The district election authorities said on Monday that a voter is entitled to cast a ‘tender vote’ if he or she finds out that someone has already cast a vote in their name. Tender votes are cast on ballot papers that are then sealed and locked away.
“It was seen that when some voters found on reaching the polling booth that someone had already voted in their name, they would get agitated and go back. However, such voters can cast a tender vote, which is their right under election laws,” Kumar Vineet, additional district magistrate and deputy district election officer, said on Monday.
“If the first polling officer tells a voter on reaching the polling station that their vote has already been cast, they must bring this to the attention of the presiding officer immediately,” he added.
The law allows such a voter to cast a “tendered vote”. A tendered ballot paper, as per Rule 49P of the Conduct of Elections Rules, will be given to that voter and they will be required to sign their name on the list of tendered votes.
A tendered ballot paper is the same as the ballot paper displayed on the balloting unit, except that it shall be endorsed on the back with the words, “Tendered Ballot Paper” either stamped by the returning officer or written by the presiding officer at the time of issuing it.
“After marking their choice of candidate with the help of the arrow cross mark rubber stamp, the voter should hand over the tendered ballot paper to the presiding officer, who will keep it in a separate cover. In such a case, the voter will not cast their vote on the EVM,” said Vineet.
“Further, in case their identity as a voter is challenged by a polling agent of any candidate on the grounds that they are not the person whose name is listed on the rolls, the presiding officer will ask the challenger to provide evidence in proof of his claim,” he added.
“Similarly, the presiding officer will ask the voter for proof of their identity. They can use their EPIC or any other supporting document such as passport or ration card for this purpose. If the challenge is not established, the voter will be allowed to vote. However, if the challenge is established, the voter will be barred from voting and handed over to the police with a written complaint from the presiding officer,” the ADM added.