Nearly 90 crore electors are set to vote in the general election starting 11 April in the world’s largest democratic exercise, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking a second straight term.
The election will be conducted in seven phases until 19 May and votes will be counted on 23 May.
The ECI has set up about 1 million polling stations in the country, 10 percent higher than the last election. ECI guidelines say no voter should be more than 2 kilometres away from a polling station.
For such a mammoth exercise, nearly 5 million government officials and security forces were deployed in the last election, travelling by foot, road, special trains, helicopters, boats, and sometimes, elephants. Here is a list of EC officials and other persons required to be in a polling station during voting to ensure smooth polling:
First Polling Officer
The first Polling Officer is in charge of the marked copy of the electoral roll and for identifying electors. When an elector enters the polling station, he/she will proceed directly to this officer. The voter can proceed further only after the first Polling Officer is satisfied with the identity of the voter. The officer has to ensure that electors produce EPIC or any of the other identification document as specified by the EC.
Second Polling Officer
The second Polling Officer handles the indelible ink. After the voter has been identified, the second Polling Officer inspects the voter’s forefinger on the left hand to see that there is no trace of indelible ink. The officer then applies the indelible ink on the voter’s left hand forefinger as a line with the help of a brush from the top end of the nail to the bottom of the first joint of the finger.
The second Polling Officer is also in charge of Register of Voters in Form 17A. He/she is responsible for ensuring a proper account of electors who have been identified and who vote at the polling booth. Before each elector is allowed to vote, the officer will issue a voter’s slip after he enters the elector’s details in the Register of Voters. It has to be ensured that the indelible mark dries up by the time the voter leaves the polling booth. The officer takes the signature or thumb impression of the voter in the register only after the indelible ink is applied.
Third Polling Officer
The third Polling Officer is in charge of the control unit of the electronic voting machine (EVM). He/she is seated on the same table as the second Polling Officer and allows the elector to proceed to the voting compartment on the basis of the voter's slip issued. He/she also ensures that the indelible ink is intact on the elector’s forefinger before letting him/her go into the voting compartment.
The officer should also monitor the VVPAT Status Control Unit (VDSU) where M2 or M2-M3 VVPATs are used.
The Presiding Officer is responsible for setting up the Polling Station and conduct a mock poll before the polling commences. He/she has to ensure that voting compartments are properly arranged and cables connecting balloting units and VVPATs to their respective Control Units are clearly visible. The Presiding Officer is also responsible for ensuring the polling begins and ends at the fixed time and that there is no delay. He/she should also keep an eye on voters, making sure no one goes away without voting. He/she also has to periodically check that ballot units and VVPATs have not been tampered with. The officer also seals the EVMs and election records and hands them over to the Returning Officer at the reception centre.
It is a special job profile created under the EC guidelines where the micro observer reports deviations in the polling process in the polling station to the General Observer of the constituency. They are appointed in sensitive polling areas.
Digital Camera Person
A digital camera person is engaged in polling stations specifically directed by the EC. The person has to capture “all electors coming to cast votes not having EPIC /other ECI approved photo identity card […] in the same sequence as they are entered in Form 17 A.” The photographs are to be taken immediately after entry. The Presiding Officer has to ensure there is no photography in the voting compartment. The photographer is also responsible for capturing the mock poll, last voter in the queue, visit of sector officers, observers and other electoral functionaries.
Updated Date: Apr 10, 2019 09:19:56 IST