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Ballot papers not EVMs for presidential poll

delhi Updated: Jul 18, 2012 18:46 IST

Why are ballot papers and not electronic voting machines (EVMs) used in the presidential election as is the norm in parliamentary polls? This is because it is the only election in which each elector has to record his first and second preference vote.

The ballot paper in the presidential poll carries no symbols. There are just two columns, one with the name of the candidates, and the other left empty for voters to record their preferences.

In other polls, an elector casts only one vote for the candidate of his or her choice. In the presidential poll, voters have to write 1 or 2 to indicate their first and second preferences for the contesting candidates.

The use of ballot papers and the preferential vote is also why there is a four-day gap between the voting day and the day on which the result will be declared.

This is because the ballot boxes have to be physically brought to Delhi from the states, which is where the members of the respective assemblies will vote. The voting will take place on Thursday and the counting will be on Sunday.

Members of parliament have the choice of voting either in Delhi or in the state from which they have been elected but they have to take prior permission for this.

During the first round of counting, only the first preference votes are recorded. If any one of the candidates gets more than 50% of the votes, he or she is declared the winner.

In case a clear winner does not emerge in the first round of counting, the second preferences are counted and added to the first preference votes to decide the winner.

The electoral college for the presidential poll consists of elected members of the Lok Sabha, the Rajya Sabha and state assemblies. Nominated members do not have voting rights.

The electoral college of 4,896 - 776 MPs and 4,120 assembly members - has the value of 10,97,000 votes.