Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Appointment of Polling Agents before starting the mock and actual polling

Appointment of Polling Agents before starting the mock and actual polling

The polling agents, who are appointed by contesting candidates, shall be ordinarily resident and electors in the same polling booth or in the alternate from the neighbour polling station falling in the same constituency. Such polling agents must have Elector Photo Identity Cards or any other recognized identification device issued by the Govt or any Govt agency which bears his/her identity.

In case elector, who has been proposed to be appointed as polling agent by the contesting candidate, does not have his Elector Photo Identity Card, the Returning Officer shall make necessary arrangements for issuing of Elector Photo Identity Card to such elector on written request from the concerned contesting candidate or his election agent. You must ensure that all the polling agents display their Elector Photo Identity Cards prominently on their persons on the day of poll for easy and quick identification.

Every polling agent must produce  before  you  the  appointment  letter  in  Form-  10 by which the candidate or his election agent has appointed him. Check that the appointment is for your polling station. After it is confirmed that that polling agent has been appointed for your polling station, the polling agent should complete the document and sign the declaration therein in your presence and then deliver it to you before he can be admitted into the polling station. Preserve all such appointment letters and at the end of the poll send them in a cover to the Returning Officer along with other documents.

In case of any doubt about the genuineness of the appointment letter in the said Form 10 of any polling agent presented before you, you should compare the specimen signature of the candidate/his election agent with their specimen signatures as provided by the Returning Officer.
appointment of agents

ATTENDANCE OF POLLING AGENTS

The polling agents of the candidates should be asked to reach the polling station at least one hour before commencement of poll, so that they are present when you are going through the preliminaries. If any part of these preliminaries has already been gone through and missed by any latecomer, the proceedings need not be commenced de novo (from the very beginning) to accommodate any latecomer.

The law does not specify any time limit for the appointment of polling agents and even if a polling agent turns up late at a polling station, he should be allowed to participate in the further proceedings at the polling station.

A ‘polling agents/ relieving agents movement sheet’ should be maintained at each polling station, in which each and every polling agent shall be required to sign

indicating the time at which he/she came to polling station and also when left the polling station. Presiding Officer should handover this sheet after poll at the EVM reception centre along with other documents. A sample of ‘polling agent/relieving agent’s movement sheet’ is available at ANNEXURE 17.
The telephone nos. of RO/AROs/Key Police Officers/Sector Officers/Control room shall be displayed at the polling stations so that if polling agents have any complaint they can call them for immediate intervention

PASSES FOR POLLING AGENTS

Each candidate can appoint one polling agent and two relief polling agents at each polling station. However, only one polling agent of a candidate should be allowed inside the polling station at any given  point of time.  Give  every polling agent, who  is admitted into the polling station, a permit or entry pass on the authority of which he can come in and go out of the polling station as may be necessary. However, it should be ensured that the polling agents do not take the copy of the electoral roll outside the polling station. Further, the polling agents may be allowed to go out of the polling stations even after 3.00 pm to attend the nature’s call, etc. and come back inside the polling station. However, it may be ensured that only the polling agent or his substitute can be present inside the polling station at a time. The Presiding Officer shall brief the polling agents to remain present in the polling station till the voting is over to oversee the sealing procedure of EVMs and sign the declaration, etc. As per the standing instructions of the Commission, polling agents shall not be allowed to take cellular phones, cordless phones, wireless set etc., in any case inside the polling stations. Under no circumstances the agent can be allowed to send slips outside indicating the sl.no of the voters have voted or not voted. (464/INST/2014/EPS dated 5th May, 2014)

SEATING ARRANGEMENT OF POLLING AGENTS IN THE POLLING STATION

The set-up of polling station should be made in such a way that the polling agents are seated inside the polling stations so that they may see the face of an elector as and when he enters the polling station so that they can challenge the identity of the elector, if needed. They should also be able to watch entire operation inside the polling station including his/her movement to the Voting Compartment and his/her exit from the polling station after recording his/her vote. But they should not, in any event,   be seated in a place where they have the chance of seeing voter actually recording his/her vote which would compromise secrecy of voting. For this purpose, it will be preferable if you give the polling agents seats closely behind the Polling Officer in- charge of marked copy of the electoral roll. Wherever this is not practicable because of the situation of the door for entrance, they may be given seat just opposite the Polling Officers.




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