Game on: 9-phase polls from April 7, results on May 16

NOTA, photo voting slip to be introduced

GN Bureau | March 5, 2014


Assembly elections in Delhi, December 2013.
Arun Kumar/ Governance Now

It’s just after the annual examinations are held, and it sure is an annual examination for many, many politicians – the most eagerly awaited and anticipated polls in recent history. With chief election commissioner (CEC) VS Sampath announcing the dates for a nine-phase polling – Sampath, in the media conference, called it “poll days” – between April 7 and May 12, the game is well and truly on.

The nine election dates are April 7, 9, 10, 12, 17, 24, 30, and May 7 and 12. The counting will be done on May 16, giving a fortnight at the maximum for formation of the next government.

With the election schedule announced, the model code of conduct for elections comes into force with effect from Wednesday (March 5) itself.

In a first, CEC Sampath announced that voting slips with photos and with polling station details would be used. The slips, Sampath said, would reach the voters’ doorstep three to seven days before his/her constituency goes to the polls.

Like the last few assembly elections, the general elections this summer would have the NOTA facility, giving voters the choice to press the button on “none of the above” candidates if they do not fit the bill. In all, 9.30 lakh polling stations would be set up, which is 12 percent more than the number in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, the CEC said.

On March 9, Sunday, voters can get themselves enrolled across the country. Election officers will verify electoral rolls and allow applications on this day, he said.

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