Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Functions to be performed by the presiding officers at various stages of polling process

Functions to be performed by the presiding officers at various stages of polling process
OUTLINES OF FUNCTIONS TO BE PERFORMED BY PRESIDING OFFICERS AT VARIOUS STAGES

ON APPOINTMENT

When you receive your appointment order, please check up carefully and examine: -

  1. The name and number of your polling station;
  2. The name of the assembly constituency within which the polling station is situated;
  3. The exact location of your polling station.

This information will be found in your appointment order. You may also find the names of your Polling Officers in the order. Try to contact them and keep their residential and office addresses with you and give your residential and office address to them.

Attend as many training classes as you can, so that you become fully familiar with the operation of the EVM and VVPAT. Never rely on your memory and past experience as they may betray you. The instructions are being changed considerably from time to time. functions-to-be-performed-by-the-presiding-officers-at-various-stages-of-polling-process

Read the following pamphlets and booklets very carefully:

  1. Handbook for Presiding Officers;
  2. Manual of EVM and VVPAT;
  3. Letter of the Returning Officer to Presiding Officers giving important instructions.

Familiarize yourself with the item of polling material.
presiding officers functions

Study carefully the manner and the method in which the Control Unit, balloting units, VSDU and VVPAT are inter-linked and de-linked, the Control Unit closed and sealed and VVPAT drop box sealed

Read carefully the different forms, statutory and non-statutory.

Read very carefully the relevant sections of the Representation of the People Act, 1950 and  1951, given in Annexure 1 and relevant rules under the Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961, given in Annexure 2. If you have any doubt, approach your Returning Officer and get your doubt clarified. Never be in a confused mind.

ON THE DAY PREVIOUS TO THE DAY OF POLL

On the day previous to the day of poll, you will be asked to collect the polling materials for use at the polling station. Please ensure that:

  1. The Control Unit and balloting unit(s) and VVPAT, given to you pertain to your polling station.
  2. The ‘Candidate Set Section’ of Control Unit is duly sealed and address tag is firmly attached thereto.
  3. The battery in the Control Unit is fully operational.
  4. The balloting unit(s) has been duly sealed and address tags are firmly attached, both at the top and bottom right portion.
  5. The appropriate ballot paper has been affixed on each balloting unit and is properly aligned under the ballot paper screen.
  6. The slide/thumb wheels switch has been set to the appropriate position in each balloting unit.
  7. All the items of polling materials mentioned in Annexure 19have been supplied in required quantity;
  8. check the serial numbers of paper seals;
  9. check the electoral roll to ensure that:
  10. (1)the copies of the supplements are given,
  11. (2)the part number of the roll and the supplement is correctly given,
  12. (3)page numbers in the working copies of the roll are given serially,
  13. (4)the printed serial numbers of voters are not corrected and no new numbers are substituted for them,
  14. (5)all deletions of names and corrections of clerical or other errors as per the supplements have been incorporated.
  15. Check the copy of the list of contesting candidates given to you. The names, Photos and symbols of the candidates given in the list must tally and should be in the same serial order in which they appear in the ballot paper on the balloting unit. Also check if you have received the following list: (1)Notice on area delineating polling station, (2)ASD, AIS and CSV list
  16. Check that the phial of indelible ink supplied to you contains sufficient quantity of indelible ink and that its cap is perfectly sealed; if not re-seal the cap with candle/wax.
  17. Check the arrow cross-mark rubber stamp and your brass seals. Ensure that the arrow cross-mark rubber stamp has seals affixed on both the sides and that the stamp pad is not dry. If your polling station is proposed to be located in a temporary structure, obtain iron box of sufficient dimensions to store your election papers.
  18. If you have any doubt about your movement program, route to be followed to reach the polling station, get them cleared and make sure of the time, the place of departure and mode of transport for reaching the polling station.


Reach your polling station latest by 4-00 p.m. on the day previous to the day of poll and ensure that-
There is enough space for the voters to wait outside the polling station and for separate queues for male and female voters;
There are separate passages for entry and exit of voters;
A notice showing the polling area and details about voters is prominently displayed;
The copy of the list of contesting candidates is prominently displayed.
Appoint persons whom you will require to assist in identifying the voters including female assistant.
Decide the place where you, your Polling Officers and Polling Agents of the candidates will sit and the Control Unit of the voting machine will be placed.
Remove any photograph of any leader belonging to any political party hung in the polling station or cover them fully.

ON ARRIVAL AT THE POLLING STATION ON THE DAY OF POLL

Ensure that you and other members of your polling party reach the polling station on the day previous to the date of poll. On receipt, check the voting machine and the polling materials.

Check up the appointment letters of polling agents and explain to them provisions of section 128 of the R.P. Act, 1951. Assign them seats and issue them entry passes for their movements. Read out the declaration as referred to in Chapter 16.
Make arrangements to appoint a Polling Officer if anyone from your party has not turned up.

Start preparing the voting machine including the conduct of mock poll one hour before the
time fixed for commencement of poll.

After the mock poll, clear the data of mock poll in the voting machine and paper slips in VVPAT before sealing the Control Unit and VVPAT. Prepare the Mock Poll certificate after taking signatures of the polling agents present at the polling station. Also report the absence of all polling agents or presence of only one polling agent during mock poll to the RO.

Fix the green paper seal and close and seal the result section of the Control Unit. Seal VVPAT drop box.

Place the phial of indelible ink in such a way that the ink does not spill out.

DURING THE HOURS OF POLL

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


  1. While poll is in progress, unusual complex cases are likely to crop up. Deal with them yourself
  2. leaving the Polling Officers’ to carry on their normal duties. Such cases will be
  3. Challenge to a voter 
  4. Voting by minors 
  5. Voting by blind or infirm voters 
  6. Voters deciding not to vote 
  7. Tendered votes 
  8. Breach of secrecy of voting 
  9. Disorderly conduct at the booth and removal of disorderly persons 
  10. Adjournment of poll because of riot or any other cause 
  11. Complaint about particulars printed on VVPAT paper slip. 

AFTER THE COMPLETION OF POLL

Close and seal the voting machine and the VVPAT, as per the instructions given and Ascertain the number of female voters who have voted along with persons who have voted without EPIC and with alternate document and who have voted with Braille and electors who have turned up to vote from the ASD list.

Complete Form17C (account of votes recorded and paper seal account). Furnish to every polling agent present at the close of the poll, an attested true copy of Form17C after obtaining from him a receipt for it on the declaration form referred to in Chapter 29. Then complete the declaration in other respects.

Complete your Presiding Officer’s Diary.
Seal all election papers as per instructions in Chapter 31.
Prepare first packet of five statutory covers.
Prepare second packet of eleven non-statutory covers.
Prepare third packet of seven items.
Prepare fourth packet of all other items.
Follow the program of return journey to the collection centre for depositing the sealed voting machine, VVPAT and sealed packet of election papers. It is your personal responsibility to deliver the voting machine, VVPAT and other packets at the collection centre intact and obtain a receipt. Note that you have to hand over eight different items, viz,

  1. EVM and VVPAT;
  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;



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