In a democratic government, every vote counts and each voter is equally valuable! India is the largest democracy in the world and our Lok Sabha has 543 elected seats. A party needs a minimum of 272 seats to form a majority government. All Indian citizens above the age of eighteen can and must vote!
In the run up to the 2019 General Elections in India, here are five important things you should know!
Who are people voting for?
The elections are held for Members of Parliament (MPs) at the national level, for Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) at the state level, and for councillors of municipal corporations at the local level.
How are elections conducted?
Elections now happen at polling booths using Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), which come with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines. The VVPAT ensures that the voting process is transparent by allowing voters to verify that their vote has gone to the intended candidate.
What about ballot boxes?
The original method of voting involved ballot boxes and ballot papers. Ballot boxes are sealed containers with a single slit. The voter marks their choice of candidate on the ballot paper, which has a list of all the candidates, and inserts the paper into the ballot box. This method is still used in some places but has largely been replaced by EVMs.
What is indelible ink?
When a voter goes to a polling booth to vote, a spot of ink is applied on the left forefinger of the voter as an indicator that the person has cast their vote. Indelible ink does not fade away for days, so the same voter cannot vote twice. This prevents voter fraud.
What is NOTA?
When a voter feels that they do not want to vote for any of the candidates running for the elections, they have the right to cast a negative vote. In the ballot and paper system, this is done by informing the presiding officer at the booth and casting their vote on a separate paper ballot paper. The EVMs now have NOTA as an option at the end of the candidate list.
There are many more such interesting facts about elections. You can read about them in RobinAge's latest book, Elections in India: Everything You Need to Know published by HarperCollins! Buy the book: amzn.to/2ROSprN