ECI sets up 2338 polling stations across constituency

Srinagar, May 23 :

The fate of 20 candidates will be decided by over 18.36 lakh voters of 03 Anantnag- Rajouri Lok Sabha seat in the last phase of Lok Sabha elections for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir to be held on May 25.

According to the figures provided by the office of the Chief Electoral Officer, there are 18, 36,576 voters enrolled in 5 districts of Kulgam, Anantnag, Poonch, Shopian (36- Zainanpora) and Rajouri of the PC, which included 9,33,647 male and 9,02,902 female voters and 27 third gender voters. Around 17,967 persons with disability and 540 persons above the age of 100 years will cast their ballots in the PC.

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has set up 2,338 polling stations across the Anantnag- Rajouri Parliamentary Constituency. Four election staff, including Presiding Officer will be stationed in every polling station. In total, more than 9,000 polling staff, including reserve will be deployed on duty. There are 19 Border Polling Stations in the districts of Rajouri and Poonch.

The polling will be held from 7.00 am to 6.00 pm and before that there shall be a mock poll in presence of polling agents. Voting will continue even after 6.00 pm, if the voters queue is still there in the Polling Station premises.

Every polling station will be provided with Assured Minimum Facilities (AMF) like Drinking Water, Electricity, Toilet, Ramp, Furniture, Verandah/Shed etc. Wheelchairs shall also be provided. The Ballot Units will also have a list of contesting candidates in brail script. Wherever required, there shall be separate queues for the senior citizens and specially abled persons so that they are facilitated in every polling station. Additionally, there shall be a voter help desk, manned by the concerned Booth Level Officer (BLO) to extend necessary help whenever required.

There will be 17 polling booths managed by women (called as pink polling stations), 15 polling booths manned by specially abled persons and 8 Polling Booths managed by youths. Also in order to spread message about the environment, there will be 15 green polling stations.

The purpose behind these special polling stations is to spread awareness among certain sections of society viz. women, specially abled, first time young voters and to motivate them to come forward and exercise their right to vote.

In order to facilitate the voters and also to increase voter turnout ratios, all voters have been provided with voter information slips with information like Polling Station name, date & time of poll, serial number of voter in the list, his full name, QR code but not the photograph of the voter. Hence, Voter Information Slips will not be allowed as proof of the identity of voters. Proof of identity will be any documents out of 12 documents, including EPIC. The BLO concerned has distributed 100% voter information slips.

The citizens can also view details of the Polling Station, Parliamentary Constituency, and get the contact details of the Booth Level Officer, Electoral Registration Officer among other services, through Voter Helpline App (VHA). This mobile app is available on the Google Play store and Apple App Store

The documents which can be used for voter’s identification in addition to Electoral Photo Identity Card (EPIC), included Aadhaar Card, MGNREGA Job Card, Passbooks with photograph issued by Bank/Post Office, Health Insurance Smart Card issued under the scheme of the Ministry of Labour, Driving License, (vi) PAN Card, Smart Card issued by RGI under NPR, Indian Passport, Pension document with photograph, Service Identity Cards with photograph issued to employees by Central/State Govt./PSUs/Public Limited Companies, Official identity cards issued to MPs/MLAs/MLCs, Unique Disability ID (UDID) Card, issued by M/o Social Justice & Empowerment, Government of India.

It is pertinent to mention here that EPIC card is NOT mandatory for voting. If some voter has misplaced his/ her EPIC card, any of the above mentioned documents can be used by him at the Polling Station.

With the aim of spreading awareness among the voters, Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) emerged as a comprehensive programme aimed at reinforcing voter education and promoting active participation in democratic process. The need for SVEEP arises from the Election Commission of India’s unwavering commitment to ensuring the participation of every voter in this monumental celebration of democracy.

During the last few months, through various modes, SVEEP activities were undertaken in very nook and corner. Various activities like appeal messages in print, electronic and social media, through hoardings, banners, radio jingles etc carried out. Street plays, use of social media influencers and icons was also done. Because of all these, the voter turnout is expected to be higher than the last Lok Sabha election.

Home voting for those above 85 age and those with disability more than 40 % would be held at door steps for all those who have applied for the same.

More than 600 journalist and cameraman of print, electronic and social media platforms have been provided with pass to cover the polling without compromising secrecy of vote and without having any inconvenience to the poll process.

Voter Turnout App will be used to display estimated provisional voter turnout details of each Parliamentary Constituency entered by the RO. The media can also use the same application to capture estimated voter turnout data. Approximate voter turnout data of each phase of the elections will be displayed through this app.

There will be two hourly reporting of voting percentage from 9.00 am to the end of the poll. The concerned ARO and RO will share the data with the media accordingly. The updated figures shall also be placed in the voter turnout app. These figures are always subject to, normally upward correction as the final confirmed figures are collected after receiving the statutory forms from all Polling Stations. So till these final figures are known, figures on Voter Turnout App are to be always tentative.

All the polling stations in Anantnag- Rajouri will have CCTV type cameras for live webcasting to control rooms established at the District and CEO office. The cameras will be positioned in such a way so that they don’t violate the secrecy of vote. There are few polling stations which fall in communication shadow areas. Suitable alternate arrangements in the communication shadow areas by providing Satellite Phones, Wireless sets, and Special Runners etc have been put in place. Candidates/ Political parties need to obtain prior permission for campaigning purposes, they seek online permission on Suvidha app and Portal. Till date, election officers have accorded permission for 1920 applications and rejected 303.

In the entire Union Territory, from the date of announcement of Elections, material/ cash of around Rs. 94.797 crore has been seized. Cash, liquor, drugs and other freebees have been seized by various enforcing departments. Major department-wise seizures included seizures by the Police Department valuing Rs 90.831 crore, Income Tax Department 42 lakh, Excise Department 1.01 crore and the Narcotics Control Bureau has seized drugs worth 2.32 crore respectively.

The public campaigning in areas of the Anantnag-Rajouri Parliamentary Constituency shall conclude at 6.00 PM on the evening of 23rd of May, 48 hours before the elections, (closing poll hour) also known as the silence period or pre-election silence, is when all campaign-related activity is supposed to be halted, and no one, including persons like citizens, journalists, politicians, are allowed to partake in any such public activity.

Holding public meetings, conference, interviews etc. is also to be stopped. This is done to give the voters a peaceful break from being influenced by campaigns so that they may make a considered decision while voting. Political Advertisements in print media can only be done only after Media Certification and Monitoring Committee’s (MCMC) prior clearance. Sale of liquor, even from licensed shops, is also banned.

Till date, 143 grievances have been received on CVIGIL app and more than 60 % have been resolved in time and others are under resolution. For filing Model Code of Conduct Violation cases by Citizen, C-VIGIL app provides time-stamped evidentiary proof of the Model Code of Conduct/ Expenditure Violation by empowering every citizen to click a photo or video using his or her Smartphone.

To monitor various election-related activities and also check Model Code of Conduct compliance, a Command and Control Room has been established at the CEO office in Jammu and Srinagar. Similar mini-control rooms have also been established in every DEO office which are functioning 24 x 7. All electronic media channels, social media platforms are monitored here, any violation so detected, is reported and the concerned RO/ ARO issues notice. Apart from looking for MCC violations, the Control room also has live feed of all 100 % Polling Stations and GPS vehicle tracking of all vehicles being used for poll parties.

As per the latest instructions of Election Commission of India, Special Polling Stations have been established for Migrant Voters of Kashmir Division.

A total of 26 Special Polling Stations have been established with 21 polling stations in Jammu, 4 in Delhi, and 1 in Udhampur District respectively. Special Polling Station-wise extract voter list will be with BLOs.

“The Election Commission of India is committed to provide basic facilities in all the polling stations and give better experience to voters. Voters are requested to participate in maximum number in the biggest festival of largest democracy of the world.”—(KNO)


Shaharbeen News Service Kashmir is a news service which covers, gathers, writes, and distributes news to newspapers, periodicals, radio and television broadcasters, government agencies, and other users. We at SNS Kashmir believe in fair and independent journalism to inform our masses or subscribers and readers about the happenings around the world. The prime focus of the news gathering and reporting is focused on Jammu and Kashmir state.

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