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  1. 1,466 downloads

    No. ECI/PN/38/2021 Dated: 27th March, 2021 PRESS NOTE Polling for Phase 1 Assam and West Bengal Assembly Constituencies conducted peacefully & successfully The first phase of Assam and West Bengal Assembly Elections was conducted successfully across 21825 Polling Stations spread over 77 Assembly Constituencies today. The Commission has laid great emphasis on ensuring transparent and vigilant mechanism for inducement and intimidation free elections. The first phase of elections were conducted for 30 Assembly Constituencies in West Bengal. Nearly 74 lakh electorates across 10,288 Polling Stations are registered to exercise their franchise in this phase. Voting was held in 47 Assembly Constituencies of Assam with a total of 81lakh electorates registered across 11,537 Polling Stations. The number of Polling Stations has increased in view of the fact that the number of voters per polling station has been reduced from 1500 to 1000 keeping social distancing norms in view. As a major push in conducting free and fair elections, live monitoring and webcasting mechanism for more than 50% of Polling Stations including critical and vulnerable polling booths was put in place to ensure safe and secure atmosphere in polling areas. Commission, CEOs, DEOs, Observers could watch live streaming and keep a close watch on these polling booths in Assam and West Bengal. Webcasting arrangements were put in place for 5392 Polling Stations in West Bengal and 5039 Polling Stations in Assam. As an initiative towards inclusive and accessible elections, the option of postal ballot facility has been extended to PwDs, Senior Citizens above the age of 80 years, COVID-19 suspect or affected persons and persons employed in essential services. The Observers were specifically asked to oversee arrangements for facilitation of these voters. For handholding and for guidance of the poll going states the Commission also directed Special Observers to have additional role in supervising deployment of forces and their randomization for poll duties. All the Polling Stations were directed to follow COVID-19 Safety protocols. Accordingly it was ensured that the Polling Stations were sanitized one day prior to poll and facility of thermal scanning, hand sanitisers, face masks were also made available at the Polling Stations. Proper arrangements for social distancing were put in place. Nodal Health Officers have been designated for State, district and Assembly Constituencies to oversee COVID-19 related arrangements and preventive measures during the entire electoral process. All the 21825 Polling Stations of phase-1 in Assam and West Bengal, have been equipped with Assured Minimum Facilities (AMF) of drinking water, waiting shed, toilet with water facility, adequate arrangements for lighting, ramp of appropriate gradient for wheelchair for PwD electors and a standard voting compartment etc were made available at all the Polling Stations. All arrangements like transport facility, volunteers assisting Persons with Disability and senior citizens have also been put in place. During this phase, a total of 10288 Ballot Units (BUs), 10288 Control Units(CUs) and 10288 VVPATs were used in West Bengal and 11,537 Ballot Units (BUs), 11,537 Control Units (CUs) and 11,537 VVPATs were used in Assam. As per standard procedure all these EVMs and VVPATs had already undergone First Level Checking, Randomisation, and Commissioning in the presence of Political Parties/Candidates agents. During FLC and during commissioning each of these EVMs and VVPATs had undergone mock polls. Today before the start of the poll each of the EVMs and VVPATs again underwent a mock poll in the presence of polling agents of the candidates with minimum 50 votes cast on each, as per standard procedure. At the end of the mock poll the result of EVM were matched with the result of VVPAT slips and shown to the polling agents. Nonfunctioning rate during the poll is lesser than experienced in last few polls. Since the date of notification of Election till first phase, record seizure of Rs. 281.28 Crore has already been achieved for both the states. The seizure figure, which includes seizure of cash, liquor, narcotics, freebies etc, is more than four times higher than the total combined seizure of Rs. 60.91 Crore in GE LA 2016. The Commission has been laying specific emphasis on inducement free elections and curbing the malaise of undue money power, liquor, freebies. Till date Rs. 97.31crore has been seized in Assam (as against a total seizure of Rs. 16.58crore in LA 2016) and a total of 183.97crores for West Bengal (as against a total seizure of Rs 44.33crore in LA 2016). Total 53 & 85 Expenditure Observers have been deployed in Assam & West Bengal Assembly Elections, 2021 respectively for effective monitoring. In Assam, 603 Flying Squads (FS) and 762 Static Surveillance Teams (SST) were operationalised to check movement of cash, liquor, drugs & freebies. The figures of FS & SST deployed in West Bengal are 1137 & 1012 respectively. In Assam, 06 Air Intelligence Units (AIU) of IT Department are set up at Guwahati, Dibrugarh, Jorhat, Silchar, Tezpur & Lakhimpur. In West Bengal, 03 Air Intelligence Units (AIU) of IT Department are set up at Kolkata, Andal in Durgapur & Bagdogra. Election Commission of India’s Cvigil App is a citizen centric mobile application which empowers people to report cases of MCC violations in real time basis, with auto populated details of location etc and responded within 100 minutes after verification at field level. Today a total number of 167 cases of Model Code of Conduct violations were reported through the cVIGIL app from West Bengal out of which 111 were disposed as of 4.30 pm. Similarly 582 cases were reported from Assam with 423 disposed till 4.30 pm. Election Commission of India expresses gratitude to all stakeholders specially the voters for their enthusiastic and fearless participation in the election process today. Commission particularly thanks PwD electors, senior citizens, service voters for taking part in elections honoring COVID protocol norms. The voter turnout reported by 5pm from the 30 AC of phase 1 in West Bengal is 79.79%. The poll Percentage reported from the 47 ACs of phase 1 in Assam is 72.14% as of 5pm. ECI also recognizes the services of the entire electoral machinery including polling staff on duty, security personnel, supervisory staff, Observers, Special Observers railway authorities, enforcement agencies as also the Health authorities for making comprehensive arrangements and dedicatedly working towards successful conduct of free, fair, transparent and safe elections despite pandemic. The Commission solicits active cooperation, close collaboration and constructive partnership from all stakeholders including media for delivering smooth and peaceful elections.
  2. 406 downloads

    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.
  3. 352 downloads

    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’.
  4. 9,208 downloads

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

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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