In hardly a week, Kerala will elect their representatives to the next Assembly. This time, the state will have upto 2.99 lakh first time voters belonging to the age group 18 to 19. Here is a list of dos and don’ts that one can follow, especially for first time voters, to ensure that things go smoothly.
> The first step is to ensure that your name is there in the electoral rolls. An electoral roll is a list of all eligible citizens who are entitled to cast their vote in an election. Merely possessing an Electors Photo Identity Card is not enough to vote. One must ensure their name in the electoral rolls by visiting the Kerala Election Commission website or the website of the National Voters Service Portal.
In the Kerala EC website, one can get a list of booth level voters and can manually check for their names. In the National Voters Service Portal (NVSP), voters can provide their details (as mentioned in the Electors Photo Identity Card) and can check if their name is there in the voters list.
> If one’s name is not there in the electoral list, one can register through the NVSP website. The last day of registering names for the upcoming Assembly polls was March 12.
> Check your polling booth and voting time. Though the usual polling time is 7 am to 6 pm, this time, the last few hours are reserved for COVID-19 patients.
> Follow all COVID-19 regulations by wearing a mask, carrying sanitizer and maintaining physical distancing.
> Make sure that you carry an extra valid ID card along with the voter ID card.
> At the polling station, just check the notice pasted in boards or consult the officers to ensure which counter is allotted for you to vote. There will be different counters in one booth.
> It is better to decide whom to vote for before entering the booth. Be aware about the full name and the symbol of the candidate you want to vote for, as there will be namesakes. Namesakes are candidates fielded often by the rival parties, whose name will be similar to the other prominent candidate. Often, namesakes result in confusion among the voters. So ensure that you read and check the name and corresponding symbol before hitting the poll button.
> When you enter the polling station, the First Polling Officer who is in-charge of the marked copy of the electoral roll, will check your identity proof and will call out your name and serial number. This is done so that the polling agents become aware of your presence and your identity is not challenged.
> After this, a Second Polling Officer will mark your left forefinger with the indelible ink. The officer will record your serial number and you will be made to sign the Register of Voters. You will be issued a signed voter’s slip.
> A Third Polling Officer will collect the voter’s slip you received and will guide you to the voting compartment where the Electronic Voting Machine and VVPAT is kept.
> Press the button against the name of your candidate. Press only once. It makes a sound if successful.
> If you face any technical issues, inform the officers at the booth.
> Don’t jump the queue while waiting to vote.
> Do not use mobile phones inside the polling booth.
> Do not press more than one button while voting.
> Do not forget to carry your Electors Photo Identity Card.
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