With the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections inching closer, political parties and candidates are scrambling to ensure that their campaigns end on a high note. While politicians are busy planning on how to secure the confidence of the electorate, many voters are trying to figure out the logistics for a hassle-free voting day.
Unlike other elections the state has seen, this time polling is going to be held amid the COVID-19 pandemic. While this indicates that extraordinary precautions will be in place at the polling booths, it has also led to the Election Commission of India (ECI) making special arrangements to accommodate everybody who comes to cast their votes. Setting up additional polling stations, restricting the number of voters per polling booth to just 1,000, and extending the polling time, etc are just a few of the measures that the voters will bear witness to on April 6.
TNM spoke to a few District Collectors in Tamil Nadu to compile a list of things that every voter must ensure, to cast their votes in an easy manner.
Before voting day
> Check for your name in the electoral roll. This can be done by logging into the National Votersâ€™ Services Portal (NSVP). You can check for your name either by keying in your voter identity card number or by entering your personal details like name, date of birth, etc. If your name is not on the roll, you will not be allowed to vote.
NSVP Landing page
Check electoral roll by personal details
Check electoral roll by EPIC number
> Keep your Electoral Photo Identity Card (EPIC) ready. If you donâ€™t have the physical card with you, you can download the e-EPIC card from the NSVP website.
> If you donâ€™t have the physical EPIC card or the e-EPIC, the ECI has specified a list of 12 identity documents that you can show in lieu of the EPIC card, when you go to the polling booth on April 6. Even if you have your EPIC card, it would make sense to take an extra photo identity card with you to the polling booth.
> The list of identity documents that will be accepted at the polling booth include driverâ€™s license, PAN card, Aadhaar card, bank or post office passbook with photos, MGNREGS job identity card, pension document with photos, passport, etc. You can view the full list of accepted documents here.
> Please confirm your polling booth by checking on the NSVP website, while checking for your name in the electoral roll.
>Persons above the age of 18 can register themselves as voters till the last day that the candidates can withdraw their nominations (Yes, that means for this election the deadline is over).
On voting day
> Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the polling time has been extended across the state. Voters can cast their votes from 7 am to 7 pm on April 6.
> Face masks are mandatory for anybody who wants to vote. Without face masks, voters will not be allowed to enter the polling station.
> Disposable gloves and hand sanitisers will be available at the polling station, as per ECIâ€™s instructions.
> There will be a volunteer to check the body temperature of every voter. Voters who have a higher than normal body temperature will be asked to come back between 6 pm and 7 pm to cast their votes.
> Once you cast your vote, ensure that your vote is correctly reflected in the VVPAT machine kept near the ballot machine. In case of discrepancies, immediately inform the Presiding Officer at the booth.