Bihar Assembly Election 2020: How to cast votes using EVM, VVPAT and all you need to know
The Bihar assembly elections 2020 are all set to begin as 71 of the state’s 243 assembly constituencies will go to polls in the first of three phases on October 28. 94 constituencies will undergo polling in the second phase, on November 3, while voting in the remaining 78 seats will take place in the third and final phase, on November 7.
Counting of votes, meanwhile, will take place on November 10, as per a schedule announced by the Election Commission of India (ECI), last month.
With the elections set to commence, here’s all you need to know:
Voting to take place through EVMs and VVPATs: How votes are cast
Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) were introduced in 1982 and have been used to conduct general and assembly elections. The Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) was added later to the EVMs. It provides the voter with a visual verification after the vote has been cast.
An EVM has two parts: a control unit with the polling officer, and a balloting unit inside the voting compartment where voters can cast their votes.
Using the EVM’s control unit, the polling officer releases a ballot, enabling the voter to press the button on the balloting unit against the candidate and party symbol of their choice. Once this is done, the VVPAT generates a paper slip for the voter to verify if their vote has been cast correctly.
During counting of votes, the printed VVPAT slips from five randomly selected polling stations in each assembly constituency are matched with the EVM results. It is only on the completion of the VVPAT matching process, that the final result for a constituency is declared.
Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961, mandate that if there’s a discrepancy between the EVM results and the VVPAT count, the printed paper slips count is taken as final.
Who all can vote?
Any citizen of India, who is a permanent domicile of Bihar and was at least 18 years old as on January 1, 2020, is eligible to vote. Being a domicile means one is an ordinary resident of a place, and is not living there for business or education.
Also, one should not be disqualified from enrolling as a voter. Only those with ‘unsound’ mind or declared as such by a competent court, or disqualified due to ‘corrupt practices’ or offences relating to elections cannot be registered in the electoral rolls.
Steps to be followed while casting votes
(1.) Carry one of the government-issued Identity cards (Aadhaar card, driving license etc.) and voter slip to the polling station. Voter slip is either given at booth or generated using voter helpline app.
(2.) Since the polls are being held amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, voters will be asked to stand in queue maintaining social distancing.
(3.) A physician will take voters’ temperature at the polling booth. Further, gloves shall also be given to voters.
(4.) Instead of issuing a ballot paper, the polling officer presses the ballot button on the EVM, thus enabling the voters to cast their votes.
(5.) The list of candidates will be displayed on the EVM and have a blue button next to it.
(6.) To vote, the voters have to simply press the button next to the name of the candidate whom they wish to vote for.
(7.) After voting, voters will have to dispose used gloves in a dustbin and sanitise hands before exiting the polling station.