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Press Releases 2019

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  1. Polled EVMs are absolutely safe in Strongrooms

    No. ECI/PN/56/2019                        Dated: 21st May, 2019
                                                          PRESS NOTE
    Subject: Polled EVMs are absolutely safe in Strongrooms
     Certain complaints of alleged movement of EVMs, purportedly to replace the polled EVMs in the strongrooms, have been doing the rounds in sections of media. Election Commission of India would like to emphatically and unambiguously clarify that all such reports and allegations are absolutely false, and factually incorrect. The visuals seen viral on media do not pertain to any EVMs used during the polls.
    After the close of polls, all polled EVMs and VVPATs are brought under security cover to the designated strongrooms, which is sealed with double locks, in the presence of the candidates and in the presence of Observers of the Election Commission. The entire process of storage and sealing of the strongroom is covered under videography. Continuous CCTV coverage is done till completion of counting. Each strongroom is guarded with round-the-clock security by Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF). Further, the candidates or their designated agents remain present at the strongroom for 24X7 vigil at all times.
    On the counting day, the strongrooms are opened in the presence of the candidates/agents and Observer under videography. Before the counting of EVMs commences, the counting agents are shown the address tags, seals and serial number of the EVMs to satisfy themselves to the genuineness and authenticity of the machinesused in the actual polls.
    The provisions and protocols have been explained to the political parties on multiple occasions including in several of the 93 meetings held with them at the Commission since announcement of elections. All Chief Electoral Officers and District Election Officers have again been advised to brief the candidates on the elaborate counting arrangements.
    As can be appreciated, the detailed administrative protocols, security framework and procedural guidelines mandated by the Commission completely foreclose and pre-empt the possibility of any mischief or manipulation in the polled EVMs and VVPATs stored in the designated strongrooms under the 24X7 watch of the CAPF as well as the candidates. 
    The aspersions in clips being used in media merely pertain to the storage or movement of Reserve unused EVMs. However any case of lapse even in handling of Reserve EVMs is thoroughly investigated and disciplinary action taken against the officers responsible. An EVM Control Room no. 011- 23052123 will also be functioning at Nirvachan Sadan for handling any EVM related complaints till the completion of counting. This will become operative from 11 am on 22.5.2019.



  2. Schedule for bye-elections to fill casual vacancies from 89 - Agra and 23-Darjeeling Assembly Constituencies in the State Legislative Assemblies of Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal respectively

                        Nirvachan Sadan, Ashoka Road, New Delhi-110001
    No. ECI/PN /50/2019                                                                   Dated:  19th April, 2019
    Subject :                 Schedule for bye-elections to fill casual vacancies from 89 - Agra and 23-Darjeeling Assembly Constituencies in the State Legislative Assemblies of Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal respectively – Regarding.                 
                There are two clear vacancies from 89–Agra and 23–Darjeeling Assembly Constituencies in the State Legislative Assemblies of Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, respectively, which needs to be filled up. 
                After taking into consideration various factors like, festivals, electoral rolls, etc., the Commission has decided to hold the bye-election to fill this vacancy as per the programme mentioned as under: -
    Sl No.
    Poll Events
    Date of Issue of Gazette Notification
    22.04.2019 (Monday)
    Last date of making Nominations
    29.04.2019 (Monday)
    Date of Scrutiny of Nominations
    30.04.2019 (Tuesday)
    Last date for withdrawal of Candidatures
    02.05.2019 (Thursday)
    Date of Poll
    19.05.2019 (Sunday)
    Counting of Votes
    23.05.2019 (Thursday)
    Date before which election shall  be completed
    27.05.2019 (Monday)
                The Electoral Rolls for the aforesaid Assembly Constituency w.r.t. 01.01.2019 as the qualifying date has been finally published.
                            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.
                            In consonance with the past practice, the Commission has decided that the voter’s identification shall be mandatory in the aforementioned bye- election at the time of poll. Electoral Photo Identity Cards (EPIC) shall be the main document of identification of a voter. The order issued by the Commission in this regard for the General Election to the House of People and State Legislative Assembly, 2019 shall apply for identification of voters at the time of poll in the said bye-election.
                            The Model Code of Conduct has already come into force with announcement of General Election to Lok Sabha, 2019 on 10th March, 2019 in all States/UTs. 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.



  3. Control room at ECI

    No. ECI/PN/57/2019                                                           Dated: 21st May, 2019
    Press Note
    Control room at ECI
    A 24 hour EVM Control Room has been made functional at Nirvachan Sadan to monitor complaints relating to polled EVMs. The complaints related to storage issues at strongrooms, security of strongrooms,  permissions to candidates to post their agents at strongrooms, cctv monitoring, movement of any EVMs, and any complaints during counting related to EVMs can be informed at control room number is 011-23052123 (with 5 hunting lines)



  4. Reconciled Consolidated Voter Turnout data of Lok sabha 2019

    The document contains
    Reconciled Consolidated Voter Turnout data of Lok Sabha 2019
    (Provisional phase wise polling day voter turnout data has been replaced and data reconciled with official documents as per prescribed procedure is posted)



  5. Schedule for bye-election to fill Casual vacancies in the State Legislative Assembly of West Bengal-reg.

    Schedule for bye-election to fill Casual vacancies in the State Legislative Assembly of West Bengal-reg.



  6. General Election to the House of the People – 2019 Real-Time Dissemination of Counting Day Trends and Results

    No. ECI/PN/58/2019                                                           Dated: 22nd May, 2019
    Press Note
    General Election to the House of the People – 2019
    Real-Time Dissemination of Counting Day Trends and Results
    The Counting of Votes for General Election to the House of the People – 2019 shall be held on 23rd May, 2019.  In this regard, the Commission has come up with a new IT based initiative, which will enable the system in providing real-time trends and results of the vote counting across the States/UTs.  The counting trends and results will be available on the ECI Website at the URL  as well as on the Voter Helpline App, both iOS and Android Mobile Apps.  The dissemination will start functioning from 8.00 a.m. on the Counting Day and would be continuously updated.
    The Voter Helpline App can be downloaded from the Google Play Store or Apple Play Store.  For the first time, the citizens can use a smart phone to know the results.  They can use the available filter to find out the winning/leading or trailing candidate details, along with the Constituency-wise or State-wise results from the Voter Helpline App.  The citizens can bookmark their favourite candidate and watch the real-time results, as per their convenience on the Voter Helpline App or make a wish list to track the real-time status.
    The local display of the trends and results by the CEOs/ROs/DEOs will also be done through the Digital Display Panels provided by Election Commission of India.



  7. VVPAT Counting Sequence to remain as per Supreme Court Approved guidelines: ECI

    VVPAT Counting Sequence to remain as per Supreme Court Approved guidelines: ECI



  8. Bye Elections to the Council of States from Uttar Pradesh-reg.

    Bye Elections to the Council of States from Uttar Pradesh-reg.



  9. Election Commission of India organizes refresher trainings for State Level Electoral Literacy Clubs’ Trainer

    Date: 30th September, 2019
    Election Commission of India organizes refresher trainings for State Level Electoral Literacy Clubs’ Trainer
    The third 2 days’ workshop on Electoral Literacy Clubs (ELCs)for State Level Master Trainers & SVEEP Nodal Officer of Election Commission of India commenced on 30th September, 2019 at the IIIDEM Campus, New Delhi.  After Lok Sabha Election 2019, it was decided to conduct workshops for effective establishment and working of ELCs as well as to strategize on the way forward.  Two such workshops have already been held on 23-24 and 26-27 September, 2019.
    The Chief Election Commissioner, Sh. Sunil Arora inaugurated ELC exhibition, wherein glimpses of the ELC activities carried out in the workshops were shown to the Commission alongwith ELC resources. Thereafter, addressing the special session of the workshop, Chief Election Commissioner, Sh Sunil Arora said, “Despite attaining a historic turnout we should strive for more and make sustained & dedicated efforts to sensitise people from all over the communities and enhance participation even further.  While interacting with the participants, he said, “You all are brick and mortar of the SVEEP programme of ECI. Having been entrusted with the responsibility of being part of this gigantic effort, I urge you to be pioneers of the ELC project on the field and ensure that the power of indelible ink represents all.”  Senior Deputy Election Commissioner, Shri Umesh Sinha and Director General of IIIDEM ShDharmendra Sharma were also present at the occasion along with other senior officers of Election Commission of India. 
    Briefing on ELC project, Sr DEC ShUmesh Sinha emphasized on the importance of having a strong foundation, he stated that“Unless you have a proper root, the grass will not grow. Our aim is to have all eligible voters to register in the electoral roll and ensure it is 100% error free in order to strengthen our democracy even further. One of the main objectives of Voter Education is to make the voters informed and ethical and help in enhancing their participation.  He further added that the ELC project requires a robust movement and momentum by all present by reaching out to schools, colleges, communities, organizations etc.’ Mr. Sinha envisioned further that stating Electoral literacy Club would be the biggest electoral literacy movement in the world and through this we can ful fill the aim of  ‘No Voter to be Left Behind’ .
    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 Chunav Pathshala 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 5,80,620ELCs 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 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 to XII, colleges and communities. A calendar of activities in a year has also been indicated.Total of 6-8 activities, with specific learning outcome, running into approximately 4 hours in all, have been identified for each category.
    The purpose of the workshop is to provide a refresher of ELC activities to the participants in order to ensure their preparedness for subsequent trainings that they shall be conducting with District Level Master Trainers. Commission’s endeavor is to make the ELC project sustainable and to achieve its vision of establishing 1.5 million ELCs in 2 hundred thousand secondary and senior secondary schools, 27 thousand colleges and universities and the 1 million polling stations. 



  10. Election Commission of India Launches a One Stop Solution to Verify & Authenticate Voter Details

    No. ECI/PN/79/2019       Dated: 1st September, 2019
    Election Commission of India Launches a One Stop Solution to Verify & Authenticate Voter Details
    On the occasion of the nationwide mega million launch of Electors Verification Programme, a special camp was held at Election Commission of India Headquarters in New Delhi on September 1, 2019. Unveiling the initiative on National Voters’ Service Portal ( and Voter Helpline App, Chief Election Commissioner Shri Sunil Arora said, ‘Electoral Roll is the foundation on which the entire superstructure of the Election Commission of India stands. I urge all the citizens to participate in the verification programmes so that the Commission can provide better electoral services in all forthcoming elections.’
    Reiterating the importance of a healthy electoral roll, Election Commissioner Shri Ashok Lavasa said, ‘It is an important opportunity for all the voters to verify and authenticate their details. Participation of people is paramount to the success of the drive, I urge all to come forward and ensure an error free Electoral Roll as it is the heart of the electoral process.’ He also said that just as FIT INDIA, launched a few days ago, was meant to keep us healthy, the EVP campaign was meant to improve the health of our electoral rolls. 
    The main aim of the programme is to improve the health of Electoral rolls and to provide better electoral services to citizens and increase the level of Communication between voters and the Commission. The program has been launched at all Levels starting from the State/UT Headquarters by 32 CEOs, District level by about 700 DEOs and at around 1 million Polling Stations by BLOs/EROs and will continue from September 1, 2019 to October 15, 2019. 
    The voters can log on to NVSP portal ( or Voter Helpline App or Common Service Centres or any nearby voter facilitation centre to avail the following facilities. 
    ϖ Verification and corrections of the existing details ϖ Authentication of entry by furnishing scanned/DigiLocker copy of one of the following documents: (i) Indian Passport (ii) Driving License (iii) Aadhaar Card (iv) Ration Card (v) identity card for Government/Semi Government Officials (vi) Bank Passbooks (vii) Farmer's Identity Card (viii) PAN Card (ix) Smart Card issued by RGI (x) Latest bill for water/electricity/telephone/gas connection. ϖ Furnishing details of family members and verifying their entries too ϖ Updating details of family members already enrolled as voters but permanently shifted or expired ϖ Furnishing details of eligible un-enrolled family members (born on or before 01.01.2001) and prospective electors born between (02.01.2002 till 01.01.2003) who are residing with the elector. ϖ Furnishing GIS Coordinates of House (through Mobile App) to avail better electoral Services ϖ Feedback regarding existing Polling Stations and suggestions on alternate PS, if any The one time authentication of details and sharing contact detail would help electors to get update of online application status, status of EPIC, Election Day announcement, voter slip on their registered email and mobile number. Regular notification on modifications on Serial No. and details of Polling Station, Change in BLO/ ERO, all information related to Polling Station will also be shared with the Electors. 
    Starting the endeavour at its helm, the employees of the Commission verified and authenticated their details along with their family.



  11. 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
    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.



  12. 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.



  13. ECI to host the 4th General Assembly of Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB) at Bengaluru India to take over as A-WEB Chair for 2019-21

    No. ECI/PN/80/2019                                                                                  Dated: 1st September, 2019
    ECI to host the 4th General Assembly of Association of 
    World Election Bodies (A-WEB) at Bengaluru 
    India to take over as A-WEB Chair for 2019-21
    The Election Commission of India is scheduled to host the 4th General Assembly of Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB) at Bengaluru on 3rd September 2019.  India will take over as A-WEB’s Chair for the 2019-21 term. Over 50 countries across the globe will join the meeting at Bengaluru from 02nd to 04th September, 2019. An International Conference on “Initiatives and Challenges of Social Media and Information Technology in Elections” will also be held on 04th September, 2019. 
    The Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB) is largest association of Election Management Bodies (EMBs) worldwide.  A-WEB was established on October 14, 2013 in Song-do, South Korea. The permanent secretariat of A-WEB is located at Seoul. A-WEB’s vision is to foster efficiency and effectiveness in conducting free, fair, transparent and participative elections worldwide. Its activities are guided by its mission to identify latest trends, challenges and developments in democratic electoral management and electoral processes and to facilitate appropriate exchange of experience and expertise among members with the objective of strengthening electoral democracy worldwide.
    Election Commission of India has been very closely associated with the process of formation of  A-WEB since 2011-12. ECI has been its Executive Board Member since AWEB's inception in October 2013 for two consecutive terms (2013-15 and 2015-17).  At the last A-WEB General Assembly held in Bucharest on 31st August, 2017, Romania took over as Chair and ECI was unanimously elected as Vice-Chair of A-WEB 2017-19. India is all set to take over as Chair now for the 2019-21 term.
    At present A-WEB has 115 EMBs as Members & 20 Regional Associations/Organisations as Associate Members. 24 EMBs from Asia, 37 from Africa, 31 from America, 17 from Europe &  6 from Oceania presently are members of A WEB. ECI will continue to remain on the Executive Board of A-WEB for   2021-23 in its capacity as immediate former Chair of A-WEB.
    The current Executive Board of A WEB 2017-19 has 21 members wherein Dominican Republic as the Immediate Past Chair; 5 members from Africa namely Burkina Faso/Guinea/Kenya/Malawi/Tunisia; 4 members from Americas -Argentina/Colombia/El Salvador/Paraguay; 4 members from Asia - Bangladesh/Palestine/Taiwan/Uzbekistan; 3 members from Europe - Albania/Belarus/Croatia and Fiji as the member from Oceania are included.
    Over 120 Participants from more than 50 countries across the globe will join the A WEB events scheduled in Bengaluru from 02nd to 04th September, 2019. By far this is the largest congregation of EMB delegates in India. Meeting of the Executive Board of A-WEB will be held on 02 Sep. 2019; Next day on Tuesday, the 3rd September, General Assembly of A-WEB will be held where India will take over as Chair of A-WEB for 2019-2021 term. Chief Election Commissioner of India 
    Sh Sunil Arora would preside over the General Assembly meeting. Detailed deliberations at the A-WEB General Assembly include discussion on Challenges and future of furthering partnership amongst EMBs; appointment of office bearers; programmes and activities to be undertaken by A-WEB during 2020, etc. 
    On the 4th of September, an International Conference on “Initiatives and Challenges of Social Media and Information Technology in Elections" will be held. Eleven countries namely Benin, Bhutan, Bosnia - Herzegovina, Cameroon, Malawi, Mauritius, Palestine, Romania, Russia, Sierra Leone and Togo would make their presentations on the subject. 
    A-WEB was founded with the shared vision among its members of achieving sustainable democracy around the world. A-WEB aims at strengthening the processes of election management in member countries.  Since, its inception       A-WEB has undertaken election ICT Programmes in various countries like Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Fiji, Papua Guinea and Samoa. A-WEB also undertakes Election Visitor and Observation Programmes in various countries to study various election management practices and share knowledge with other Member of EMBs.  The association has organized such EVPs to Bosnia & Herzegovina, Ecuador. The A-WEB Secretariat also undertakes Election Management Capacity Building Programme for the officials from Member EMBs. Since 2014, it has conducted more than 89 programmes for over 645 participants from over 70 countries.



  14. 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
    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-
    (b) Display to the public any election matter by means of cinematograph, television or other similar apparatus;
    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.



  15. Eternal Vigilance is the price for liberty” – Chief Election Commissioner Sh Sunil Arora reiterated this old adage while giving his remarks at the Extraordinary Session of the Executive Board of A-WEB at Bengaluru

    Nirvachan Sadan, Ashoka Road, New Delhi-110001
    No. ECI/PN/81/2019                                                                                                                                                                                                          Dated: 2nd September, 2019
    “Eternal Vigilance is the price for liberty” – Chief Election Commissioner Sh Sunil Arora reiterated this old adage while giving his remarks at the Extraordinary Session of the Executive Board of A-WEB at Bengaluru
              Chief Election Commissioner of India Shri Sunil Arora today spoke to the Extraordinary Session of the Executive Board of Association of World Election Bodies in Bengaluru. Sh Arora recalled that Election Commission of India had been closely associated with the formation process of the A-WEB during 2011-12, and was one of the founding members of AWEB in October 2013. India has been member of the Executive Board since 2013 and took over as Vice-Chair of AWEB since 2017. India continues to promote AWEB’s mission wholeheartedly to promote partnership among Electoral Management Bodies (EMBs) around the world.
               Speaking on the occasion, Sh Arora said the constituent units of the A-WEB are the Electoral Management Bodies (EMBs) of different countries, structured to work together and learn from the experiences and best practices from one another. With 115 EMBs from 109 countries as its members, and 20 international organizations as Associate Members, the A-WEB has truly become a global organization to strengthen electoral management in a non-invasive manner.
    Citing Thomas Alva Edison – “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety nine percent perspiration”, Sh Arora said it is especially true about democracy. “It is a very noble idea, which has inspired generation of patriots, reformers and humanists. But it takes a lot of imagination, diligence and professionalism to implement it on ground level. Eternal Vigilance is price that Democratic Countries pay for liberty, said Sh Arora.” He added “This is particularly true of emerging democracies where despite the political will of the citizens, the persisting statusquoist system suffers from ingrained weakness of institutions and trained manpower to conduct free, fair and participatory elections in a transparent manner. An electoral miscarriage might breed distrust towards democratic institutions, he cautioned. “This is where the importance of a multi-lateral organization like A-WEB comes to the fore”, he stated.
    Sh Arora recounted that the framers of Indian Constitution were such visionaries that they chose to setup the institution of Election Commission on 25th January 1950 ie. one day before promulgation and formal adoption of our constitution on 26th January 1950. He said Election Commission of India (ECI) has successfully conducted 17 national elections and 388 state elections, thus strengthening the nation’s faith in electoral democracy. He added “ECI stands today as an institution of repute in imparting knowledge and sharing of best practices and skills with other EMBs through its robust International Cooperation Programme.” ECI has signed Memorandum of Understanding on Electoral Cooperation with 26 EMBs and International Organisations.   
    Shri Arora complimented Mr. Yong-Hi Kim, the current Secretary General of AWEB and his colleagues at the Secretariat for successfully organising various training programmes and conferences and other activities year after year fostering promotion of exchange and cooperation among participating EMBs.  
    Mr. Ion Mincu Radulescu, Adviser in the Permanent Electoral Authority of Romania, representing the Chairperson of A-WEB, Chairpersons/Presidents and senior delegates from  Election Management Bodies  of   Bangladesh; Burkina Faso; Dominican Republic; El Salvador; Fiji; Kenya; Malawi; Palestine; Paraguay; Tunisia & Uzbekistan were present as Members of the A-WEB Executive Board. Also participating in the meeting were Presidents and senior delegates from Election Management Bodies of Cameroon & Ecuador as also members of the Oversight and Audit Committee of A-WEB. Current Secretary General Mr. Yong Hi Kim and senior officials of A-WEB and ECI attended today’s session.
    More than 120 delegates from 50 countries across the globe have come to Bengaluru for the AWEB’s meetings being held from 02nd to 04th September, 2019. By far this is the largest congregation of EMB delegates in India. 




  16. Election Commission of India submits list of newly elected members to the 17th Lok Sabha to the Hon'ble President of India

    No. ECI/PN/60/2019                                                                           Dated: 25th May, 2019
    Subject: Election Commission of India submits list of newly elected members to the 17th Lok Sabha to the Hon'ble President of India
     Chief Election Commissioner, Shri Sunil Arora along with  Election Commissioners Shri Ashok Lavasa and Shri Sushil Chandra, called on the Hon’ble President of India at 1230 hrs today (May 25, 2019). A copy of the Notification issued by the Election Commission of India in terms of Section 73 of the Representation of People’s Act, 1951, containing the names of Members elected to the House of the People – following General Elections to the 17th Lok Sabha – was submitted by them to the Hon’ble President.

    Afterwards, the Chief Election Commissioner, both the Election Commissioners and senior officers of the Election Commission of India went Rajghat to seek blessings of the Father of the Nation after the conclusion of the elections.



  17. CEC Sh Sunil Arora Assumes Chairmanship of Association of World Election Bodies

    No. ECI/PN/82/2019
    Dated: 3rd September, 2019
    CEC Sh Sunil Arora Assumes Chairmanship of Association of World Election Bodies
    4th General Assembly of AWEB Concludes at Bengaluru with New Vice Chairman Appointed from South Africa and New Secretary General from Republic of Korea
    An AWEB  Centre of Training, Research and Documentation to be set up at the India International Institute of Democracy and Election Management, New Delhi
    Chief Election Commissioner, Shri Sunil Arora today assumed Chairmanship of Association of World Election Bodies (AWEB) for the term 2019-21 as India takes over the Chair from Romania. India was unanimously nominated to be the Chair of AWEB at the last General Assembly held at Bucharest in 2017. The AWEB Flag was handed over to the new Chairman, Sh. Sunil Arora by the Representative of Outgoing Chair, Mr. Ion Mincu Radulescu, Advisor, Permanent Election Authority Romania. The Flag will remain with Election Commission of India for the two year term till 2021. More than 110 delegates from 45 countries attended the meeting. On this occasion, CEC Sh Sunil Arora along with the two Election Commissioners of India Sh. Ashok Lavasa and Sh. Sushil Chandra and Senior Deputy Election Commissioner Sh Umesh Sinha also launched ECI’s quarterly magazine – ‘VOICE International’ which shares best practices from more than 25 Countries..
    Convening the General Assembly as the new Chairman of AWEB, Sh Sunil Arora acknowledged that it was his privilege and pleasure to welcome all delegates to Bengaluru for the AWEB meetings. Citing Mahatma Gandhi’s writings, Sh Arora said “Democracy must in essence mean the art and science of mobilizing the entire physical, economic and spiritual resources of all the various sections of the people in the service of the common good of all”. Sh Arora also noted that the very Preamble of AWEB Charter spells out the vision of AWEB  wherein it mentions the need for strengthening cooperation between and among EMBs for the purpose of ensuring a credible electoral process in the world; committing to promote conditions conducive to free, fair, transparent and participative elections and to the development of a democratic culture in the world; promoting gender equality and the inclusion of People with Disabilities and other marginalized communities in the electoral process. More than two-third of global population now lives under democratic rule, he noted. 
    Accepting the responsibility as Chairman of AWEB, Sh Arora said ECI looks forward to further strengthening its interaction and partnership with AWEB Secretariat and member EMBs in promoting the activities of the Association as per its objectives and empowering the fellow EMBs through its capacity building programmes.  He thanked the Members for the trust and confidence reposed in the Election Commission of India. 
    The General Assembly also ratified the appointment of the new Vice Chairman of AWEB – Mr. Glen Vuma Mashinini, Chairperson of Election Commission of South Africa and the new Secretary General , Mr Jonghyun Choe, from Republic of Korea. Bidding farewell to Outgoing Secretary General Mr. Yong-Hi Kim A-WEB, Sh Arora complimented Mr Kim for steering the Secretariat in a professional and efficient manner and expanding the activities of A-WEB. Sh Arora placed on record deep gratitude to the Outgoing Chairman Mr. Constantin – Florin Mituletu – Buica, Hon’ble President of the Permanent Electoral Authority of Romania for having shouldered the responsibility of the Chairperson of AWEB for the last two years.  Sh Arora commended the other Executive Board Members, as well as the Oversight and Audit Committee members for their valuable and professional contribution in the working of the A-WEB. Sh Arora assured the new team that he would extend wholehearted support and handholding as and when required to carry forward the ideals of AWEB.
    The 4th General Assembly of AWEB held at Bengaluru welcomed the EMBs from Somalia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Dominican Republic, Bosnia and Herzegovina, to the Executive Board. EMBs from Burkina Faso, Mauritius and Samoa have been admitted to the Oversight and Audit Committee. EMBs from Ukraine, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Political Parties Registration Commission of Sierra Leone, Indonesia and Mauritius joined the A-WEB family as Members and the Association of Asian Election Authorities (AAEA) as an Associate Member.
    Sh Arora also noted that a number of nascent democracies are still working on to stabilize their political system through improving their electoral and legal systems. Shri Arora highlighted “This is where organizations such as A-WEB provide valuable contribution, professional support and advice by sharing innovations, experience and skills with support from and participation of its Members. Free, fair, credible and professionally managed elections form the bedrock of a healthy and vibrant democracy” Since its inception in October 2013, A-WEB has marched ahead empowering the democratic framework of member countries.    With 120 EMBs from 111 countries as its Members and 21 International Organisations as Associate Members, it has truly become the largest global organisation of Election Management Bodies providing momentum to the spread of electoral democracy, the Chair noted.   
    Shri Arora announced that an AWEB Centre would be setup at the India International Institute of Democracy and Election Management, New Delhi for documentation, research and training; for sharing best practices and capacity building among the members EMBs of the Association. The Institute has already conducted over 750 training programmes for over 27,000 election officials in India besides organising 62 International Capacity Building Programmes for over 1165 election officials from 96 countries.  Standard training modules for National & International participants are developed by a renowned team of Indian and International experts. The members greatly appreciated the generous offer from India to support capacity building program for other countries. 
    In his concluding remarks, Shri Arora again thanked all the Chief Election Commissioners and delegates of the EMBs coming from all over the World and spending their valuable time for the deliberations in the EB meeting and General Assembly.  He reiterated India’s commitment towards deepening of Democracies worldwide and said that India will do its best to carry forward the vision and objectives of AWEB. 
    India, the host nation for 4th general assembly, has been one of the founding members of the A-WEB. India hosted the three day AWEB meetings in Bengaluru. The International Conference on “Initiatives and Challenges of Social Media and Information Technology in Elections” will be held on 04th September, 2019, the concluding day of the AWEB meetings. 




    No. ECI/PN/61/2019    
    Dated: 1st June, 2019
    Press Note
    Two categories of votes are counted to arrive at the final result of General Elections 2019, first is Votes polled in EVM by General voters from over 91.1 Crores electors at Polling Stations and second category is Postal Ballots returned from over18 Lakh Service voters and also from the polling personnel deployed for the poll duties, outside their Parliament Constituency in case of single elections and all polling personnel in case of simultaneous elections as was the case recently when besides the election to 17th Lok Sabha, the Assembly elections for four states namely Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha and Sikkim to Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha also went for poll.
    The provisional voter turnout data is displayed as percentage figure on Election Commission of India (ECI) Web site and Voter Helpline Mobile App on the poll day as uploaded by the Returning Officer(RO)/Assistant Returning Officer (ARO) based on the approximate percentage turnout figures obtained from Sector magistrates who in-turn get it periodically over phone/ in person from about 10 Presiding officers. After scrutiny of documents by the RO, provisional number of General voters’ turnout is compiled and uploaded on the ECI website based on the Polling Station wise tentative voter turnout data reported by the Presiding Officers, with male/female voter breakup, added together to get the PC wise provisional voter turnout. All these figures are provisional, based on estimates which are subject to change as is made clear from the disclaimer on the website that "the data is estimated and subject to change". This provisional voter turnout data is made available by ROs on regular intervals, which is collated by Chief Electoral Officers and ECI on the web site for wider dissemination and to ensure transparency in information dissemination.
    At the time of counting, postal ballots received up to 8 AM on Counting day are first pre-counted and valid Postal ballots are then taken up for after actual counting for both of the categories a. the Service voters and b. the polling personnel deployed for the poll duties. The Postal ballot count is added to the EVM General voters’ count to give the final votes polled in every PC and the votes secured candidate wise and the winning candidate is given return certificate in form 21E by the Returning Officers.
    Based on both the EVM votes and Postal Ballots counted, the Returning Officer prepares Form 21E and Index Card in which the breakup of voter turnout, including tendered votes for the Constituency, is tallied to get the final voter turnout for each Constituency. Form 21E is the return of election as specified under rule 64 of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961, for which the sole authority is the Returning Officer concerned. Also, INDEX CARD in use since last over five decades, is prepared by the Returning officer to furnish the voting data (including postal ballot data), polled and counted, after the declaration of the Result, which becomes the final authenticated data for all purposes including analysis and research. For General Elections 2019, Commission has already directed all the Returning Officers on 26th March 2019 to send the INDEX CARDS within 15 days of the declaration of the Result.
    In earlier elections, it used to take months to collect such authenticated election data from all the ROs. Even in 2014, it took between 2 to 3 months after the declaration of results to collect and collate such data in authenticated form. Due to the innovative IT initiatives taken by the Commission this time, the final data on votes counted has been made available within a few days of declaration of results. The reconciliation of voters’ data for all PCs have been completed in all states and the Index Forms of all 542 PCs are expected to reach ECI from Returning Officers shortly, which after compilation, shall be immediately be made Public by the Election Commission.
    As made out clear in above paras, the provisional voter turnout data reported on ECI Website is only the tentative number of voters and not the final nos. therefore it is incorrect inference to find Ghost voters when there are none.



  19. PGIMER New Academic Session inaugurated by the Chief Election Commissioner of India

    Dated: 7th January, 2019
    Press Note
    Subject: PGIMER New Academic Session inaugurated by the Chief Election Commissioner of India
          The Chief Election Commissioner of India, Shri Sunil Arora today inaugurated the new academic session of Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research (PGIMER) in Chandigarh. While delivering the inaugural address- "The Road Ahead- Opportunities and Challenges'', he said that constant upgradation of oneself in every respect is very essential in any institution to be at par with the ever-changing technological advancements in the world.  January marks the beginning of the new academic session at the Institute which annually trains 400 postgraduate students in different specialties and super specialties in its various 50 departments. Sh. Sunil Arora also congratulated PGI for being ranked No. 2 amongst medical colleges of the country in the NIRF (National Institutional Ranking Framework), 2018. In this competitive world an institution has to constantly upgrade itself to stay abreast of the times, he said.

    Chief Election Commissioner of India, Sh. Sunil Arora addressing at the Inauguration of New Academic Session of the PGIMER
    He further stated that future medicine will possibly treat the human body in more dignified and less invasive manner and expressed belief that PGIMER Chandigarh will play its worthy role in this matter.  
    Shri Arora also urged the medical students to keep their morale up even when challenged. He emphasized that ideas rule the world. Today we are not so much limited by access or resource as much by our own imagination. “Today’s medicine was yesterday’s research; and today’s research will become tomorrow’s medicine. So think out of the box”.
    PGIMER felicitates Chief Election Commissioner of India, Shri Sunil Arora
    “The PGIMER already has a glorious history of more than 50 years. The question is where we see it in 10, 20 and 50 years from now. The foresight, resolve and zeal of its present leadership will determine that”, he added.



  20. Chief Election Commissioner of India reviews election preparedness in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh in connection with Lok Sabha Elections- 2019

    Dated: 7th January, 2019
    Press Note
    Subject: Chief Election Commissioner of India reviews election preparedness in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh in connection with Lok Sabha Elections- 2019
    Sh. Sunil Arora, Chief Election Commissioner of India today reviewed the election preparedness of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh in connection with the forthcoming Lok Sabha Elections in 2019.

    The Commission while reviewing the poll preparedness took meeting with the Chief Electoral Officers of Punjab, Haryana and UT of Chandigarh and discussed various issues related to provision of Assured Minimum Facilities (AMFs) at the Polling Stations, strengthening of manpower and infrastructure of CEO’s offices, filling up of all vacant positions of elections functionaries at the field level, availability of EVMs/VVPATs and other election material, adequate budget provisions etc. The Chief Electoral officers of Punjab, Haryana Special Summary Revision (w.r.t 01-01-2019), Voter Helpline (1950) and other IT Applications.  and UT of Chandigarh also briefed the CEC about the progress of 
    This was followed by a comprehensive discussion with the Chief Secretary, DGP, Home Secretary and other senior Officials of Punjab and Haryana, as also with the Advisor to Administrator and other senior officials of Union Territory of Chandigarh on the various election related arrangements to be in place for the smooth and peaceful conduct of elections in a free, fair, inclusive, participative and credible manner.   
    Sh. Arora emphasized the urgent need to create a comprehensive data base of PwD voters along with their PS-wise mapping to ensure that adequate assistance is provided to all PwD voters on day of Poll, which is very important to realize the Commission’s motto of ‘No Voter to be Left Behind’. The Chief Election Commissioner directed that forthcoming Lok Sabha Elections should be made voter friendly and all necessary facilitations should be provided specially to Persons with Disability, senior citizens and women.
    CEC also stressed on the imperative of imparting robust and comprehensive training to all election related officials, at all levels on the entire spectrum of election related matters including ERO-NET, BLO-NET, revision of Electoral Rolls and implementation of IT applications like Suvidha, Samadhan, Sugam, cVIGIL, and Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot System (ETPBS).

    The review meeting was also attended by Shri Umesh Sinha, Senior Deputy Election commissioner, Shri Dhirendra Ojha, Director General and Shri Nikhil Kumar, Director.



  21. ECI organises Debriefing Conference of State Chief Electoral Officers; Nine Working Groups set up on Core issues

    No. ECI/PN/62/2019                                                           Dated: 3rd June, 2019
    Press Note
    ECI organises Debriefing Conference of State Chief Electoral Officers; 
    Nine Working Groups set up on Core issues
    Election  Commission of India organised in New Delhi today a day-long conference of Chief Electoral Officers of all States/UTs. The Officers were invited to deliberate on learnings from the recently concluded General Elections to the Lok Sabha 2019. 
    While lauding the performances of all the CEOs, Chief Election Commissioner Shri Sunil Arora noted that the recent Elections threw up a fair share of challenges for the Officers to strive to conduct free and fair elections. Taking note of diverse unexpected situations like that of Nizamabad unprecedented EVM arrangements, Odisha's challenge amidst inclement weather, etc., CEC complemented the officers of successfully managing the gigantic exercise. Sh Arora asked the State CEOs to particularly now focus on simplification of  processes from voters' perspective. He noted that conducting Elections in a diverse country like India has its specific State wise challenges. He advised the CEOs to suggest ways to strengthen the CEO and DEO offices so as to be able to meet the ever evolving requirements. He asked them to focus on the implementation plan - in particular the action to be taken at various levels i.e. ERO, RO, CEO and ECI Secretariat.

    The Commission has formed Nine working groups of CEOs and Commission Officers covering various facets of election process including Electoral Roll issues,  Polling Stations management, MCC, Voting processes & Materials inventory, Capacity Building, IT applications, Expenditure Management,  SVEEP and Media interface as also Electoral Reforms. All the groups will deliberate on the concerned subjects and will suggest feasible recommendations by August 2019. Individual CEOs would also be submitting their respective State experiences report also.
    Addressing the group, Election Commissioner Shri Ashok Lavasa said while the ECI system has well documented and codified procedures for conducting the Elections, the Officers need to adapt technology in measuring up to expectations of the Voters in achieving ease of registration and facilitate participation particularly. He asked the CEOs to come up with short-term, medium term and long term doable administrative and legal recommendations needed for bettering the Electoral system.
    Election Commissioner Shri Sushil Chandra highlighted the 2019 Election that saw many innovations as also challenges. Shri Chandra said a quantum jump and not just incremental jump is needed to see further improvements in the system. He emphasised that strides made in technology need to be harnessed to make voting not just an inclusive experience but a pleasurable experience. 

    The Commission thanked and congratulated all CEOs, ECI officers, field election staff for successful conduct of GE 2019. It was mentioned that ECI shall provide all resources from IIIDEM for completion of this exercise by the Working Groups.



  22. Conduct of Assembly Election in Jammu and Kashmir

    No. ECI/PN/63/2019                                                           Dated: 4th June, 2019
    Press Note
    Conduct of Assembly Election in Jammu and Kashmir
    Election Commission, under Article 324 of the Constitution and other extant laws/rules etc. have unanimously decided that holding of Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir shall be considered later in this year. The Commission will keep on regularly and on real time basis monitoring the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, taking inputs from all necessary quarters and after the conclusion of Amarnath Yatra will announce the election schedule for the conduct of assembly election in Jammu and Kashmir.



  23. Report of the Committee on Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.

    ECI/PN/3/2019  Dated: 10th January, 2019
    Press Note
    Subject: Report of the Committee on Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
    The task of maintaining campaign silence during last 48 hours before the conclusion of polling is becoming increasingly onerous in the light of the increasing influence of digital media. So, apart from the regulation by law and ECI instructions, the resolve, proactive support and sustained effort by all stake holders which include political parties, media, civil society organizations, academia and educational institutions, the youth and citizens at large, will remain necessary to contain the evil impact.
    2. The Committee constituted under the chairmanship of Sr. Deputy Election Commissioner Sh. Umesh Sinha to review and suggest modifications and changes in the provisions of the Section 126 and other sections of the Representation of the People Act 1951, provisions of Model Code of Conduct and any other ECI instruction in this regard has submitted its report today i.e. on 10th January, 2019 to the Commission.

    3. The Committee had the following scope of work:
    (a) Study and examine the present provisions of the Section 126 and other related Sections of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 and identify difficulties/critical gaps to regulate the violation of the said provisions of the act, particularly during the prohibitory period of 48 hours before the completion of the poll, mentioned in section 126 and suggest necessary amendment/modification.
    (b) Examine the type, category or growth of communication technology or media platform in the country and difficulties in regulating these media platforms during multiphase election when prohibitory period of 48 hours are in force.
    (c) Impact of new media platforms and social media during the prohibitory period of 48 hours before the close of poll and its implication in view of the provisions of section 126.
    (d) Examine the present provisions of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) related to the above issues and suggest modification in this regard.
    4. The Committee set up by the Commission included the representatives of Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology, Ministry of Law & Justice, Press Council of India, News Broadcasters Association apart from senior officers of the Commission.
    5. The Committee had detailed consultations with all major stakeholders including various political parties, nominees/ representatives of the Press Council of India (PCI), the News Broadcasters Association (NBA), the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) as well as representatives of several intermediaries and technology companies including Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube, Twitter, and Google. The Committee also had several rounds of discussions and consultations with the legal and other divisions within the ECI.
    6. The recommendations made by the Committee, when implemented (after adoption by the ECI with necessary modification or additions), will help in minimizing the possible interference of activities which aim at indirectly influencing voters during the valuable silence period of 48 hours provided to them. The recommendations of the Committee will be considered by the Commission in detail for follow up action.



  24. 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.



  25. SVEEP Nodal Officers from across the country meet to deliberate upon the blueprint for the next five years

    No. ECI/PN/64/2019                                                                                                     
    Dated: 13th June, 2019
    Subject: SVEEP Nodal Officers from across the country meet to deliberate upon the blueprint for the next five years
    A two-day National Conference of SVEEP Nodal Officers was organized by the Election Commission of India on June 10-11, 2019 at TERI Retreat in Gurugram to review the strategy and implementation of outreach programmes during Lok Sabha Election 2019 and to chalk out the blueprint for the next 5 years.
    In the Closing Session on 11th June, while congratulating the SVEEP Nodal Officers from the 36 states/UTs for historic voter turnout, lowest ever gender gap in participation and systematic efforts for making elections accessible, Election Commissioner Shri Ashok Lavasa also exhorted the officers to introspect in true spirit on what else could have been done. He implored all to minutely identify the areas of concern and personally visit low turnout areas for better understanding of reason of low participation there. Flagging the gap in registration among the newly eligible 18-19 years old and the participation gap among the 32% of registered populace, Shri Lavasa said that Election Commission shall need to go beyond incremental progress and think of leap frogging for which substantive changes are perhaps needed in many aspect of election management.  Shri Lavasa asked the Officers to reach out to people outside the election machinery to get new ideas that can be incorporated.
    Earlier, Sr. Deputy Election Commissioner Shri Umesh Sinha appreciated the innovations taken up at the grassroot level by election officials. He said that officials should strive to achieve the efficiency where shorter time is taken to register an elector and for a registered elector to cast his or her vote making the entire process smoother and more convenient for the citizen. Shri Sinha also said that along with the quantity, one needs to focus upon improving the quality of electoral participation.
    SVEEP Nodal Officers from across the country gathered to share state experiences, challenges faced, good practices as well as case studies on Day 1. On the second day of the conference, the officers deliberated upon 6 topics viz. Critical Gaps, Accessible Elections, Youth & Gender, Electoral Literacy Clubs, Partnerships & Volunteering and use of Social Media, and chalked out strategy for the next Phase of SVEEP. A special session on Social Media was conducted in the morning on how to effectively engage with the voters on Twitter and Instagram.
    All the points chalked out during the Conference shall be further worked upon to detail out the Phase IV of the SVEEP programme which shall cover the year 2020-2024.



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