Casting Your Vote For Dummies

It is Election Day in India and the voting will take place in seven phases. We are in the fifth phase of voting and most of India has already voted. Many of us still are waiting for our turn. This is the greatest dance of democracy that takes place every five year in India. We elect our Members of Parliament or MPs who go on to Lok Sabha and elect the Prime Minister. It is a fairly important power that the common man wields and he must wield it responsibly. Most of us know that the way to vote if fairly straightforward. You go to the polling station and cast your vote. But a minority lives in the fear that there will be a complicated process and it would be better to stay indoors than to be harassed by government officials who make you stand in a queue in the scorching sun.

Let us assure you that it is nothing like that. There is plenty of shade and drinking water available at the polling stations. Also, the process is fairly simple and hardly takes five minutes of your day’s time. Here are some facts related to the process that you must know:

Image courtesy: India Today
  1. Polling begins from 6 am and goes on until 7 pm.
  2. You first identify your polling center which is usually written on the slip that you receive a couple of days before election date.
  3. You can enter the premises with bags, water bottle, tiffin box, mobile phone etc. There are no security checkposts or screening facilities that bar you from entering the premises with personal belongings. There are of course security forces in the form of police vans but they hardly bother ordinary citizen.
  4. You will find that there are multiple booths inside the center. You need to show your slip or ID to the person sitting outside the hall/ voting area.
  5. The person will give you a token number which will be used by you to identify your turn in the queue, in case there is a queue. Usually the booths are spread out to avoid any crowding.
  6. Now you enter the hall/ voting area and show your token to the first officer who will point you to the next counter.
  7. On the next counter, you will be made to sign your name in front of your ID number and you will be given a receipt.
  8. Next, you will take the receipt and give it to the officer sitting next to the voting area. This officer will ink the index finger of your left hand and allow you to cast your vote.
  9. As you go to the machine, you will see a polling machine and a VVPAT. The EVM is where you press the button next to your favourite candidate and the VVPAT is the screen where you will see a verification of your vote. https://static.toiimg.com/thumb/resizemode-4,width-1200,msid-66821658/66821658.jpg
  10. You press the button, in seven seconds you will hear a beeping sound. Once the VVPAT screen shows the candidate you voted for, it will shred the paper trail within itself. This is to protect your privacy.
  11. Now you are free to take selfies and show off on social media. Pick up your bags if you were instructed to leave them outside.
Image courtesy: Times of India

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