Thursday, December 06, 2018

Poll-Day for Telangana Assembly - Dec 2018 Elections

Hi readers,
After a really really long gap I'm posting a blog spot. Reasons for the gap is a long saga worth a series of posts in itself, which I'll not delve in right now. This post is I felt necessary for me to take time out and educate to potential last minute searchers about what to expect pre-booth, at the polling booth, for those who have a vote for Telangana Assembly Elections on Dec-7, 2018.

Pre work before coming to an election booth:
1. Visit to search by your details and navigate to the electoral list entry for you. And print out your voter slip. (Please be aware that the connectivity around the polling booth will be so low to this server as you might find several clogging up the 4G bandwidth in the last minute, so if you can do it at home that's better)
You can do this search in two way (A) Search by details or (B) Search by EPIC No. (a.k.a voter ID card number)
1. A) Search by Details
Screenshots below display are for quick illustration

Please visit and enter the details as applicable for you, like below

You will get a set of search results from where you can identify the appropriate entry and do a 'View Details' against that entry

At the bottom of the page that opens when you 'View Details' there is a button to 'Print Voter Information', click that to print a copy of your Voter Info slip.

In the Voter info slip, there are two key pieces (Serial Number and Part Number) of information that are required for a smooth and quick voting experience at the pool booth, other than the polling station address itself where you need to go to cast your vote.

At the polling station
Visit the polling station along with a ID proof document (it can be your Voter ID, Passport, Aadhar etc.) and this voter info slip print out. Part Number on the voter info slip, identifies the exact room in the polling station where you need to cast your vote. Serial Number is amongst nearly a 1000+ people who are allotted that room, what is your voter list serial number that the booth officers can cross-check your details against. This is by far the super important piece of information to have, else either you may be asked to stay out figure it and enter or will be hogging up several members in the line behind you making the booth officer search the entire voter list to spot your details (not acceptable!)

Look out for the list of candidates as are going to be displayed on the EVM machine(s) prominently displayed outside of the part number room/section where you need to cast your vote. This helps to quickly spot the button to press for your candidate on the EVM when you vote.

You might have to traverse through a line at the part number room/section of your polling station before your turn to vote comes (please maintain dignity and decorum here and do not let the size of line discourage you, nor make sick attempts to cut the line citing your status or authority like some silly celebrity attempted to do in Jubilee Hills polling station in 2014 and had to apologize in public for his 'ignorance' and that of his family members). As your turn comes to vote, you would come to a place where 3 booth officers will be seated. You may also notice a few more people, called Booth Agents in the poll booth room. These are representatives of political parties candidates contesting, and act are watch-guards and andon-cord pullers in case some booth capture or rigging attempts or double voting attempts are performed. For the sake of current scope of blog, we will skip about their duties as they aren't related to voter as much. Now more details of each poll booth officer

Officer-1: Checks your voter info slip, and your identity proof. Cross-verifies the serial number in the voter list print out that he/she has the same details as your voter slip claims (note anyone can photoshop and get a voter info slip, what list exists with this officer is the final one). Later he/she shouts to all people in the room the serial number and cuts across the entry in his/her list the entry to indicate you have appeared for voting (to avoid someone else to come and double vote against your entry). Booth agents also mark as voted the entry from their list as well.

Officer-2: Officer-2 writes a voting right token with your serial number on it; asks you to sign or thumb impression in the poll booth register before handing you over the voting right slip. He also marks indelible ink mark on an appropriate finger of your hand (usually left hand index finger), so you don't come again to vote for yourself a second time.

Officer-3: Takes the voter right token and presses a button that readies the EVM for new vote to be cast on it. If the person before you is taking time to cast his vote, this officer-3 may ask you to wait. Once he readies the EVM, he will ask you to progress into the 'Private Voting Area section' where two machines will be present (1) EVM - Electronic Voting Machine, and (2) VVPAT - Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail machine. These machines are present behind an opaque secrecy shield (so none in the room can see whom you are voting for). More details about these machines

EVM - This has a list of entries one each for all contesting candidates mentioning the Name of candidate, party he belongs to and symbol of the party with a red light indicator and a blue button to press. 

You have to press firmly the blue button next to the entry of your candidate choice and notice the red light glow. The red light indicator glows for a few seconds and during that time there is a paper slip that is getting printed in the VVPAT machine placed next to the EVM where you can see the same party symbol to which you voted (if that's not the case 'daal mein kuch kaala hain') for you to cross-verify. Please note that the VVPAT slip will only be visible from inside the machine and will slip into the machine in a few seconds, you cannot take it out. It's only for you to feel re-assured that your vote is casted to the party/candidate you intended to.

(above image only an indication)

After successful completion and recording of your vote, you will hear a long BEEP sound. you can leave the voting area after you hear that beep, feeling proud about having done your most essential democratic duty for your country, just like I did.