Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Over 77 lakh voters in Uttarakhand to vote on April 11
Over 77.17 lakh voters of the state will cast their ballot in 2019 Lok Sabha elections on April 11 through electronic voting machines (EVMs) with deployment of voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) across 11,235 polling stations.
For the first time, photograph of the contesting candidate will also be printed on the ballot paper along with the name and election symbol.
Chief electoral officer (CEO) of the state Saujanya said around one lakh officials will be employed across the state on the date of polling to ensure the process is carried out smoothly. She said model code of conduct (MCC) has come into force from 5 pm on Sunday. “No government official or minister will be allowed to use their official vehicle for traveling anywhere apart from their official residence to office and back during the MCC. Until and unless a law and order situation arises or a disaster occurs, there shall be no exceptions for anyone,” said the CEO.
Voters will not be allowed to cast their vote with just the voter slip. They will be required to produce their Electors Photo Identity Card (EPIC) or any other identification document, including passport, Aadhar card, bank passbook and others, in order to vote.
Saujanya said orders have also been issued to officials to ensure that any political advertisements from government property in the state are removed with 24 hours. For public property such as roads, the deadline for clearing the ads is 48 hours while for political ads or symbols placed on private property without permission, the officials must remove it within three days since the implantation of MCC.
Reserve EVMs have also been arranged for the polls. “In case an area with no booth has more than 1,400 voters, an auxiliary booth will be set up. We have also arranged for 1,100 vehicles for reserve EVMs. Their movement will be tracked through GPS,” Saujanya said.
Despite the early date of poll in the state, the CEO said no polling stations are expected to be covered in snow. “In case there is difficulty for voters to reach any particular station, air transport facility will be provided,” she said.
Important dates for Lok Sabha elections 2019 in Uttarakhand
Instructions have been issued to the police to ensure the protection of voters belonging to SC, ST, OBC and economically weaker sections, Saujanya said. “There will be CCTV cameras at every polling booth. We will be live streaming the broadcast from 10% of the booths through webcasting. Areas with connectivity problem will record the CCTV coverage, which will be checked later,” she added.
For the first time, contesting candidates with criminal antecedents are required to publish information about their criminal background thrice during the campaigning time through print and electronic media. The election commission has also made it mandatory for the candidates to submit their income tax returns of last five years with their affidavit.
Candidates are also required to maintain a separate bank account for election spending. The cap for spending is Rs 70 lakh per parliamentary constituency.
She said candidates have been advised to avoid campaign material made of plastic or polythene in a bid to have eco-friendly elections.