of their platforms to maintain integrity of electoral process during the general elections to the Lok Sabha 2019 and Legislative Assemblies of four states and the bye-elections being held simultaneously. Attention of all concerned Social Media platforms is invited to the following text of “Voluntary Code of Ethics” dt 20th March, 2019:   
    i. Participants will endeavour to, where appropriate and keeping in mind the principle of freedom of expression, deploy appropriate policies and processes to facilitate access to information regarding electoral matters on their products and/ or services.
    ii. Participants will endeavour to voluntarily undertake information, education and communication campaigns to build awareness including electoral laws and other related instructions. Participants will also endeavour to impart training to the nodal officer at ECI on their products/ services, including mechanism for sending requests as per procedure established by law.
    iii. Participants and the Election Commission of India (ECI) have developed a notification mechanism by which the ECI can notify the relevant platforms of potential violations of Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 and other applicable electoral laws in accordance with procedures established by law. These valid legal orders will be acknowledged and/ or processed within 3 hours for violations reported under Section 126 as per the Sinha Committee recommendations. All other valid legal requests will be acted upon expeditiously by the Participants, based on the nature of reported violation.
    iv. Participants are creating/opening a high priority dedicated reporting mechanism for the ECI and appoint dedicated person(s) / teams during the period of General Elections to interface with and to exchange feedback as may assist with taking expeditious action upon receipt of such a lawful request, following due legal process, from the ECI.
    v. Participants will provide a mechanism for relevant political advertisers, in accordance with their obligations under law, to submit pre-certificates issued by ECI and/ or Media Certification & Monitoring Committee (MCMC) of the ECI in relation to election advertisements that feature names of political parties, candidates for the 2019 General Elections. Further, Participants shall expeditiously process/action paid political advertisements lawfully notified to Participants by the ECI that do not feature such certification.
    vi. Participants will commit to facilitating transparency in paid political advertisements, including utilising their pre-existing labels/ disclosure technology for such advertisements.
    vii. Participants will, pursuant to a valid request received from the ECI, via Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) provide an update on the measures taken by them to prevent abuse of their respective platforms.
    viii. IAMAI will coordinate with the Participants on the steps carried out under this Code and IAMAI as well as Participants will be in constant communication with the ECI during the election period.
    The above guidelines should be duly observed for compliance by all the concerned media.

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  19. Election Commission of India organised a two day conference of Chief Electoral officers to review the poll preparedness.

    ECI/PN/5/2019    Dated: 12th January, 2019
    Press Note
     Subject: Election Commission of India organised a two day conference of Chief Electoral officers to review the poll preparedness.
    A two day conference of the Chief Electoral Officers of all the States and UTs was organized by the Election commission on 11th and 12th of January. A comprehensive review of poll preparedness of the states prior to the General elections 2019 was conducted through these two days.

    The primary focus of the Election commission was on the integrity of the electoral roll, meticulous planning for elections, EVM and VVPAT assessment and training and extensive voter outreach.
    Addressing the CEOs, the Chief Election Commissioner of India Sh. Sunil Arora emphasized the fact that the electoral roll that is currently under the process of revision and finalization will be used in the forthcoming General elections. Hence, this particular revision assumes additional importance and care must be taken to ensure the purity of the Roll. He also said that every effort must be made so that all voters are registered well in time. He reaffirmed the significance of the 1950 Helpline for the voters and its role as the First point of Care for the voter in finding her name in the Role, EPIC status and in connecting to the Election machinery and exercising her democratic right. He directed all the state CEOs to set in place support systems for the 1950 Helpline as early as possible.
    Sh. Arora reiterated the commitment of the Election commission of India to provide assured minimum facilities in all polling stations. He also directed the CEOs to have their Booth level, District level and state level Plans ready and conduct a meticulous assessment of all resources required for the conduct of elections. The States and the UTs must assess their EVM/ VVPAT requirements and also ensure adherence to the timelines specified for completion of their First Level checking. He laid stress upon extensive Hands on experience of the EVM and VVPAT among the voters as well as during the training of polling officials as it helps to minimize the glitches and also boosts confidence among the stakeholders.
    The Election Commissioner Sh. Ashok Lavasa, in his address to the CEOs reiterated the immense significance of the integrity of the electoral roll at this crucial juncture. He said that the entire election machinery must now be geared up in order to deliver yet another flawless election to the country. In order to accomplish this herculean task, a detailed planning process and a leadership role has to be assumed by the CEO at the state and the DEOs in the districts. He suggested to each state to reach out to each and every voter and develop innovative mechanisms to facilitate People with disability. He also emphasized upon coordination with bordering states as well as with other agencies in order to give more teeth to the expenditure Monitoring mechanisms operative in the states.
    Through the two day conference, each and every aspect of conduct of election including availability of sufficient budget, manpower, resources, SVEEP, planning, polling station arrangements and IT applications including Suvidha, Sugam and C-Vigil were discussed in detail and the preparedness of  States/UTs on each of these parameters was assessed.
    The five states which had recently undergone Assembly elections – Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram, Telangana and Rajasthan gave a presentation on the take aways and the learnings from their experiences. Chhattisgarh had developed an app to track their polling personnel which streamlined the process. Madhya Pradesh developed an app to ensure queue less voting experience for people with disabilities, pregnant women and women with infants. These five states demonstrated how technology can be leveraged to enhance voter experience and also provide crucial data in an instant to the election officers.
    Mizoram highlighted its successful conduct of elections despite initial problems. The Mizoram experience was on of building bridges with the civil society organizations, opening dialogue and also the setting up of polling stations for the Bru community in coordination with the state of Tripura was a notable achievement.
    Both Rajasthan and Telangana cited several instances of innovative sveep campaigns incorporating local cultural practices which led to a good turn out in these states.
    All the other CEOs of states and UTs made comprehensive presentations to the Commission on the key areas of their preparations for the forthcoming Lok Sabha Elections 2019.

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  20. Substantial increase in number of Service Voters The Unregistered eligible Service Personnel can still file their applications for registration in the last part of Electoral Roll

    No. ECI/PN/20/2019    Dated: 22nd February, 2019
    Press Note
    Substantial increase in number of Service Voters
    The Unregistered eligible Service Personnel can still file their applications for registration in the last part of Electoral Roll
    The process of summary revision of last parts of electoral rolls with reference to 01.01.2019 as the qualifying date has concluded with the final publication of last parts today i.e. on 22.02.2019. A total of 16,62,993 service personnel have been enrolled as Service Electors in the Country in the final last part of electoral roll 2019. 
    In 2014 the corresponding figure was 13,27,627. Thus the 2019 ER has recorded a substantial increase on the total number of service voters of 2014. This increase in number of service voters has been due to the Commission’s all out efforts to maximise the registration of service electors during summary revision 2019 and active cooperation of the services/departments concerned and greater participation of service personnel. 
    As per the provisions of law and instructions of the Commission, all left out and un-registered eligible service personnel can still file their applications for registration in the last part of electoral roll during continuous updation till the last date of filing nominations of elections, and they can submit the Form 2, 2A or 3, as the case may be, through their Record officer/Commanding Officer/Authority concerned on the service voter portal i.e. servicevoter.nic.in. It is clarified that all the Forms received till 10 days before the last date of filing nominations shall be disposed of and the names of the applicants shall be included in last part of electoral rolls, if the Forms have been found complete in all respect by the ERO concerned.
    In order to ensure that maximum number of service personnel are enrolled in the last part and exercise their electoral right of franchise at elections, all the services/departments concerned have been requested to focus on bridging the gap in registration, if any, by motivating all unregistered eligible service personnel to get themselves enrolled in the electoral roll as service elector during continuous updation  so that they are not deprived of voting at impending election for want of registration in the electoral roll.

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  21. ECI conducts day long sessions to brief the General, Police and Expenditure Observers for the forthcoming Elections

    No. ECI/PN/27/2019    Dated: 14th March, 2019
    PRESS NOTE
    Sub. : ECI conducts day long sessions to brief the General, Police and Expenditure Observers for the forthcoming Elections 
    As a run up to the forthcoming Elections to the Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies of four States, the Election Commission of India today organized the 1st briefing for Observers to be deployed in the Poll going States. Over 1800 senior officers drawn from IAS, IPS officers as also from Indian Revenue Service and few other Central Services attended the briefing meeting. These officers are being deployed as General, Police and Expenditure Observers.

     
    Reminding the Observers of their crucial role, the Chief Election Commissioner Sh Sunil Arora pointed out that the officers need to be earnest and have no choice but to ensure that no mistakes are committed. Sh Arora recalled that in the recent State elections held, it took all of miniscule percentages of instances of slippages in following the laid down protocol for EVM-VVPAT procedures or missing out of few names from Electoral Roll, or delay in Counting of votes, rendering all other good work done in the background. He reminded the officers that ECI, set up as a unique institution since 1950 to function as the very bedrock of democratic process, associates officers from varied fields to help conduct the elections as per well defined duties. CEC emphasised that while discharging the onerous duties as Observers while officers observe the electoral process, the ECI observes these officers to ensure that they sincerely discharge the assigned duties. Sh Arora noted that with changed times, concerns about abuse of money power and also social media are posing newer challenges.  He said the endeavour of ECI is not only to conduct free and fair elections but also transparent, clean and ethical elections. 
    Election Commissioner Sh Ashok Lavasa reminded the group that as Observers, they need to ensure implementation of all instructions of the ECI in letter and spirit. Sh Lavasa mentioned that the recently launched cVIGIL App has helped empower every citizen also to help the Commission keep a vigilant eye out for violations Model Code of Conduct. But availability of this App has itself put more responsibility on officers managing and overseeing the electoral system. He reiterated that the Observers need to be accessible and available to all stakeholders on the ground as the officers are literally the extended arms of ECI in the field.

     
    Addressing the officers, Election Commissioner Sh Sushil Chandra drew the attention of the Officers that as Observers their role is to be eyes and ears of the Commission in keeping a watchful eye and to take all preventive measures to ensure free and fair elections. He pointed out that the role of Expenditure Observers becomes crucial when methods of inducements to voters are becoming very innovative too.
    During the day long briefing sessions, the officers were given comprehensive and thorough inputs about the various aspects of election management by the Senior Deputy Election Commissioner, DECs and DGs of ECI. Detailed thematic presentations were made on Election planning, Observer’s roles and responsibilities, electoral roll issues, enforcement of Model Code of Conduct, legal provisions, EVM/VVPAT management, media engagement and the wide array of activities undertaken for voter facilitation under the Commission’s flagship SVEEP (Systematic Voter’s Education and Electoral Participation) programme. The Observers were also acquainted with the various IT initiatives and mobile applications launched by the Commission for voter facilitation as well as effective and efficient management of election process in the field. The Observers were provided functional demonstration of EVMs and VVPATs and briefed about the multifarious technical security features, administrative protocols and procedural safeguards that surround the EVM ecosystem to make it completely secure, robust, reliable, non-tamperable and credible. 

     
    Comprehensive publications unveiled by the Commission, namely compilation of all thematic presentations on different subjects of Election Management, State/UT profiles and National Election Planner and Compendium of Instructions on Election Expenditure Monitoring were provided to the Observers to facilitate their work. 
    ECI for the first time has also started a  new mobile app called ‘Observer App’. Using this App, General, Police and Expenditure observers can submit their Observer's report securely to ECI  to upload the relevant document from the mobile app. The Observers will get all important notifications, alerts, and urgent messages on this App while they are on duty. It will also facilitate observers to get their deployment status, download the ID card and update their profile. Since the observers will be closely involved in real-time disposal of Model Code of Conduct and expenditure violation cases, cVIGIL App will help them see all these cases under their jurisdiction. The Observers can make a written observation after the flying squads have investigated the matter. Observers are put on deputation with ECI for the entire duration of the election process. 
     

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  22. Registration of political parties under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 – Public Notice Period – regarding.

    No. ECI/PN/29/2019          Dated:  15th  March , 2019 
    PRESS NOTE
    Subject :  Registration of political parties under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 – Public Notice Period – regarding.
    Registration of Political parties is governed by the provisions of Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. A party seeking registration under the said Section with the Commission has to submit an application to the Commission within a period of 30 days following the date of its formation  as per guidelines prescribed by the Election Commission of India in exercise of the powers conferred by Article 324 of the Commission of India and Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. As per existing guidelines, the applicant association  is  inter-alia asked to publish proposed Name of the party in two national daily news papers and two local daily newspapers, on two days in same news papers, for inviting objections, if any, with regard to the proposed registration of the party before the Commission within  a 30 days from such publication. 
    3. The commission has announced the elections for the Lok Sabha and Assemblies to Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Arunachal Pradesh on 10th March, 2019.  Therefore, in view of the current elections, the Commission has given one time relaxation  and has reduced the notice period  from 30 days to 7 days for  the parties who have published their public notice by 10th March, 2019 i.e. date of announcement of election.   
    4. Now, therefore, if any body has any objection with regard to the registration of any political party who have published their public notice by 10th march, 2019 may file their objection against that party by 17th March, 2019.  

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  23. Election Commission of India Firmly Stands by fool proof nature of ECI EVMs.

    ECI/PN/8/2019       Dated: 21st  January, 2019
     
    Press Note
    Subject: Election Commission of India Firmly Stands by fool proof nature of ECI EVMs.
    It has come to the notice of Election Commission of India that an event claiming to demonstrate EVMs used by ECI can be tampered with, has been organised in London. 
    Whereas, ECI has been wary of becoming a party to this motivated slugfest, ECI firmly stands by the empirical facts about fool proof nature of ECI EVMs deployed in elections in India. 
    It needs to be reiterated that these EVMs are manufactured in Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) under very strict supervisory and security conditions and there are rigorous Standard Operating Procedures meticulously observed at all stages under the supervision of a Committee of eminent technical experts constituted way back in 2010.
    It is being separately examined as to what legal action can and should be taken in the matter.
     
     

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  24. Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) presents its Report on Sample Size of VVPAT Counting to Election Commission of India

    No. ECI/PN/34/2019                                    Dated: 22nd March, 2019
    PRESS NOTE
    Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) presents its Report on Sample Size of VVPAT Counting to Election Commission of India
    Indian Statistical Institute(ISI) today presented its Report on the sample size of  Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) slip counting to the Chief Election Commissioner Shri  Sunil Arora  and Election Commissioners Shri Ashok Lavasa and Shri Sushil Chandra.  The Report was presented by Prof. Abhay G. Bhatt, Head ISI, Delhi Centre.  It may be recalled that in view of the varying demands for enhanced percentage of VVPAT Slip count during elections in the country, the Commission had engaged the Indian Statistical Institute to systematically analyse and scientifically examine the issue of VVPAT Slip verification with electronic count of the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).

    ISI is one of the most prominent and reputed national institution devoted to research, teaching and application of statistics and sampling methodology in the country. Keeping in view their domain expertise and subject specialization, the Commission decided to engage the Institute in arriving at mathematically sound, statistically robust and practically cogent solutions to the issue of a number/percentage of VVPAT slip counts to done during the elections.
    Apart from Prof Abhay G. Bhatt, Head ISI, Delhi Centre, the Expert Committee also consisted of Prof Rajeeva L. Karandikar, Director, Chennai Mathematical Institute (CMI) and Shri Onkar Prosad Ghosh, Dy. Director General (Social Statistics Division), Central Statistics Office, MOSPI, who was nominated by Director General, National Sample Survey Office (NSSO). Before finalizing its report, the Expert Committee had wide ranging consultations with other experts in the field of statistics and examined suggestions received from other groups. This Expert Committee has submitted its Report titled 'Random Sampling For Testing of EVMs via VVPAT Slip Verification' to the Commission today i.e. 22nd March 2019. 
    The Report submitted by the Expert Committee shall now be examined by the Commission and necessary action initiated.

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  25. ECI appoints Special Expenditure Observers for Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu

    ECI/PN/32/2019     Dated : 19th March 2019
    PRESS NOTE
    Sub : ECI appoints Special Expenditure Observers for Maharashtra and    Tamil Nadu 
    Election Commission of India has appointed two eminent former Civil Servants Sh. Shailendra Handa & Ms. Madhu Mahajan as Special Expenditure Observers for the upcoming Lok Sabha Elections. While Sh. Shailendra Handa ex-IRS (1980) has been deployed in Maharashtra, Ms. Madhu Mahajan ex-IRS (1982) has been deployed in Tamil Nadu.  Both these officers have rich experience of working in Investigation Wing of I.T Department and have supervised many successful search and seizure actions unearthing tax evasion in complicated cases.
    The Special Observers will be supervising and monitoring the work being done by the electoral machinery and ensure that stringent and effective enforcement action is undertaken based on intelligence inputs and complaints received through C-VIGIL and Voter Helpline 1950 against all persons/entities  trying to induce voters by distributing cash, liquor & freebies etc.  in order to vitiate the poll process.

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ECI Main websiteThe Election Commission of India is an autonomous constitutional authority responsible for administering election processes in India. The body administers elections to the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, State Legislative Assemblies in India, and the offices of the President and Vice President in the country. The Election Commission operates under the authority of Constitution per Article 324, and subsequently enacted Representation of the People Act. 

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