How To Vote And Other FAQs Answered For First Time Voters in India in Lok Sabha Elections 2019
First Time Voters in India (Photo Credits: PTI)

In the last Lok Sabha Elections held in 2014, when first-time voters went out to cast their votes, ‘Ache Din Aane Wale Hain’, and ‘Ab Ki Baar, Modi Sarkar’, the lucrative slogans that delivered BJP a massive victory, were largely heard. However, in the run up to 2019 General Elections, the war of slogans between the two national parties has continued to hog the limelight. To mark the second phase of polls, Google came up with a doodle of how to vote #India, which explains the polling process, giving a step by step guide to all the voters. The search giant featured an inked finger, which when clicked will lead the user to a page as to how to vote. How To Vote in India? How to Use EVM and Verify in VVPAT? Tutorial On Casting Vote During 2019 Lok Sabha Elections. 

As a first-time voter, you would be feeling bemused with how hearing BJP’s ‘Ab Ki Baar Fir Modi Sarkar’ and ‘Modi Hai Toh Mumkin Hai’ have become a part of your daily life and how Congress’ ‘Ab Hoga Nyay’, and ‘Congress Hai Na’ is something you cannot get your senses off. There are a lot of things that first-time voters witness, other than splendorous and grand poll campaigns, while casting their vote. Where to go for voting? Do I require to carry any other documents while voting? What is the procedure to vote? Which party to vote for? Can I check my vote? Well, worry not; we at LatestLY have got you covered.

As the polling in 2019 Lok Sabha Elections begins amidst huge political fervour, we bring you some of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), the first-time voters often look answers for. How to Check Your Name In Voter List?

What is the Schedule of Lok Sabha Elections 2019, a.k.a General Elections 2019?

The Election Commission of India (ECI) had announced the schedule of 2019 Lok Sabha Elections on March 10. Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora announced that the voting in the country will take place in 7-phases, starting April 11. The last phase of Elections 2019 will take place on May 19, after which the results will be out on May 23. (Interlink – Schedule of Elections or relevant).

What Steps should I take prior to Voting?

As a first-time voter, you will keep a lot of things in mind prior to voting. Firstly, you will have to check that your name appears in the Electoral Rolls or not. Secondly, you will have to visit Election Commission’s official website to check your name in the voters’ list. Thirdly, you can also check your name on National Voters’ Service Portal to see if your name’s appearing in the list or not. Fourthly, if you are not able to find your name in the list, you can raise the issue on the NVSP with relevant details. (Interlink – NVSP article). What Are Electoral Reforms? Know History of Polls in India Ahead of Lok Sabha Elections 2019.

What is the role of my Voter ID Card?

Your Voter ID card, a.k.a. Elector Photo Identity Card (EPIC), is the most important document to be eligible to vote in any elections. If you do not have your Voter ID card with you at the time the polling, then you will not be allowed to vote. Worried already? Well, if you haven’t received your Voter Card, then you can troubleshoot the issue here. (Interlink – Voter Card, or relevant).

What is the Procedure to Vote in Lok Sabha Elections 2019?

After you ensure your name is there on the Electoral Rolls, and you have your Voter ID with you; you are eligible to vote. As a first-time voter, you’d be curious to know what happens in a polling-station!

a. You’ll meet the first electoral officer who will check your Voter ID card, and verify your identity. You’ll have to produce your ORIGINAL Voter ID card to the officer.

b. After verification, you will move to the second electoral officer who will mark your finger with the indelible ink (the one which will help you click selfies later), clearing you to cast your vote.

c. You will meet the third electoral officer, who’ll cross check all the facts, and get your signature done on the ‘Electoral Roll’ he’ll be carrying. Once you sign, you’ll be asked to vote.

d. You’ll see an Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) placed in the poll-booth. Then, one of the electoral officers will press a button from his table, and signal you to cast your vote. Then, you can choose a candidate of your liking and press the button on the EVM unit in front of you ‘only once’, until a red light glows. (Please check this point is right or not)

Besides the EVM, you’ll find a Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) attached to the voting unit. A paper will pop up where you can see the candidate/party which you had voted for.

e. If you find any inconsistencies in the above 4 steps, you can contact the electoral officer available at that polling station. They’ll ensure the issue is solved.

Which Party to Vote?

Well, this question is on everyone’s mind. Since, elections are one of the biggest democratic exercises one participates in; an individual should be able vote for any candidate/party of his liking in a free and fair manner. There are a list of options available on the EVM unit, but be cautious that you press the button set across your candidate/party, only once.

What is NOTA?

Looking to vote for NOTA? Well, what is it about? ‘None of the Above’ or ‘NOTA’ option is the always on the bottom of the EVM. NOTA was introduced in 2013 and have been a part of the electoral process in the country since then.

A lot of first-time voters tend to vote for NOTA too. It is an option for voters to not to choose to vote for any of the candidates of their constituency. Many believe that NOTA is a positive feature as it increases the voter turnout. On the other hand, it is also debated that NOTA is a ‘waste vote’, and even if NOTA is cast the most number of votes in the elections, the candidate with maximum votes will still emerge victorious. (Interlink – NOTA Article or relevant).

What Next? ‘Why Should I Vote?’

After you have voted for the first-time in your life, take a moment and feel proud of yourself to be an active participant of the world’s biggest democratic exercise. You should then convince and encourage people who avoid voting by saying, “Why should I vote? Does it even matter?”

What is the Helpline Number for Lok Sabha Elections 2019?

If there is any discrepancies or any issues that you encounter prior to, during, and after casting your vote, you can always call on the official helpline number of the Election Commission. You can dial 1950 (toll-free number) and get yourself clear with authentic information.

Where can I report unlawful incidents during Lok Sabha Elections 2019? cVigil app

As EC announced the schedule of 2019 General Elections, it also announced the commencement of Model Code of Conduct (MCoC) from that very moment.

MCoC is a set of guidelines that the EC has laid down for every MP-aspirant and political party to follow, with strict penalty if it fails to adhere to these rules.

However, if you find, notice, or observe any wrongdoing or the MCoC being violated by any individual/candidate/political party, then you can report the incident on the cVIGIL mobile app, the EC has introduced. You’ll have to take proper picture or video of the incident and report it on the cVIGIL app.

Take a Look at the Video:

With addition of over 8 crore first-time voters to the electoral pool, the battle of 2019 Lok Sabha Elections has also got exciting. Political parties are walking the extra mile to woo the first-time voters in order to swing their votes in their favour.

In 2014 Lok Sabha Elections, it was PM Narendra Modi-led BJP that won the elections, after handing Rahul Gandhi-led Congress their worst defeats in Indian electoral history. However, fast forward to 2019, the political dynamics in the state have changed manifolds.

Which party or coalition comes to power is for Election Commission to tell on May 23. Until then, brace yourself, the results can spring a surprise or two! Stay tuned to LatestLY for all the latest information and updates about 2019 Lok Sabha Elections.