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Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Step-by-step polling guide for first-time voters

Apr 18, 2024 04:22 PM IST

Ahead of the first phase of polling on April 19 (Friday), here's a step-by-step guide for first-time voters.

The first of the seven phases of the 18th Lok Sabha elections will take place on April 19 (Friday). As per the schedule announced by the Election Commission of India, the second phase will be held on April 26, the third phase on May 7, the fourth on May 13, the fifth phase on May 20, the sixth phase on May 25, and the last on June 1. The counting of votes will be held on June 4.

Election staff check the Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) at a polling station ahead of the first phase of polling on Friday.(Reuters)
Election staff check the Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) at a polling station ahead of the first phase of polling on Friday.(Reuters)

In addition to the 544 Lok Sabha seats, four states – Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, and Sikkim—will conduct their state elections concurrently.

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Here's a step-by-step polling guide for first-time voters:

Eligibility to vote:

Ensure that your name is listed in the voter's list, which you can verify through the electoral registration officer of your locality. You can also check your name on the Election Commission's website.

Required documents:

To cast a vote, one should have any of the following documents as identity proof:

Voter ID card, Aadhar card, PAN card, Driving license, Passport, Bank/Post office passbook with a photo, Pension document with photograph, MNREGA job card, Smart card issued by RGI under NPR, Service identity cards with photographs issued to employees by central/state govt./PSU/public limited company, Health insurance smart cards issued under the scheme of the Ministry of Labour, and official identity cards issued to MPs/MLAs/MLCs, etc.

Voting process:

  • Locate your polling booth: On the Election Commission's website, enter the EPIC number on your voter ID card to find out which polling booth in your assembly segment you are to vote at.
  • Verification process: At the polling booth, a polling officer will verify your name on the voter list and request your ID proof.
  • Inking and documentation: After verification, your index finger will be inked, and you’ll receive an acknowledgement slip. You will also be asked to sign on a register.
  • Proceeding to the polling booth: Hand the slip to the next polling officer, display your inked finger, and enter the polling booth.
  • Casting your vote: Inside the polling booth, you’ll see the Electronic Voting Machine. Press the button corresponding to the symbol of your preferred candidate. A beep sound would confirm your selection.
  • Verification via VVPAT: A slip will appear on the VVPAT machine displaying the serial number, name, and election symbol of your chosen candidate.
  • NOTA option: If none of the candidates align with your choice, you have the option to select ‘None of the Above’ (NOTA) at the bottom of the EVM.

With this, you can now confidently participate in the democratic process.

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