Lok Sabha polls to be held on 9 days between April 7 to May 12, counting on May 16

Elections in Mumbai and surrounding constituencies
 to be held on April 24.
Election Commission today announced the schedule for Lok Sabha elections 2014.
Polling for Lok Sabha elections to be held on April 7, 9, 10, 12, 17, 24, 30 and May 7, 12 of 2014 across India.
Elections in Maharashtra to be held on April 10, 17 and 24;  Goa on 17th April
Elections to 9 parliamentary constituencies in Mumbai, Thane, Kalyan and Bhiwandi  to be held on April 24.
Counting of votes will take place for all the constituencies on  Friday, May 16, 2014
Issue of Notification for Mumbai and neighbourhood constituencies is March 29 ; Last date for filing nominations  – April 5;  Scrutiny of nominations – April 7;  Last date for withdrawal of candidature – April 9, 2014.
Elections to be held for 543 Lok Sabha constituencies across India.
Security, exam schedule, weather and harvesting season kept in view while deciding poll schedule – CEC
Total number of eligible voters is 81.4 crores. Increase in electorate of more than 10 crores since 2009 General Elections.
Approximately 9 lakh 30 thousand polling stations to be used for the General Elections.
Location and address of polling booth to be delivered at voter’s doorstep
Photo voter slips to be used for the first time.
Special camps to be held on Sunday, March 9 at all polling booths, to give eligible citizens one last chance to enrol themselves as voters.
Systematic Voter Education &Electoral Participation (SVEEP) measures to be intensified for more voter participation;  CEC says enhanced participation will contribute to a vibrant democracy.
Basic minimum facilities, like drinking water, shade, ramp etc to be offered in polling booths.
11 million strong election machinery to be deployed ; Adequate number of General, Expenditure, Police and Awareness observers to be deployed
Model Code of Conduct to come into force immediately; Will remain  in force for 72 days
For more information on elections in India and Maharashtra kindly visit
www.eci.nic.in  (Election Commission of India)
www.ceo.maharashtra.gov.in  (Chief Electoral Officer, Maharashtra)

EVMs make India an e-democracy

Instant Feedback To Voters Through VVPAT

Model Code of Conduct & its evolution

Mark on Finger; A Moment of Pride

SVEEP – helping to increase voter participation

EVMs make India an e-democracy

Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) has become the leitmotif of the world’s largest democratic

exercise and is getting smarter with each avatar. EVMs are being used in Indian General and

State Elections to implement electronic voting in part from 1999 elections and in total since

2004 elections. The EVMs reduce the time in both casting a vote and declaring the results

compared to the old paper ballot system. Bogus voting and booth capturing can be greatly

reduced by the use of EVMs. Illiterate people find EVMs easier than ballot paper system. They

are also easier to transport compared to ballot boxes.

EVMs were first used in 50 polling stations of Parur Assembly Constituency of Kerala in

May 1982. These machines could not be used after 1983 after a Supreme Court ruling that

necessitated legal backing for the use of Voting machines in elections.

India turned into an e-democracy in General Elections 2004 when 10.75 lakh EVMs were used

across all polling Stations in the country. Since then, all elections were conducted by EVMs .

Salient Features of EVMs:

• It is tamper proof & simple to operate

• Program which controls the functioning of the control unit is burnt into a micro chip

on a “one time programmable basis”. Once burnt it cannot be read, copied out or


• Eliminates the possibility of invalid votes, makes the counting process faster and

• An EVM can be used in areas without electricity as it runs on alkaline batteries.

• Elections can be conducted through EVMs if the number of candidates does not

• An EVM can record a maximum number of 3840 votes.

Instant Feedback To Voters Through VVPAT

Voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) is a method of providing feedback to voters using

a ballot less voting system. VVPAT is intended as an independent verification system for

electronic voting machines that allows voters to verify that their votes are cast as intended and

can serve as an additional barrier to changing or destroying votes.

Under VVPAT, a printer-like apparatus is linked to Electronic Voting Machine (EVM). When

a vote is cast, a receipt is generated showing the serial number, name and symbol of the

candidate. It confirms the vote and the voter can verify the details. The receipt, once viewed,

goes inside a container linked to the EVM and can only be accessed by the election officers in

rarest of rare cases. The system allows a voter to challenge his or her vote on basis of the paper

receipt for the first time.


Model Code of Conduct & its evolution

Free and fair elections form the bed rock of democracy. This envisages a level playing field

for the contestants and an equal opportunity for all parties for presenting their policies and

programmes to voters. In this context the Model Code of Conduct(MCC) gains relevance.

The MCC intends to provide a level playing field for all political parties, keep the campaign

fair and healthy, avoid clashes and conflicts between parties, and ensure peace and order. It

aims to ensure that the ruling party, either at the Centre or in the states, does not misuse its

official position to gain an unfair advantage in an election. Model Code of Conduct is a major

contribution of Indian electoral system to the cause of democracy.

The MCC is a set of norms for conduct and behavior on the part of the Parties and candidates,

that has been evolved with the consensus of the political parties. The origin of the MCC dates

back to 1960 when the MCC started as a small set of Dos and Don’ts for the Assembly election

in Kerala in 1960. The Code covered conducting of election meetings/processions, speeches,

slogans, posters and placards. In 1962 Lok Sabha Elections, the Election Commission circulated

this code to all the recognized political parties and the state governments were requested to

secure the acceptance of the Code by the Parties

In 1979, Election Commission, in consultation with the political parties further amplified the

code, adding a new Section placing restrictions on the “Party in power” so as to prevent cases of

abuse of position of power to get undue advantage over other parties and candidates. In 1991,

the code was consolidated and re-issued in its present form, when T N Seshan was the Chief

Election Commissioner.

The present code contains guidelines for general conduct of political parties and candidates.

Ministers and those holding public offices are not allowed to combine official visits with

electioneering tours. Issue of advertisements at the cost of public exchequer is prohibited.

Grants, new schemes / projects cannot be announced. It is through such restrictions that the

advantage of being in power is blunted and the contestants get the opportunity to fight on more

or less equal terms. The Model Code of Conduct remains in force from the date of announcement

of elections till the completion of elections.

Model Code of Conduct is not a hindrance to developmental activities. Contrary to popular

belief, even during the short period when MCC is in operation, the ongoing development

activities are not stopped . However, only new projects which have not taken off on the ground

have to be deferred till the completion of elections. Even here, if there is any work that cannot

wait for any reason, the matter can be referred to the Commission for clearance.

Mark on Finger; A Moment of Pride

Popularly known as Voter’s Ink, indelible ink is a special dye based on silver nitrate. It is

used to mark on voter’s finger during elections to avoid fraudulent, multiple voting and other

malpractices. It is not an ordinary ink, once it is applied on the finger it remains for few months.

In India, the the Mysore Paints and Varnish Limited (MPVL) the Government of Karnataka

undertaking has the exclusive right to manufacture indelible ink to be used during elections.

MVPL developed the ink in consultation with the Election Commission of India, and got the

licence from the National Research Development Corporation, New Delhi in 1962.

The indelible ink is supplied in vials having volumes of 5 ml, 7.5 ml, 20 ml, 50 ml and 80 ml. A 5

ml vial can be used for about 300 voters. Plans are afoot to manufacture marker pens containing

this ink for easy usage.

Mysore Paints and Varnish also exports indelible ink to 28 other countries, including Thailand,

Singapore, Malaysia, Nigeria, South Africa and Egypt.

SVEEP – helping to increase voter participation

SVEEP, an acronym for Systematic Voter Education and Electoral Participation, is a land mark

initiative by the Election Commission of India to increase voter participation, especially the

participation of youth voters in the election process.

During the last three years, voter registration, especially among youth, has gone up from 10-15

percent to 30-35 percent and almost all the state assembly elections held since 2010, recorded

high voter turnout with greater participation from youth and women.

In simple terms, SVEEP is a range of policy initiatives and activities intend to improve people’s

participation in the electoral process. With a sense of urgency to highlight the issue of low

electoral awareness and low voter turnout issue, ECI chose the theme, “Greater Participation

for a Stronger Democracy” for its Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2010. Since then it has been

taking up activities to remove gaps in information, motivation and facilitation and in turn

increase voter turnout in elections to Legislative Assemblies to many states.

The Election Commission collaborated with educational institutions and youth organizations

like NYKS, NSS, NCC to particularly tap the new voters in the age group of 18-19yrs, promote

greater awareness amongst youth and students about electoral process and to seek their

assistance in facilitating voter registration. It also collaborated with Central and State

Government Departments like the departments of health, education, WCD, Cooperatives,

Welfare etc., so that these departments can extend their existing infrastructure and manpower

(field functionaries) for electoral education and outreach.

In 2013 ECI signed a MoU with NLMA (National Literacy Mission Authority) after which

electoral literacy has become a major component of the Sakshar Bharat Programme of the

Government of India.

ECI appointed national and state icons from various fields to boost the awareness programme

and motivate the voters. Former Indian President Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam, M S Dhoni, Saina

Nehwal and M C Mary Kom are the national icons, associated with SVEEP initiatives. Under

the banner of SVEEP, a series of outreach measures like marathons, rallies, processions, quiz

competitions, film screening, declamation contests, street play, SMSes and helplines were

conducted so far to promote voting. The gaps in the electoral process like youth disconnect,

urban apathy and subdued ethical voting campaign are being filled by SVEEP activities.

The five states that went to poll during October – November 2013 recorded 4-9 per cent

increase in polling percentage, some of hit as direct outcome of SVEEP initiatives.