Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Responsibility of the Presiding Officer on the day of polling, before the day of polling and after polling

Responsibility of the Presiding Officer on the day of polling, before the day of polling and after Polling

On receiving the appointment letter which will be issued by the DEO after formation of polling party, familiarization with the other members of the polling parties and maintenance the close relation with them. Ensure replacement for absent polling party member from reserve.

Read carefully the different forms statutory and non statutory as given in the PRO Hand Book.
Take the training attentively there should be no confusion about the functions, forms and envelops. If any doubt get clarified from RO/ARO.

Finding names of polling officers for that polling station as member of polling party. If any body is absent then ensure appointment of other out of reserve polling personnel. Contact with members of polling party for that polling station. Attending training session is also ensuring last minute EVM hands on skill.

Contact with Zonal Magistrate for guidance and help in departing for polling station in designated vehicle through pre decided route and check post.

ON THE DAY PREVIOUS TO THE DAY OF POLL

  1. On the day of dispatch of polling party ensure to collect the polling materials for use at the polling station. Ensure that-
  2. The control unit and balloting unit(s) given to you pertain to your polling station. Compare the machine number inscribed on the metal label and the adhesive sticker and also verify the PS no indicated on the sticker compared with PS no. mentioned in the address tag before accepting the EVM. Discrepancy if any shall be brought to the notice of the officer in charge of dispatch arrangement and is reconciled.
  3. The ‘C and Set Section’ of control unit is duly sealed and address tag is firmly attached thereto.
  4. The battery in the control unit is fully operational. Remember to switch off the battery after checking the Control Unit.
  5. The balloting unit(s) has been duly sealed and address tags are firmly attached, both at the top and bottom right portion.
  6. The appropriate ballot paper has been affixed on each balloting unit and is properly aligned under the ballot paper screen.
  7. The slide switch has been set to the appropriate position in each balloting unit.
  8. All the items of polling materials mentioned in Annexure 1 of the Hand Book of Presiding Officers have been supplied in required quantity;
  9. Check up the serial numbers of paper seals;

presiding officers duty

Check up the electoral roll to ensure that:

  1. the copies of the supplements are given,
  2. the part number of the roll and the supplement is correctly given,
  3. page numbers in the working copies of the roll are given serially,
  4. the printed serial numbers of voters are not corrected and no new numbers are substituted for them,
  5. all deletions of names and corrections of clerical or other errors as per the supplements have been incorporated.
  6. Tendered votes should be available for the same AC.
  7. Photo copies of specimen signatures of the contesting candidates and their election agents. This will be helpful in verifying genuineness of signature of the candidates in the appointment letter of the Polling Agent at the polling station.
  8. Other important polling material like dummy card board EVM, stamp pad, green paper seal, strip seal, statutory forms, register of voters (Form 17A), Form 17C etc.,.


If you are the Presiding Officer for a polling booth situated in a building having upto two polling booths you will be provided an alphabetical list of electors of your part.
List of absentee/missing voters, communication plan & vulnerable polling station/hamlets will also be provided to you.

On the arrival at polling booth ensure display of notice specifying the polling area and the number of electors assigned and also a copy of the list of contesting candidates.
Referral image sheet will be provided to facilitate identification of voters.

The voting machine and the polling materials entrusted to you should remain in your custody throughout, till the poll is completed and the voting machine and the materials are handed over back by you. Either you or one of the Polling Officers selected by you should remain in the polling station in charge of the voting machine and polling materials from the moment you arrive there. The voting machine and polling materials should not be left in the custody of the Police Guard on duty at the polling station or any person other than yourself or a Polling Officer selected by you.

DURING THE HOURS OF POLL

Ensure that the polling starts sharp at the appointed time. Even if all formalities have not been completed, admit voters in the polling station at the appointed time.

DECLARATION BY THE PRESIDING OFFICER BEFORE COMMENCEMENT OF THE POLL

Presiding Officer is required to read out a declaration prescribed by the Commission in Annexure XXXIII before the commencement of the poll. The Presiding Officer should read out the declaration aloud to the hearing of all people present in the polling station and sign the declaration. He should also obtain thereon the signatures of such of the polling agents as are present and are willing to affix the same. If any polling agent declines to affix his signature on the declaration, the Presiding Officer should record the name of such polling agent in that declaration.

WARNING ABOUT SECRECY OF VOTING

Before commencing the poll, the Presiding Officer should also explain to all present the provisions of section 128 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 regarding their duty to maintain the secretary of the vote and warn them of the penalty for any breach thereof.
Visit sheet shall be maintained as prescribed by the Commission.

NOTA (NONE OF THE ABOVE)

If any elector who wish to exercise the option of not voting for any of the contesting candidates in the fray, he/she can opt for “NOTA -None of the Above”. This button will be as last button of balloting unit below the panel for the contesting candidates. If any elector asks about NOTA, the P.O. shall explain the elector and allow franchising his/her option.

While poll is in progress, unusual complex cases are likely to crop up. Deal with them yourself leaving the Polling Officers' to carry on their normal duties. Such cases will be–
  1. Challenge to a voter (Chapter XVIII),
  2. Voting by minors (Chapter XVIII),
  3. Voting by blind or infirm voters (Chapter XXII),
  4. Voters deciding not to vote (Chapter XXIII),
  5. Tendered votes (Chapter XXVII),
  6. Breach of secrecy of voting (Chapter XXI),
  7. Disorderly conduct at the booth and removal of disorderly persons (Chapter XVII),
  8. Adjournment of poll because of riot or any other cause (Chapter XXVIII).

CLOSING THE POLL

  1. The Presiding Officer should ensure that the poll is duly closed at the end of the polling hour, as per the prescribed voting procedures. After the last voter has voted as per the above procedure, he should press CLOSE BUTTON of the Control Units for both the Elections. After prescribed Forms have been carefully and duly filled for both the elections, he should disconnect the Ballot Units from the Control Units and seal them in their respective carrying cases. In the case of simultaneous election, the papers should be prepared and sealed separately.
  2. At simultaneous election the Presiding Officer should ensure that the carrying cases of all the units have identity stickers of the concerned elections prominently pasted on the outside. He should also ensure that the ballot units and control units are placed only in their respective carrying cases with the election identity label firmly pasted. Further, he should also fix the duly filled in address tags of correct colour (white for Lok Sabha election and pink for assembly election) to the respective carrying cases.
  3. Presiding Officer should ensure that all the sealed Units and election records are duly

DECLARATION TO BE MADE AT THE CLOSE OF POLL

In order to ensure that above mentioned requirements of rule 49S regarding furnishing of copies of account of votes recorded by polling agents are fulfilled by the Presiding Officer, the Commission has devised a declaration (Part III, Annexure-XXXIII), which should be made by the Presiding Officer at the close of poll?

SEALING OF THE VOTING MACHINE AFTER THE CLOSE OF POLL

  1. After the poll has been closed and the account of votes recorded in the voting machine has been prepared in Form 17C and copies thereof furnished to the polling agents present, the voting machine should be sealed and secured for transportation to the counting/ collection centre.
  2. For sealing and securing the voting machine, the ballot unit(s) and the control unit should be disconnected and the power switch in the control unit should be switched ‘OFF’. The ballot unit(s) and the control unit should be put back in their respective carrying cases. The carrying cases should then be sealed by passing a thread through the two holes provided for the purpose on both sides of the carrying cases and putting thread seal with the Presiding Officer’s seal on an address tag showing the particulars of the election and the polling station. The particulars on the address tag shall be the same as mentioned in Para 16.2 of Chapter XII. The candidates or their polling agents as are present and desirous of putting their seals should also be allowed to do so.
  3. The names of the candidates/polling agents who have affixed their seals on the carrying case of the ballot unit(s) and control unit should also be noted by the Presiding Officer in the declaration which he makes at the close of the poll vide Part IV of Annexure-XXXIII.

SEALING OF ELECTION PAPERS

After the close of poll, all election papers relating to the poll should be sealed by the Presiding Officer in accordance with the provisions of rule 49U.
Each packet containing election papers hall be sealed with the seal of the Presiding Officer. The candidates or their agents present at the polling station shall also be allowed to affix their seals on such packets if they so desire.

PACKAGE OF ITEMS

Follow the programme of return journey to the collection centre for depositing the sealed voting machine and sealed packet of election papers. It is your personal responsibility to deliver the voting machine and other packets at the collection centre intact and obtain a receipt. Note that you have to hand over eight different items, viz,
  1. Voting machines;
  2. Cover containing the account of votes recorded and paper seal account;
  3. Cover containing the declarations of the Presiding Officer;
  4. Cover containing the Presiding Officer’s Dairy;
  5. Cover containing Visit Sheet,
  6. First packet super scribed ‘statutory covers’ containing five covers;
  7. Second packet super scribed ‘non-statutory covers’, containing nine covers;
  8. Third packet containing seven items of election material and
  9. Fourth packet containing all other items, if any.




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