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Press Releases 2019

  

124 files

  1. ECI REVIEWS POLL PREPAREDNESS FOR DELHI LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY ELECTION 2020

    ECI/PN/121/2019                                                
    Dated: 26th December, 2019
    PRESS NOTE
    ECI REVIEWS POLL PREPAREDNESS FOR 
    DELHI LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY ELECTION 2020
     
    Chief Election Commissioner Sh. Sunil Arora, Election Commissioners Sh. Ashok Lavasa and Sh. Sushil Chandra reviewed poll preparedness for Delhi Assembly Elections at ECI Headquarters, Delhi  today on December 26, 2019.
    DEOs, DCPs, Joint CPs , Chairman NDMC, MCD Commissioner & CEO of Delhi Cantonment Board and nodal officers of various enforcement agencies attended the meeting. The Commission also held a separate meeting with  Chief Secretary and Police Commissioner of Delhi. 
    Speaking  to the officers. the Chief Election Commissioner, Sh. Sunil Arora said that Constitution of India has given the mandate to Election Commission of India under Article 324 to conduct free, fair and credible elections.  CEC called upon election officials to conduct flawless election in the NCT of Delhi. 
    Election Commissioner, Shri Ashok Lavasa speaking on the occasion directed election officials to respond promptly on the complaints received through c-Vigil app and pay attention on the EVM/VVPAT trainings.
    During the meeting, a brief presentation was made by Dr. Ranbir Singh, CEO, Delhi highlighting status of preparedness.  He gave the status with regard to electoral rolls, manpower availability, EVMs/VVPATs, training of all election officials, and SVEEP activities focusing and targeting low turnout areas for increasing the number of voter turnout. During the review Dr. Ranbir Singh, CEO informed the Commission regarding special measures taken for facilitating PwD and Sr. Citizens voters including Pick and Drop facility.  He also informed the Commission about the facilities being created at all Polling Station locations like provision of crèche facility, ramp, water facility, mobile locker, selfie point, waiting area, wheel chairs etc.  
    Sh. Praveer Ranjan, Spl. Commissioner, Delhi Police who is State Police Nodal Officer made a presentation about the general law and order situation prevailing in Delhi and action being planned by Delhi Police to enforce all the measures as mandated by the Commission.
    The Commission directed all the DEOs and DCPs to ensure immediate assessment of vulnerable areas so as to prevent any intimidation. The Commission further directed all the DEOs to ensure provision of assured minimum facilities including ramp of gradient of 1:10 or lower and adequate facility of mobile toilets on locations having more than 6 polling booths.  The Commission directed all the local bodies to ensure that all facilities must be available at all polling locations strictly in line with the AMF standards prescribed by the Commission.  DEOs were further directed to properly coordinate with local bodies to remove any noticed deficiency.  The Commission emphasized the need for detailed hands-on training on EVM/VVPAT and directed the DEOs to personally monitor this.  The Commission  emphasized rigorous training for all MCC/Expenditure Monitoring Teams on cVigil to take immediate effective action against any complaints lodged by the citizen on this app. Commission further directed DEOs to ensure the proper and timely distribution of Photo Voters Slips.  Commission directed Transport Department to ensure sufficient number of smaller size vehicles for easy movement polling parties and machines in the narrow lanes. 
    CEC directed all DEOs and DCPs and all other departments to henceforth give utmost priority to the election work so as to ensure successful conduct of election.
    During the meeting with Chief Secretary, Pr. Secretary (Home) and Commissioner of Police Delhi , the Commission asked them to ensure overall supervision and coordination with all Delhi Government Departments for smooth and peaceful conduct of Election.
    The Full Commission reviewed the status of preparation at the level of Districts.  All DEOs along with their respective DCPs gave detailed presentations of their District.  The Commission was informed about the preparatory action taken by the DEOs in respect of finalization of Electoral Rolls, finalization of manpower requirements, training arrangements and  SVEEP initiatives etc.  DCPs informed the Commission about the law and order aspects of the Districts.   
    On this occasion, the Commission released a Coffee Table Book titled “Saluting the Voters of Delhi” published by CEO, Delhi on the Lok Sabha election 2019 in Delhi. 
     
     
     
     
     

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  2. Arrangements for the dissemination of results for General Election to the Jharkhand Legislative Assembly - 23rd December 2019

    ECI/PN/120/2019 
    Dated: 22.12.2019
    PRESS NOTE
    Subject: Arrangements for the dissemination of results for General Election to the Jharkhand Legislative Assembly - 23rd December 2019
    The Election Commission of India has developed an integrated ICT counting application which will display the results on the website http://results.eci.gov.in and Voter Helpline (Android & iOS) Mobile App. The website will start displaying the results of the General Election to Jharkhand Legislative Assembly with effect from 8 AM onwards on 23rd December 2019. The data is entered by the Returning Officers directly in the centralised software ‘ENCORE’ developed by the Election Commission of India. This application allows the Returning Officers to enter table-wise data in the software, thereby considerably reducing the time and makes the results & trends data error-free. 
    2. The counting software developed by the ICT team of ECI allows generation of various types of statutory reports during counting process which are mandatory for Returning Officers such as Form-20 Preparation / Compilation of Final Result Sheet, 21-C for Formal Declaration of Result and Return of Election in Form 21-E. The Returning Officers can download these system-generated reports after the counting is over and complete the statutory requirements in a hassle-free environment. 
    3. The Election Commission of India also launched Election Trends TV, on which the graphically-rich micro-details of result trends are published in real-time. As and when the counting data of each round is entered after officially been declared by the Returning Officers, the data is displayed on the Election Trends TV, without any manual intervention using advanced secure technologies. These panels can be customized and configured, for display automatically in public places using large TV Panels by Returning Officers & Chief Electoral Officer. 

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  3. Voting concludes in Jharkhand with Peaceful Voting in Phase-VAssembly Constituencies in General Election to the Legislative Assembly of Jharkhand, 2019

    ECI/PN/119/2019                                       
    Dated: 20th December, 2019
     
    PRESS NOTE
    Voting concludes in Jharkhand with Peaceful Voting in Phase-VAssembly Constituencies in General Election to the Legislative Assembly of Jharkhand, 2019
    Absentee Voter Status Facility provided for the first time in the country to PwD and 80+ aged voters of seven ACs in Jharkhand
    The Fifth and final Phase of election took place in 16 Assembly Constituencies (ACs) spread across six districts (Sahebganj, Pakur, Dumka, Jamtara, Deoghar and Giridih) in Jharkhand today.
    The poll today went off peacefully, without any incident, with very enthusiastic participation of voters including PWDs, senior citizens, youth etc. 
    • 3,690 out of 5,389 polling stations (more than 68.47%) were categorized as critical; adequate security arrangements were made.  • 1 chopper was deployed to drop 62 polling personnel. • This phase covered 40,05,287 voters, including 3,076 service voters and 50,053 PwD voters. Total 237 Candidates including 29 female Candidates are in fray. • In this phase 7,505Volunteers facilitated bringing PwD voters from their houses to the polling stations. 2,766vehicles were deployed to facilitate their transport. 2,065wheelchairs were provided at the Polling Stations. In all phases, a total of 31,833 Volunteers facilitated to bring PwD voters from their houses to the polling stations; 11,338 vehicles were deployed to facilitate their transport and 14,036 wheelchairs were provided at the Polling Stations.
    • The Absentee Voter status was provided to PwD and 80+ Voters of four Assembly Constituencies of Phase-V (namely Rajmahal, Pakur, Godda and Jamtara) and they were given the facility to vote through Postal Ballot at their doorstep.  In this phase, 802 PwD and 80+ voters exercised their franchise using this provision of Postal Ballot.
    This facility of Absentee Voter status was provided for the first time in the country to PwD and 80+ aged voters of total 7 Assembly Constituencies in Jharkhand (viz, 01-Rajmahal AC, 05-Pakur AC, 09-Jamtara AC, 15-Deoghar AC, 17-Godda AC, 36-Bokaro AC and 40-Dhanbad AC). A total of 2,018 PwD and 80+ voters exercised their franchise using this provision of Postal Ballot across the State.
    • Total value of seizures across the State till today is Rs 18.76Crore. • In 10 Assembly Constituencies of Phase-II, III & IV, the Booth App was used successfully. • 1. Approx. voter turnout figures (at 5.00 PM) :   At the time of release of the Press Note, the voting in some of the Polling Stations was still going on. The final Voting Turnout will be known after the verification and scrutiny of Presiding Officers’ Diaries and other documents. 
    As of reports received till 5.00 pm, the approximate voter turnout figure for all the 16 ACs of 5thphase today is 70.83%. The final voter turnout in LAE 2014 for these 16 ACs was 73.31%.
    The approximate voter Turnout for all 81 ACs across all phases of Jharkhand is 65.17%. The final voter turnout for LAE2014 was 66.53%.
    2. EVMs& VVPATs : No complaint regarding EVM/VVPAT have been reported during the poll today. Across the 16 ACs today, as per figures received till now only 0.53% BUs,0.78% CUs and 2.23% VVPATs were replaced. 
     
     
     
     
     
     

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  4. Entire process from Enrolment to Elections (E2E) needs to be made more PwD Friendly : CEC Sh Sunil Arora

    ECI/PN/118/2019                                        
    Dated: 19th December, 2019
    PRESS NOTE
    Entire process from Enrolment to Elections (E2E) needs to be made more PwD Friendly : CEC Sh Sunil Arora
    ECI conducts National Workshop on Accessible Elections
    The Election Commission of India today organized a National Workshop on Accessible Elections. The Workshop was organized with the purpose of reviewing steps taken as yet by ECI for making Elections PwD and Senior Citizens friendly and to deliberate on steps still required to make the process more inclusive and accessible. 
    Chief Election Commissioner Shri Sunil Arora in his keynote address said "while  disability is a problem that needs to be addressed more by the individual and the family, Accessibility is a problem that needs more of institutional remedies". Shri Arora said “It is our aim to achieve optimum level of awareness and optimum level of interventions on the ground. From Booth Level Officers to ECI, each and every person must work in tandem.  It was in January, 2018 that "Accessible Elections" was decided as the guiding theme for General Elections 2019. "It is essential that we scale up efforts and interventions in a manner that issues of accessibility are removed altogether and our elections are inclusive in the truest sense.” He noted that it is heartening that over that over 90% PWDs have been able to cast their votes in the recently held polling in Jharkhand. "The entire chain of electoral process, E2E  i.e. Enrolment to Elections, needs to be PWD  friendly & accessible and the entire system from BLOs to ECI HQs needs to be worked to overcome these issues" he emphasized.
    Reaffirming ECI’s commitment, Election Commissioner Shri Ashok Lavasa stated that while all efforts made by Chief Electoral Officers & DEOs have made ECI come a long way, yet more needs to be done. "We must learn from around the world, find out what lies ahead, and identify concrete steps that will empower us to make adequate changes", he said. Suggesting a three pronged strategy, Sh Lavasa said Benchmarking of data, assessing it against parameters of Accessibility Index, making ECI and CEO websites compliant with prescribed guidelines and continuous evaluation would help us  unlock the potential that lies ahead. 
    The Election Commissioner Shri Sushil Chandra lauded the efforts of Civil Society organizations and Election Officials on the field. Sh Chandra emphasized the importance of sensitization towards the electoral rights of Persons with Disabilities. "We need the support of all Civil Society Organisations and concerned NGOs to make PwD voters an integral part of democracy" he added.
    Speaking on the occasion,  Secretary General Shri Umesh Sinha emphasized the need for desired structural changes to address critical gaps and lauded the efforts of Election Machinery, Civil Society Organisations and other stakeholders at the grassroots level. Mr Sinha highlighted the added facility of choice of Postal ballot from home for Octogenarians and PwDs, piloted in recent Jharkhand elections. Deputy Election Commissioner Shri Chandra Bhushan Kumar reiterated the importance of the recommendations received from stakeholders across the country since these would pave the way in making future elections more inclusive. He thanked the Organizations who came to participate in today's workshop and particularly the Accessibility Consultant ECI Ms Smitha Sadasivan for making  the deliberations so fruitful. 
    Exhaustive mapping of PwD voters, providing transport facility, special volunteers, Assured Minimum Facilities like ramp, wheelchair, sign language, EVM with Braille at polling station and most recently, the provision of postal ballots to PwD voters are some of the initiatives taken by Election Commission of India to ensure accessibility and uphold the tenet of ‘No Voter to be Left Behind’. 
    Besides Chief Electoral Officers and District Election Officers from various States/UTs, the workshop saw the participation of representatives of Civil Society Organizations, Government Organizations and NGOs representing different disability sectors including AADI, Sarthak Educational Trust, National Association of the Deaf, NCPEDP National Disability Network, Saksham, EcoTatv, NIEPVD, PDUNIPPD, BPA Ahmedabad and ISLRTC. 
      With stakeholders from across India in attendance, the technical sessions involved group tasks and deliberation on four assigned topics such as Electoral Registration & Mapping in the Electoral Roll; Facilitation at Polling Station Specially for Persons with Disabilities and Senior Citizens: Accessible Voter Education & Communication Strategies and Use of Technology in Accessible Elections. The participants worked on evaluating the current challenges, analyzing the in-place initiatives and devising solutions, as part of thematic presentations that were made to the Commission.
    The Commission also released a booklet, ‘Crossing the Barriers – I Got Inked’ on first-person accounts of voters who overcame all hurdles to participate in the largest festival of democracy. A comprehensive document highlighting the work done so far, recent initiatives, and recommendations from all States/UTs and various stakeholders named "Accessibility Report 2019" was made available to participants of the workshop highlighting therein the policies and guiding principles on Accessible Elections. Sign language interpreters at Workshop today, screen reader access were significant features of day's proceedings.

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  5. Peaceful Voting in Phase IV of the General Election to the Legislative Assembly of Jharkhand, 2019

    ECI/PN/117/2019                                        
    Dated: 16th December, 2019
     
    PRESS NOTE
    Peaceful Voting in Phase IV of the General Election to the Legislative Assembly of Jharkhand, 2019
     
    The Fourth Phase of election took place in 15 Assembly Constituencies (ACs) covered in 4 districts (Deoghar, Giridih, Bokaro and Dhanbad) on 16.12.2019. 
    The poll today went off peacefully, without any incident, with very enthusiastic participation of voters including PWDs, senior citizens, youth etc. 
    • 4,203 out of 6,101 polling stations (more than 69 %) were categorized as critical; adequate security arrangements were made.  • 74 polling stations required dispatching polling teams two days in advance. • 2 choppers were deployed to drop 158 polling personnel. • This phase covered 47,85,009 voters, including 7,430 service voters and 64,318 PwD voters. 221 Candidates including 22 female and 1 third gender Candidates are in fray. • 4,039 Volunteers facilitated bringing PwD voters from their houses to the polling stations. 3,432 vehicles were deployed to facilitate their transport. 2,504 wheelchairs were provided at the Polling Stations. • For the first time Absentee Voter status was provided to PwD and 80+ Voters of 3 Assembly Constituencies and they were given the facility to vote through Postal Ballot at their doorstep. A total of 1216 PwD and 80+ voters exercised their franchise using this provision of Postal Ballot. • The Commission put in place an elaborate mechanism to curb the misuse of money power. Total value of seizures across the State till today is Rs 16.97 Crore. • In four Assembly Constituencies of Phase-IV (viz., 15-Deoghar (SC), 31-Gandey, 36-Bokaro and 41-Jharia ACs), the Booth App to facilitate voters to know about the number of voters in the queue was used successfully. 1. Approx. voter turnout figures (at 5.00 PM) :   At the time of release of the Press Note, the voting in some of the Polling Stations was still going on. The final Voting Turnout will be known after the verification and scrutiny of Presiding Officers’ Diaries and other documents. As of reports received till 5.00 pm, the approximate voter turnout figure for all the 15 ACs of 4th phase today is 62.46 %. The final voter turnout in LAE 2014 for these 15 ACs was 64.66%. 
    2. EVMs & VVPATs :  No complaint regarding EVM/VVPAT have been reported during the poll today. Across the 15 ACs today, as per figures received till now only 0.30 % BUs, 0.28 % CUs and 0.87 % VVPATs were replaced, which is one of the lowest replacement. 
     
     

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  6. Peaceful Voting in Phase III of the General Election to the Legislative Assembly of Jharkhand, 2019

    ECI/PN/116/2019                                        
    Dated: 12th December, 2019
     
    PRESS NOTE
    Peaceful Voting in Phase III of the General Election to the Legislative Assembly of Jharkhand, 2019
     
    The Third Phase of election took place in 17 Assembly Constituencies (ACs) covered in 8 districts (Koderma, Hazaribagh, Chatra, Ramgarh, Giridih, Bokaro, Seraikella-Kharsawan and Ranchi) on 12.12.2019. 
    The poll today went off peacefully, without any incident, with very enthusiastic participation of voters including PWDs, senior citizens, youth etc. 
    Important Highlights are:
    • 5,342 out of 7,016 polling stations (more than 76.14%) were categorized as critical; adequate security arrangements were made.  • 188 polling stations required dispatching polling teams two days in advance. • 3 choppers were deployed to drop 160 polling personnel. • This phase covered 56,18,267 voters, including 10,365 service voters and 63,616 PwD voters. 309 Candidates including 32 female candidates are in fray. • 7,336 Volunteers facilitated bringing PwD voters from their houses to the polling stations. 1,953 vehicles were deployed to facilitate their transport. 3,581 wheelchairs were provided at the Polling Stations.  • The Commission put in place an elaborate mechanism to curb the misuse of money power. Total value of seizures across the State till today is Rs 16.75 Crores. • The newly developed Booth App to let voters know about the number of voters in the queue was used successfully in three Assembly Constituencies of Phase-III, viz., 23-Ramgarh (405 polling stations), 25-Hazaribagh (486 polling stations) and 63-Ranchi (370 polling stations).   1. Approx. Voter Turnout figures (at 5.00 PM) :   At the time of release of the Press Note, the voting in some of the Polling Stations was still going on. The final Voting Turnout will be known after the verification and scrutiny of Presiding Officers’ Diaries and other documents. As of reports received till 5.00 pm, the approximate voter turnout figure for the 17 ACs of 3rd phase today is 62.03%. The final voter turnout in LAE 2014 for these 17 ACs was 64.02%. 
    2. EVMs & VVPATs :  No complaint regarding EVM/VVPAT have been reported during the poll today. Across the 17 ACs today, as per figures received till now only 0.43% BUs, 0.44% CUs and 1.13 % VVPATs were replaced during the poll. 

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  7. Voting in Phase II of the General Election to the Legislative Assembly of Jharkhand, 2019

    No. ECI/PN/115/2019                   
    Date: 7th December, 2019
     
    PRESS NOTE
    Voting in Phase II of the General Election to the Legislative Assembly of Jharkhand, 2019
    The Second Phase of Elections to Jharkhand Legislative Assembly took place in 20 Assembly Constituencies (ACs) today. Polling was accordingly held in seven districts namely East Singhbhum, Seraikella-Kharsawan, West Singhbhum, Ranchi, Khunti, Gumla and Simdega.  The highlights are as follows:
    18 of the 20 ACs are naxal affected.   4,478 out of 6,066 polling stations (more than 73%) were categorized as critical; adequate security arrangements were made.  1,455 polling stations required dispatching polling teams two days in advance.  4 choppers were deployed to drop 346 polling personnel.  This phase covered 48,25,038 voters, including 10,492 service voters and 62,565 PwD voters. 260 Candidates including 29 female candidates are in fray.  5,847 Volunteers facilitated bringing PwD voters from their houses to the polling stations.  2,079 vehicles were deployed to facilitate their transport. 2,934 wheelchairs were provided at the Polling Stations. The Commission put in place an elaborate mechanism to curb the misuse of money power. Total value of seizures across the State till today is Rs 16.0Crore. In three Assembly Constituencies of Phase-II (viz., 48-Jamshedpur East AC 293 PS , 49-Jamshedpur West AC 330 PS and 52-Chaibasa (ST) AC 284 PS), the newly introduced Booth App was used successfully. (Clips attached) This app enables capturing and providing real time information on number of voters in queue at the polling station to the voters.  
     Approx voter turnout figures:   At the time of release of the Press Note, the voting in some of the Polling Stations was still going on. The final Voting Turnout will be known after the verification and scrutiny of Presiding Officers’ Diaries and other documents. As of reports received till 5.00 pm, the approximate voter turnout figure for all the 20 ACs of 2ndphase today is 62.40%. The final voter turnout in LAE 2014 for these 20 ACs was 68.01%.
    2. EVMs& VVPATs :
    No complaint regarding EVM/VVPAT have been reported during the poll today. Across the 20 ACs today, as per figures received till now, only 0.20% BUs, 0.20% CUs and 0.69% VVPATs were replaced. 
    3. Incidents on the Poll Day:The CEO/General Observers have reported the following incidents 
    At around 9.30 AM, a scuffle broke out between RPF deployed at PS-36, Sisai AC, Gumla District and few villagers. As per report , few villagers tried to overpower a jawan and snatch his weapon. In the ensuing incidence  villagers started stone pelting on jawans who then opened fire.  In the incidence one Jilani Ansari (resident of Baghni) died due to bullet injury, while two other villagers sustained injury. Police officials from district police as well as RPF too got injuries. Repoll is being ordered. One arson incident happened in 52-Chaibasa when a bus engaged for facilitating transport of voters to relocated booth of 84- Primary School Jojohatu-1 to Middle School Pandavir. No injury reported. Today evening Naxals opened fire on one polling team returning back in Adki Block in Tamar AC of Khunti District. Search and rescue operations are on.  

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  8. Registration of political parties under section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951- issue of additional guidelines- regarding.

    No. ECI/PN/114/2019                   
    Date: 2nd December, 2019
    PRESS NOTE
    Subject: Registration of political parties under section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951- issue of additional guidelines- 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 in prescribed format with basic particulars about the party such as name, address, membership details of various units, names of office bearers, etc, as required under sub-section (4) of the said section, and such other particulars that the Commission has specified under sub-section (6) of Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, as mentioned in the Guidelines for registration.
    The Commission has from time to time prescribed additional particulars to be furnished by applicant parties. The Commission has further reviewed the system and process of registration of political parties, and has now decided to implement “Political Parties Registration Tracking Management System” (PPRTMS) through an online portal, to facilitate tracking of status of application by applicants. The salient feature in the Political Parties Registration Tracking Management System is that the applicant, who is applying for party registration from 1st January, 2020 onwards will be able to track the progress of his / her application and will get status update through SMS and email. The applicant is required to provide contact mobile number and email address of the party / applicant in his application if he/she wishes to track the progress of the application. The new guidelines will be effective from 1st January, 2020.
     
     
     
    The new guidelines have been hosted on the Commission’s website https://eci.gov.in. 
     

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  9. Peaceful & Record Voting in Phase 1 of the General Election to the Legislative Assembly of Jharkhand, 2019

    Peaceful & Record Voting in Phase 1 of the General Election to the Legislative Assembly of Jharkhand, 2019
    Special facilitation of transport, wheelchairs & volunteers provided to PwD and Senior Citizens
     

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  10. ECI organizes Orientation Programme for Civil Society Organizations on Electoral Literacy Clubs

    No. ECI/PN/112/2019         
    Date: 29th November, 2019
     
    PRESS NOTE
    ECI organizes Orientation Programme for Civil Society Organizations on Electoral Literacy Clubs
     
    The 2 days workshop/orientation programme on Electoral Literacy Clubs (ELCs) for Civil Society Organizations from 24 States and UTs and State Level Master Trainers from Maharashtra and Haryana was organized on 28-29th November, 2019 at United Service Institution of India, New Delhi. After Lok Sabha Election 2019, it was decided to conduct workshops to take a feedback from the Civil Society Organizations working on the grassroots level for Voter Awareness and reaching out to voters through ELCs. 
    The workshop was attended by 53 participants from across the country and each member got the opportunity to share his/her experiences that sought to highlight Impact Assessment in Recent Elections, Experiences from the Field, Feedback and the Way Forward. The collective inputs were further presented to Election Commissioner Sh. Sushil Chandra and Secretary General Sh. Umesh Sinha along with other senior officials of the Commission.
    Election Commissioner, Sh. Sushil Chandra thanked the participants for their efforts in the field and said, ‘Today I felt so good after hearing the contributions, the volition and the work that you have done voluntarily for the democracy. The historic voter turnout is the culmination of the continuous efforts of various stakeholders. Even after achieving a historic feat, we still have challenges and that can be solved only through continuous efforts. Youngsters are the reservoirs of energy. Students in colleges are most important because they are our youngest voters. College ELCs should empower them with knowledge on importance of their role and responsibilities to vote.”
    He further emphasized that in all the Polling Booths in the country, the message should go that ink is of utmost importance and it should be delivered in the language of the people. He urged the CSO partners to identify the problems and critical gaps and give their suggestions to the Commission for enhancing voter’s participation in the forthcoming elections. 
     Addressing the special session of the workshop, Secretary General, Sh. Umesh Sinha said, “Through the establishment of Electoral Literacy Clubs, we are trying to sow a seed that will grow and act as a lamp of electoral awareness to dissipate the darkness of electoral ignorance. I believe, elections are the bedrock of democracy and in the edifice of democracy, every voter is like a brick. Your right to vote is not only a right –it is equally an important responsibility that contributes to making of the nation. “It is very important that people feel responsible enough and participate in every election. Sh. Umesh Sinha directed the SVEEP division to compile the feedback and suggestions given by the CSOs & other participants and present it for the consideration of the Commission.
    Background Note on ELCs
    Under its flagship programme ‘Systematic Voters’ Education & Electoral Participation’ (SVEEP), the project for Mainstreaming of Electoral Literacy through Educational Institutions/ Organizations was introduced which envisages setting up of Electoral Literacy Club in every educational institution and ChunavPathshala at every booth to cover those outside the formal education system.  Launched on 8th National Voters’ Day on 25th January, 2018, ELCs shall serve as a vibrant hub of Electoral Literacy for developing and strengthening the culture of electoral participation through hands on experience.Till now 5,80,620 ELCs have been established across the country.
    The entire project revolves around keeping voter education relevant and practical through a host of co-curricular and extra-curricular methods for the young and future voters. The ELCs and ChunavPathshala 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 to XII, colleges and communities. A calendar of activities in a year has also been indicated. A total of 6-8 activities, with specific learning outcome, running into approximately 4 hours in all, have been identified for each category.
    The Commission’s endeavor is to make the ELC project sustainable and to achieve its vision of establishing ELCs in all secondary and senior secondary schools, colleges and universities, polling stations, government and non-government organisations and corporates. Electoral Literacy Clubs are envisioned as the biggest electoral literacy movement in the world through which we can fulfill the aim of ‘No Voter to be Left Behind’.

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  11. General election to the Legislative Assembly of Jharkhand, 2019 – Ban on Exit Poll.

    No. ECI/PN/111/2019                                           
    Dated: 23rd November, 2019
     
    Press Note
    Sub: General election to the Legislative Assembly of Jharkhand, 2019 – Ban on Exit Poll.
    Election Commission of India, in exercise of the powers under sub-section(1) of Section 126A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 has notified the period between 7.00 A.M. on 30th November, 2019 (Saturday) and 5.30 P.M. on 20th December, 2019 (Friday) as the period during which conducting any exit poll and publishing or publicizing the result of exit poll by means of the print or electronic media or in any other manner shall be prohibited in the ongoing General Election to the Legislative Assembly of Jharkhand, 2019.
    Further, under Section 126(1)(b) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, displaying any election matter including results of any opinion poll or any other poll survey, in any electronic media, would be prohibited during the period of 48 hours ending with the hour fixed for conclusion of poll in the respective polling areas in each phase of the aforesaid General election.
    Notification dated 18th November, 2019 issued in this regard is enclosed herewith for the information of all concerned.
     
     
     
     

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  12. ECI appoints Sh M K Das as Special Police Observer for Jharkhand Assembly Elections

    No.  ECI/PN/110/2019        
    Dated: 23rd November, 2019
    ECI appoints Sh M K Das as Special Police Observer for Jharkhand Assembly Elections
    Election Commission of India has appointed Sh Mrinal Kanti Das (IPS 1977 Retd) as Special Police Observer for the ensuing Elections to the State Legislative Assembly of Jharkhand 2019. The Election Commission took the decision in light of the specific challenges of Left Wing Extremism affecting the Law and Order situation in Jharkhand. Sh M K Das will reach Ranchi today to take up his new responsibility and oversee the deployment and other security related issues there. 
    It may be recalled that Sh Das retired as Director General of Manipur Police and was also deputed earlier as Special Observer for Tripura and Mizoram during the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections.

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  13. ECI to establish a Visiting Chair on Interdisciplinary Approach to Electoral Studies in memory of former CEC Sh T N Seshan

    No. ECI/PN/109/2019 
    Dated: 16th November, 2019
    PRESS NOTE
     
    ECI to establish a Visiting Chair on Interdisciplinary Approach to Electoral Studies in memory of former CEC Sh T N Seshan
    Chair will be mentored by Sh N Gopalaswami Former CEC
    CEC Delivers the Keynote Address at Law Conclave at NIRMA University, Ahmedabad
     
    To commemorate and celebrate Sh T N Seshan’s special connect with the young and aspiring India, Election Commission of India has decided to establish and fund a Visiting chair on interdisciplinary approach to Electoral Studies in the Centre for Curriculum Development at India international institute of Democracy and Election Management( IIIDEM ), New Delhi from 2020-2025. The Chair will be mentored by Sh N Gopalaswami Former CEC.
    Chief Election Commissioner Sh Sunil Arora today announced this decision while delivering the Keynote address at the Institute of Law, NIRMA University, Ahmedabad. President of NIRMA University, Dr Karsanbhai K Patel, Sh.Umesh Sinha Secretary General ECI, Vice Chancellor-Dr. Anup Singh, Dr Purvi Pokhariyal, Director, Institute of Law, faculty and students were present on the occasion. Sh Arora had been invited by the University on the occasion of Law Conclave organized in memory of the legendary Constitutional expert, economist and jurist par excellence Shri Nani Palkhiwala.  
    Speaking on the occasion Sh Arora said “Sh T N Seshan’s enduring contribution to the cause of probity, transparency and integrity in various aspects of the electoral process in India has made his name synonymous with electoral best practices worldwide. In his memory thus ECI would establish the Chair. It shall be our endeavour to ensure that the Chair becomes fully functional during the next academic session  August- September, 2020.” The detailed modalities of the establishment of the Chair shall be worked out by Sh. Umesh Sinha, Secretary General, Sh. Dharmendra Sharma, DG IIIDEM and Mona Sreenivas, Director ECI and will be presented to the Commission by March 15, 2020. The Visiting Chair programme will be targeted to young academics with proven track record in fields relatable to electoral studies. The Chair will also be expected to curate one National Level Seminar on specific aspects of Electoral Studies. The Visiting Chair will also supervise designing and development of interdisciplinary curriculum/ modules for further training and research at the IIIDEM.
    Delivering his lecture on Electoral law - its evolution and practice in India, Chief Election Commissioner said “Coincidentally, the 70th Anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution of India on 26th November, 1950 is close at hand, affording an opportunity for all of us to deliberate upon the path ahead”. 
    Sh Arora said “Our Constitution is a living document. In many ways, it is also an evolving document which has endured the test of times. From its very inception, the Constitution has spelt, for each and every Indian, a vocabulary of rights, entitlements, duties as well as the trinity of equality, freedom and dignity which make life meaningful” CEC said. The Election commission, like any institution, has to constantly reinvent itself in order to confront new and emerging challenges”, CEC stated.
     Shri Arora said “The electoral journey has been remarkable. Yet we cannot sit on past laurels. The Commission is committed to bring more reforms to ensure that the process become more in sync with the times, the current technologies and enhanced voter participation. Recently, the concept of Absentee voters has been made part of our process. We hope to have more than one qualifying dates for eligibility of voters. We have large number of overseas population and we need to devise a mechanism to facilitate their participation in the electoral process. We also need to work harder to curb the menace of money power, misinformation and to check the criminal elements in the arena of elections.” He added that “the roots of democracy run deep in our consciousness. So does an inherent sense of what constitutes right and wrong. Given this, I can say with conviction that the voter of this country is no longer naïve, passive recipient in the play of political democracy. Despite the fact that voting is not compulsory, more than 67% people come out to vote especially the women, senior citizens and persons with disability. “The strength lies in “We the People”. It is the collective power of the People that is invoked through the Constitution” Sh Arora emphasized.

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  15. ECI Condoles Passing Away of Former CEC Shri T N Seshan. Sh Seshan will Remain an Icon for the Nation Forever: CEC Sh Sunil Arora

    No. ECI/PN/107/2019                          
    Dated: 11th November, 2019
    PRESS NOTE
    ECI Condoles Passing Away of Former CEC Shri T N Seshan

    Sh Seshan will Remain an Icon for the Nation Forever: CEC Sh Sunil Arora
     
    The Election Commission of India deeply mourns the passing away of former Chief Election Commissioner Shri T.N. Seshan at Chennai late last night.  A condolence meeting to pay respect to Shri Seshan was held at 1115hrs in Nirvachan Sadan, New Delhi today.  Dy. Election Commissioner Shri Sudeep Jain is reaching Chennai on behalf of the Commission to pay last respects to former CEC.  
    Following is the Condolence Message by the Commission on the demise of  Shri T N Seshan. 
    Condolence Message
    (Late) Shri T.N. Seshan, 10th Chief Election Commissioner of India
    The Election Commission of India deeply mourns the demise of its 10th Chief Election Commissioner Shri Tirunellai Narayana Iyer Seshan. Shri T.N. Seshan, a brilliant officer of 1955 batch of Indian Administrative Service’s Tamil Nadu cadre was CEC between 12 December 1990 and 11 December, 1996. Earlier, he had been the Cabinet Secretary.
    He set a high benchmark for the office and became a legend in his lifetime and will always be a source of inspiration to us and all CECs and ECs to come.
    Shri Seshan redefined the very grammar of the electoral process. Holding the constitutional post of CEC, he enhanced the stature of the office by coming heavily on electoral malpractices and dealing sternly even ruthlessly with violence and muscle power which were at all time high when he took over.
    He redeemed the autonomy and authority that the Constitution has bestowed upon ECI under Art. 324 of the Constitution. Refusing to act as merely as manager of monitoring of electoral process, he started proactively purging the elections of their evils like money, liquor, muscle power, booth capturing etc. From a career bureaucrat he repositioned himself as ‘Chief Election Commissioner of India’ who reminded people of the power of vote.
    Shri Seshan was the right man, in the right place, at the right time. He became a symbol of a crusade against electoral corruption. He created an environment and consciousness whereby citizens felt that they were the main stakeholders in the elections.
    Though for the last 22-years of his life, he led a retired life in Chennai, he had become a living legend for the people at large. He continues to captivate the imagination of young voters, as much as the elderly. He was endowed with excellent cultural values that made him weather many a storm.
    He will remain an icon for the Election Commission and the nation forever. Mr. Seshan has left behind a rich legacy for the Commission and will continue to inspire us at the Election Commission of India.
    We pray for the noble departed soul and convey our profound condolences. 

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  16. General Election to Legislative Assembly of Jharkhand 2019- Allotment of Broadcast/Telecast time to National/State Political Parties -regarding

    No. ECI/PN/106/2019/Communication 
    Dated: 4th November, 2019
     
    PRESS NOTE
    Sub: General Election to Legislative Assembly of Jharkhand 2019- Allotment of Broadcast/Telecast time to National/State Political Parties -regarding.
    A copy of the Commission’s Order No.437/TA-LA/1/2019/Communication, dated 4th November, 2019 regarding allotment of Broadcast/Telecast time to National/State political parties in the General Election to the Legislative Assembly of Jharkhand, 2019 is enclosed for the information of the general public.
     
     
     

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  17. General election to the State Legislative Assembly of Jharkhand, 2019 - Media Coverage during the period referred to in Section 126 of the RP Act, 1951

    No. ECI/PN/105/2019 
    Date: 4th November, 2019
     
    PRESS NOTE
    General election to the State Legislative Assembly of Jharkhand, 2019 - Media Coverage during the period referred to in Section 126 of the RP Act, 1951.
    The Schedule for holding General Election to the State Legislative Assembly of Jharkhand 2019 has been announced on 1st November, 2019.  Poll is scheduled to be held in 05 (five) phases in the state on 30.11.2019, 07.12.2019, 12.12.2019, 16.12.2019 and 20.12.2019. 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 of poll-
    (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 up to 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 first phase and half an hour after close of poll in last phase in the State.
    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 or language. 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/ government in 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 Act, 1951.
    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 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 the ballot.
    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. As agreed by IAMAI, vide letter dated 23.09.2019, the “Voluntary Code of Ethics” shall be observed during all elections. Accordingly, the Code is also applicable in Jharkhand Assembly Elections 2019. 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 Haryana & Maharashtra Assembly Elections and the Bye-Elections to various Parliamentary Constituencies and Assembly Constituencies being held simultaneously. 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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  18. ECI appoints Special Expenditure Observer for Jharkhand

    No. ECI/PN/104/2019
    Dated: 3rd November, 2019
     
    Press Note
    ECI appoints Special Expenditure Observer for Jharkhand
    The Election Commission of India has appointed Shri B Murali Kumar (ex IRS 1983) as Special Expenditure Observer for the forthcoming Elections to the Legislative Assembly of Jharkhand. 
    The Special Observer, in consultation with the Chief Electoral Officer, Jharkhand, 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, Voter Helpline 1950 against all persons/entities trying to induce voters by distributing cash, liquor & freebies etc.
     
    It may be recalled that given his past experience in the Investigation Wing of Income Tax Department, Sh B Murali Kumar was also appointed Special Expenditure Observer for 8-Vellore Parliamentary Constituency and for the recently concluded assembly elections in Maharashtra. 

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  19. ECI organizes briefing meeting of General, Police and Expenditure Observers for the Assembly Elections in the State of Jharkhand 2019

    No. ECI/PN/103/2019
    Dated: 2nd November, 2019
    Press Note
    ECI organizes briefing meeting of General, Police and Expenditure Observers for the Assembly Elections in the State of Jharkhand 2019
    The Election Commission of India today organized a Briefing Meeting for Observers to be deployed for the forthcoming Jharkhand Legislative Assembly Elections, for which schedule has been announced on 1st November 2019.  Jharkhand is to go for polls in five phases on the poll dates of 30th November, 7th December, 12th December, 16th December and 20th December, 2019. Nearly 300 officers drawn from IAS, IPS as also from Indian Revenue Service and few other Central Services are being deployed as General, Police and Expenditure Observers.
                Addressing the Observers, Chief Election Commissioner Sh. Sunil Arora emphasized that the role of Observers is very crucial for smooth, fair and impartial conduct of elections. He said, the Observers are particularly empowered by the Commission to take necessary decisions as per assessment of on-ground situation. He assured the Officers that the Commission would always back up bonafide actions taken on field duty. Shri Arora directed the Observers to be visible, accessible and available in the field and particularly directed the Observers to be empathetic in their dealings with people and facilitate all stakeholders. The Chief Election Commissioner said the ECI team would shortly be visiting the State and the Commission would also be holding reviews with the Observers through video conferencing to assess the actions being taken.
                Speaking to the group, Election Commissioner Sh Sushil Chandra drew the attention of the Officers that as Observers they have a statutory duty to perform on behalf of Election Commission of India. He said while the Observer duty in Jharkhand will have its specific challenges, the Officers so deputed, need to be neutral and impartial in discharge of their duties and “be the actual face of ECI on the ground”. Since all local machinery looks upto the Observers as friend, philosopher and guide, the Observers need to be vigilant and accessible to all stakeholders. He stated that the Observers should ensure strict compliance of ECI's rules and Standard Operating Procedures like amenities at the polling booths, vulnerability mapping or compliance of Non-Bailable Warrants, deposition of licensed arms and strict compliance of expenditure management norms.
                The half-day long briefing sessions held today had comprehensive briefing by the Secretary General ECI Shri Umesh Sinha on Election Planning, Security Management & SVEEP aspects; by the Senior Deputy Election Commissioner Shri Sandeep Saxena, on Electoral Roll issues and IT applications; session on EVM VVPAT Management System by Deputy Election Commissioner Shri Sudeep Jain and on legal issues by Deputy Election Commissioner Shri Chandra Bhushan Kumar. Sh Sudeep Jain DEC, being in-charge of Jharkhand State, also briefed the Observers on the preparedness of Elections by the State machinery. Director General Expenditure Shri Dilip Sharma gave an overview of Expenditure Management issues and DG Communications Shri Dhirendra Ojha briefed the Officers on aspects of Paid News, Media Certification and Monitoring Committees as also Social Media.
                It was particularly pointed out to the Observers that for the first time ECI will be introducing Postal Ballot Facilitation for the octogenarians and PwD voters, after the recent amendments by Law Ministry in the Conduct of Election Rules 1961. Such identified voters will have the option of voting through Postal Ballot if they want to exercise this option. Else they can vote at the Polling stations. IT applications like the Enabling Communication in Real-time Environment (ENCORE), an integrated portal to be used by Election Officers for overall management of aspects such as Candidate nominations, uploading of affidavits, Assigning symbol, Scrutiny of candidates nominations, Scrutiny of Candidate Permissions, Counting of Votes and Results dissemination etc. will be utilised for efficient and faster functioning. Other Apps to facilitate Queue-less Voting System, QR Code reading of Photo Voter Slips etc. would also be put in use to ensure free, fair, peaceful, inclusive, accessible, ethical and participative election.

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  20. Schedule for General Election to the Legislative Assembly of Jharkhand, 2019

    Schedule for General Election to the Legislative Assembly of Jharkhand, 2019.

     

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  21. Postal ballot facilities for Absentee voters of essential services, Senior citizens of more than 80 years and marked PwD electors

    No. ECI/PN/101/2019      
    Dated:  28th October, 2019
     
    PRESS NOTE
    Subject: Postal ballot facilities for Absentee voters of essential services,  Senior citizens of more than 80 years and marked PwD electors
     Election Commission has been laying special emphasis to ensure that the electors who are also Persons with Disabilities (PwD) and senior citizens are facilitated in every way to ensure their wider participation in the electoral process.  One of the standing items in the agenda for review by the Commission of the preparations of various States and UTs for the electoral process is facilitation of these categories besides other similarly placed categories. There are two aspects of this issue viz., the creation of requisite infrastructure and suitable legal framework to facilitate the process.  On the legal side, after studying the needs of those citizens, who are unable to come to the polling stations due to the degree of their disability as well as those who are left out their due to engagements in various capacities in the discharge of essential services e.g., railways, state transports and aviation etc., the Commission made a recommendation to the Union Government (Ministry of Law and Justice) on 2nd September, 2019 and on 22 October 2019, the Central Government amended the Rules accordingly.
     Salient features of these amendments are as follows:
    A concept of ‘absentee voter’ has been introduced and defined for the elections;
    ‘absentee voter’ means a person belonging to such class of persons as may be notified, under clause (c) of section 60 of the Act, and who is employed in essential services as mentioned in the said notification, and includes an elector belonging to the class of senior citizen or persons with disability [rule 27 A (aa)];
    ‘person with disability’ means a person flagged as person with disability in the data base for the electoral roll;
    ‘senior citizen’ for the purpose of this Part means an elector belonging to the class of absentee voters and is above 80 years of age; 
    In case of an absentee voter, the application shall be made in Form 12D, and shall contain such particulars as specified therein, and shall be duly verified by the Nodal Officer for the absentee voter, other than senior citizen or persons with disability, which shall reach the Returning Officer within five days following the date of notification of election;
    in the case of absentee voter, postal ballot paper shall be returned to the centre provided for recording of vote under sub-rule(3) of rule 27F, subject to any direction that may be issued by the Election Commission in this behalf.
    These two categories of voters- senior citizen of more than 80 years of age and PwD electors marked in the electoral roll –will have now choice of voting either as absentee voter or as a regular voter on the poll day. If any of the electors belonging to these categories intends to vote early, then as per the amended Rule 27 C of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961, he/she shall make an application in a new Form 12 D, which shall reach the Returning Officer within 5 days following the date of notification of election. After the receipt of such application, the elector will be issued a postal ballot paper, which shall be deposited in the specified centre after recording of vote.
    After the receipt of the notification, the Election Commission has started working on detailed guidelines and SoPs to facilitate the process of postal ballot paper for these identified categories of voters immediately. These guidelines will include the identification of such voters, the manner of outreach, the methods of collection as well as voting in the specified centres in each constituency. The Commission is also taking a number of steps including personal contact under its SVEEP initiatives to make the electors aware of this new facility so that such electors can exercise their voting right in the manner they intend to do.
    The Election Commission is committed to ensure the ease of voting to all such categories of electors. With this new initiative, the Commission is sure that the senior citizens of more than 80 years of age and the PwD electors will have the choice of exercising their right to franchise from their homes. However, such voters have both the choices available either voting through postal ballot by following due procedure or going to the polling station on polling day for voting to exercise their electoral rights in the largest democracy in the world.  

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  22. Schedule for bye-elections to fill four casual vacancies in the State Legislative Assemblies of Uttarakhand and West Bengal

    No. ECI/PN/100/2019
    Dated:  25th October, 2019
    PRESS NOTE
    Subject:  Schedule for bye-elections to fill four casual vacancies in the State Legislative Assemblies of Uttarakhand and West Bengal – Regarding.
    There are four vacancies in State of Uttarakhand and West Bengal Legislative Assemblies which need to be filled up are as follows:
    Sl.No.
    Name of State
    Number and Name of Assembly Constituency
    1.     
    Uttarakhand
    44 – Pithoragarh
    2.     
    West Bengal
    34 – Kaliaganj (SC)
    3.     
    West Bengal
    77 - Karimpur
    4.     
    West Bengal
    224 - Kharagpur Sadar
     
    After taking into consideration inputs from the Chief Electoral Officers of Uttarakhand and West Bengal and various factors like local festivals, electoral rolls, weather conditions etc., the Commission has decided to hold bye-elections to fill these vacancies as per the programme mentioned as under: -
    Poll Events
    Schedule
    Date of Issue of Gazette Notification
    30.10.2019 (Wednesday)
    Last Date of Nominations
    06.11.2019 (Wednesday)
    Date for Scrutiny of Nominations
    07.11.2019 (Thursday)
    Last Date for Withdrawal of candidatures
    11.11.2019 (Monday)
    Date of Poll
    25.11.2019 (Monday)
    Date of Counting
    28.11.2019 (Thursday)
    Date before which election shall be completed
    30.11.2019 (Saturday)
    1.   ELECTORAL ROLL
              The Electoral Rolls for the aforesaid Assembly Constituencies w.r.t 01.01.2019 as the qualifying date has been finally published.
     2.   ELECTRONIC VOTING MACHINES (EVMs) and VVPATs
              The Commission has decided to use EVMs and VVPATs in the bye-election in all the polling stations. Adequate numbers of EVMs and VVPATs have been made available and all steps have been taken to ensure that the polls are conducted smoothly with the help of these machines.
    3.   IDENTIFICATION OF VOTERS
              In consonance with the past practice, the Commission has decided that the voter's identification shall be mandatory in the aforementioned election at the time of poll. Electoral Photo Identity Cards (EPIC) shall be the main document of identification of a voter. However, in order to ensure that no voter is deprived of his/her franchise, if his/her name figures in the electoral rolls, separate instructions will be issued to allow additional documents for identification of voters at the time of poll in the said elections.
    4.   MODEL CODE OF CONDUCT
              The Model code of conduct shall come into force with immediate effect in the district(s) in which the whole or any part of the Parliamentary & Assembly constituency going for election is included, subject to partial modification as issued vide Commission’s instruction No. 437/6/1NST/2016-CCS, dated 29th June, 2017 (available on the Commission's website eci.gov.in). The Model Code of Conduct shall be applicable to all candidates, political parties and the State Government concerned. The Model Code of Conduct shall also be applicable to the Union Government for the district of the State concerned.
     

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  23. New Arrangement made by Election Commission of India for prompt and accurate dissemination of results of Assembly Election and bye-elections of Oct 2019.

    No. ECI/PN/99/2019   
    Dated: 24th October, 2019
    Press Note
    Subject: New Arrangement made by Election Commission of India for prompt and accurate dissemination of results of Assembly Election and bye-elections of Oct 2019
    In a first, the Election Commission of India has deployed an integrated ICT counting application which gives freedom to Returning Officers spread across the country to directly compute and enter the result data on the ECI new counting application. This application allows the Returning Officers to enter table-wise data in the software, thereby considerably reducing the time and makes the results & trends data error-free.

    Team ICT headed by Dr Sandeep Saxena, Sr Deputy Election Commissioner and others with Shri. Sunil Arora, Chief Election Commissioner, in front of the Election Trends TV Panel at Nirvachan Sadan, New Delhi
    2.  The counting software developed by the IT team of ECI called ENCORE (Enabling Communications on Real-time Environment) allows generation of various types of statutory reports during counting process which are mandatory for Returning Officers such as Form 20 Preparation/ Compilation of Final Result Sheet, 21C/D for Formal Declaration of Result and Form 21 E for Certificate of Return of Elections. The Returning Officer can download these system-generated reports after the counting is over and complete the statutory requirements in a hassle-free environment.
    3. For the first time, the Election Commission of India has launched Election Trends TV, on which the graphically-rich micro-details of trends & results are published in real-time. As and when the counting data of each round is entered after officially been declared by the Returning Officers, the data is displayed on the Election Trends TV, without any manual intervention using advanced secure technologies. These panels can be customized and configured, for display automatically in public places using large TV Panels by Returning Officers & Chief Electoral Officers.
    4. During today’s counting dissemination of trends and results are made with enhanced infographics and increased details through the ECI’s very popular mobile app ‘Voter Helpline App’ which is available from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store for free download. The user can bookmark their favourite candidate and closely follow the results in a comprehensive manner.

    371 downloads

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  24. ECI appoints Sh Vinod Zutshi as Special Observer for Assandh AC Elections of Haryana.

    No. ECI/PN/98/2019 
    Date: 20th October, 2019
    PRESS NOTE
     Subject:      ECI appoints Sh Vinod Zutshi as Special Observer for Assandh AC Elections of Haryana.
     Election Commission of India has appointed Sh Vinod Zutshi ( former IAS Raj Retd), former Deputy Election Commissioner ECI and Secretary Tourism, as Special Observer for the ensuing Elections to 23 – Assandh Assembly Constituency of Karnal District in Haryana in light of the video circulating in social media. Sh Zutshi has been requested to proceed immediately to the Constituency to take necessary corrective action and ensure free, fair and peaceful election.
    Sh Zutshi has earlier worked as Chief Electoral Officer Rajasthan. He also worked in ECI for seven years in various capacities. Sh Zutshi was deputed as Special Observer to Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tripura during the recent Lok Sabha General Elections in April 2019.

    468 downloads

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  25. ECI replaces Expenditure Observer of Ambala

    No. ECI/PN/97/2019
    Dated: 18th October, 2019
    Press Note
     
     Subject: ECI replaces Expenditure Observer of Ambala
     The Election Commission of India has replaced Expenditure Observer of Ambala after reviewing the performance of Observers during the ongoing Haryana elections. The Expenditure Observer was removed for not supervising the enforcement activities in right earnest and his overall performance was not found satisfactory.
    The new Expenditure Observer of Ambala Sh. Ritesh Parmar, IRS has assumed duty w.e.f. today i.e. 18th October, 2019.

    400 downloads

    Submitted

  

ECI Main Website

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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