Election Comminsion India Presentation

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Election Commission of India URL : www.eci.gov.in:

1 Election Commission of India URL : www.eci.gov.in

Electoral Administration - Framework :

2 Electoral Administration - Framework Election Commission of India – The Indian Constitution provides for its creation. Appointment of CEC and ECs Right to vote to all above 18 years of age Bicameral Composition of Parliament Composition of State Legislatures Delimitation of constituencies after each census Duration of each House

Election Commission of India – Constitutional Provision:

3 Election Commission of India – Constitutional Provision Article 324 (1) - The superintendence, direction and control of the preparation of the electoral rolls for, and the conduct of, all elections to Parliament and to the Legislature of every State and of elections to the offices of President and Vice-President held under this Constitution shall be vested in the Election Commission.

A Multi-Member Commission – Constitutional Position:

4 A Multi-Member Commission – Constitutional Position Article 324 (2) – The Election Commission shall consist of the Chief Election Commissioner and such number of other Election Commissioners, if any, as the President may from time to time fix and the appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners shall, subject to the provisions of any law made in that behalf by Parliament, be made by the President. Article 324 (3) – When any other Election Commissioner is so appointed the Chief Election Commissioner shall act as the Chairman of the Election Commission.

A Multi-Member Commission :

5 A Multi-Member Commission From Jan 1950 to mid Oct 1989 – A single Member Commission headed by a Chief Election Commissioner. (Argument put forward was that decisions need to be taken expeditiously when election process is on. And, a single member Commission would be more suited for it) From Oct 16, 1989 till Dec 1989 – It was a Three Member Commission. From Jan 1990 to Sep 1993 – A Single Member Commission. From Oct 1993 till today – A Three Member Commission. (The Chief Election Commissioner and Two Election Commissioners)

Conditions of Service:

6 Conditions of Service The CEC and the ECs placed at par in matters of salary and allowances and it is the same as that of a judge of Supreme Court. Tenure of CEC and ECs fixed as 6 years subject to the maximum age limit of 65 years. The CEC and ECs all have equal powers in matters of decision making. In case of difference, decisions are taken by opinion of majority. The Commission takes all the elections by consensus. The CEC shall not be removed from his office except in the like manner and on the like grounds as a judge of the Supreme Court. Service conditions cannot be varied to his disadvantage after his appointment. The ECs cannot be removed except on the CEC’s recommendation .

Commission’s Secretariat:

7 Commission’s Secretariat Deputy Election Commissioners – 03 Directors(Admn. And IT) – 01 Secretaries (Zonals and Specifics)– 10 Under Secretaries – 12 Jt Director + OSD (IT) – 02 Assistant Director (Stats.) – 02 Section Officers – 33 Assistants & others – 275

Election Machinery in States:

8 Election Machinery in States Chief Electoral Officers – 35 District Election Officers – 601 Returning Officers (Parliament) – 543 Returning Officers (Assembly) – 4120 Asstt. Returning Officers (Parliament) – 4600 Asstt. Returning Officers (Assembly) – 10,000 Electoral Registration Officers – 4120 Asstt. Electoral Registration Officers - 4800

Right to Vote:

9 Right to Vote Any citizen over 18 can vote can vote Voting right denied to certain class of people: criminal convicts of certain class person convicted of electoral offence person of unsound mind There is no compulsion to vote Voting statistics 57.94% in 1996 61.97% in 1998 59.01% in 1999 58.07% in 2004

Scale of Operation:

10 Scale of Operation Recognized National Parties – 06 Recognized State Parties – 45 Registered Unrecognized Parties – 702 Polling Stations – 687,000 Electorate – Nearly 671 million Turn out – Nearly 389 million Staff deployed on Poll Day (Presiding Officers, Polling Officers and helpers) – Nearly 4 million Security personnel deployed – Nearly 2.5 million Approximate direct cost – INR 13000 million (USD 280 million)

Transaction of Business :

11 Transaction of Business Regular meetings Circulation of papers Consultation and informal discussions All Election Commissioners have equal say Delegation of some executive functions to officers

Division of work:

12 Division of work Functional and territorial divisions Functional Planning Judicial Administration Information Systems Media Secretarial Coordination Territorial - States and UTs divided into 6 zones (North, North-East, East. Central, West, South)

Budget and Expenditure:

13 Budget and Expenditure Voted budget Independent Budget finalised in consultation with Finance Ministry Funds for Conduct of elections reflected in the budget of States/UTs Only Parliament election - Funded entirely by Centre Only Assembly election - Funded by the State Simultaneous election - Expenses shared equally Expenditure on capital equipment shared equally Expenditure on electoral rolls, PICs also shared equally

When Elections take place?:

14 When Elections take place? Term of Parliament & Assembly - 5years (except J & K Assembly where it is 6 years) House can be dissolved before its term ends Dates decided by the Commission. No consultation done with any Government Commission can call for elections six months prior to the date on which normal tenure of Assembly or Parliament expires. 14 General elections since 1952. Bye-elections when a seat falls vacant. Normally held within 6-months of vacancy. No Bye-elections if vacancy for less than one year

Scheduling of Elections:

15 Scheduling of Elections No more than 6-month gap between last session of Parliament/Assembly and recalling of new House Elections to fall within this period Number of considerations in scheduling: Weather Law & order Movement of Central police forces Agricultural cycles Festivals Exam schedules Public holidays Logistical requirements

Who can Contest?:

16 Who can Contest? Any citizen over 25 years for Lok Sabha & Vidhan Sabha Any citizen over 30 years for Rajya sabha & Vidhan Parishad For Lok Sabha & Rajya Sabha candidate- registered voter in any state For Vidhan Sabha & Vidhan Parishad- registered voter only in that state Candidate should not be convicted or disqualified otherwise Security deposit: Rs.10,000/ for Lok Sabha Rs. 5000/- for Rajya Sabha, Vidhan Sabha & Vidhan Parishad SC & ST candidates pay half the amount Deposit returned if candidate secures more than 1/6th of valid votes Nominations need to be proposed by electors: one for candidate of national/state party ten for others

The Contestants:

17 The Contestants 7 days for filing nominations Scrutiny a day following the last date for nominations Thereafter 2 days provided for withdrawal Final list prepared after withdrawal 4370 candidates for 543 seats in 1999, 5435 in 2004 (2386 independents) Average number of contestants: 1952 -- 3.8 1991 -- 16.3 1996 -- 25.6 1998 -- 8.75 1999 -- 8.05 2004 -- 10.01 Size of deposit increased in1996 Number of electors nominating a candidate increased

Time and mode of election campaigns:

18 Time and mode of election campaigns Campaign period of about 13 days or more Ends 48 hours before polling closes Parties issue manifestoes Slogans, Door-to-door campaigning etc. Posters, meetings, processions etc.

Model Code of Conduct:

19 Model Code of Conduct Part I Minimum standards of behaviour Part II Public meetings Part III Processions by political parties Part IV Conduct of political parties Part V Conduct on poll day Part VI Handling of complaints Part VII Parties in Power

Checks on Party in Power:

20 Checks on Party in Power No official tour with campaigning Bar on use of official vehicle/aircraft Equal opportunity for use of public places for meetings, stay etc No ads on public expense No announcement or promise of new schemes No new financial sanctions No fresh appointments

Voter Education - I:

21 Voter Education - I By EC Fund provided to CEOs to give Newspaper inserts, radio jingles, television spots, Banners, posters and produce literature In rural areas – drum beating, chaupal (village assemblies) etc Electoral Rolls displayed and read in local bodies like Gram Sabhas and Resident’s Welfare Associations etc. To enable voters to make an informed choice - All candidates are required to declare their criminal past, educational qualifications, assets and liabilities etc.- Affidavits filed displayed publicly and also put on the EC website. Efforts on to make information on poll expenses public.

Voter Education - II:

22 Voter Education - II By NGOs NGOs are encouraged to educate voters A number of Election Watch Groups played a positive roll in 2004 elections One industry gr. also helped in putting up helplines and kiosks By Political parties and candidates They are the real stake holders and hence play crucial role in voter education Advertisements, person to person contacts, meetings, posters are the modes By Media Media mature - plays a crucial role

Women Participation:

23 Women Participation Women seats No specific law for reservation of seats as yet Political parties expected to put up women candidates in reasonable numbers Facilities on the polling stations Separate Q for women voters At least one lady officer posted in every polling station Lady officer alone can see and verify “pardhanasheen” ladies ( Ladies wearing veils)

Limits on Poll Expenses - I:

24 Limits on Poll Expenses - I Limits on candidates Lok Sabha - Maximum Rs. 2,500,000 ; Minimum - Rs. 1,000,000. Vidhan Sabha- Max. Rs. 1,000,000; Min. - Rs. 500,000. Commission monitors expenses closely Expenditure Observers Detailed accounts furnished by candidates within 30 days of declaration of election results Limits on politicasl parties Political parties and supporters till recently could spend as much as they wanted in the campaign in addition Political parties will file their annual income statements before the Commission

Limits on Poll Expenses-II:

25 Limits on Poll Expenses-II Expenses that are exempted No expenses except the travel expenses on upto 40 national leaders of a recognised party and 20 of registered/unrecognised parties are exempted Expenses made by well wishers, friends and relatives of the candidates are now added to the candidate’s expenditure Expenses incurred by the parties to publicise its policies and programmes are not included in the candidate’s expenditure

Electronic Media:

26 Electronic Media Arrangement between Prasar Bharti and Election Commission Free time on AIR and Doordarshan to National and State parties Political parties can reach out to every corner Ensures level playing field 63 hours given during GE 1999, -- hours during GE 2004 Indirect State funding Now being extended to the Private Channels

Preparation for Elections - Mobilisation of the Staff:

27 Preparation for Elections - Mobilisation of the Staff Drawn from various Central and State Government departments - no private individual associated Staff on deputation with the Commission Staff subject to Commission’ disciplinary control Staff mobilized & deployed by the CEO under Commission’s instruction

Preparation for Elections - Deployment and Training of Staff:

28 Preparation for Elections - Deployment and Training of Staff Staff of various districts and states can be mixed to ensure fairness Staff given nominal honorarium Deployment of Government employees keeps expenditure under check, enhances control Training – of ROs,EROs & Observers by the EC, of DEOs, Dy DEOs, ROs & EROs by the CEOs and of the Polling staff by the DEOs Tainted and known to be aligned not associated Commission takes prompt action on complaints against staff deployed

Preparation for Elections - Procurement of Materials:

29 Preparation for Elections - Procurement of Materials Procurement of EVMs by the Commission Other materials by the CEOs and DEOs Standard procurement procedures followed Specifications of materials decided by the Commission in case of non standard items Advance planning by the Commission, CEOs and DEOs for procurement at their levels

Preparation for Elections - Relationship with stakeholders:

30 Preparation for Elections - Relationship with stakeholders Commission hears complaints & concerns of all political parties All political parties given similar treatment CEOs and DEOs call meetings of Political Parties for electoral rolls, enforcement of code of conduct, for deciding polling stations & counting centres Any individual or NGO can offer suggestions or can file complaints with the EC, CEOs & DEOs

Preparation for Elections - Security Arrangements:

31 Preparation for Elections - Security Arrangements Assessment for Central Force’s requirement is made keeping in mind the Law and Order situation State police and central paramilitary forces deployed based on requirements No police organ having any affiliation to the ruling party deployed Confidence building measures taken Situations watched regularly - special directions given, if needed

Observers:

32 Observers Appointed from senior civil servants General Observers drawn from IAS Expenditure Observers drawn from IRS Statutory role for Observers Report directly to Commission Eyes and ears of the Commission in the Constituencies Nearly 2000 observers appointed in GE 2004 All counting centers covered

Ingradients of a Credible Election:

33 Ingradients of a Credible Election Correct electoral rolls - fair opportunity is given to all for addition and deletion of names Freedom for filing nominations to all eligible persons No coercion – for abstention or casting votes Proper enforcement of Model Code of Conduct to create a level playing field Expenses by the candidates within the prescribed limits Conditions – in which an average elector feels secure for casting his vote freely without any fear Complete transparency in all electoral operations

Grievance Redressal Mechanism:

34 Grievance Redressal Mechanism Registration of electors Complete transparency maintained during preparation and revision of voter list Provision of appeals and redressal of grievances at every level Mechanism during the Campaign, the Poll and the counting of votes Setting up Control Rooms, Helplines and a credible communication network to facilitate filing of complaints and their timely redressal Election Petitions after the results are declared Can be filed by any elector or candidate Heard by High Court of the State Can lead to re-staging of the election Filed within 45 days of declaration of results Appeals lie with Supreme Court

Information Technology and the EC Website:

35 Information Technology and the EC Website EC makes an extensive use of Information Technology Dissemination of information amongst it offices through intranet and to the public through internet The electoral rolls are computerised in all the state languages and are available on the internet EC website is a comprehensive resource center for Indian Elections with: all election laws, manuals and handbooks Election results Electoral rolls (Voter Lists) EC servers are linked with all 1500 counting centers of the country on the poll day and results are made available in the real time URL is www.eci.gov.in

Electoral Reforms:

36 Electoral Reforms Criminalisation of politics Number of seats a person can contest Ext Polls and Opinion Polls Surrogate Advertisements on Print Media Political Ads on TV and Cable network Party Accounts and its Audit Government sponsored Advertisements Negative/Neutral Voting Decisions on Anti-defection cases

Other New Initiatives:

37 Other New Initiatives Use of Electronic Voting Machines Free time on state owned Electronic media for political parties - a step towards state funding of elections Check on criminalization of politics Computer networking and use of Information Technology Computerization of Electoral rolls Photo I-Cards Electoral rolls with photograph E-registration of electors Publishing national voter register on the EC website with a credible search mechanism Use of the GIS in electoral management Simplifying maintenance of accounts by candidates Simplifying filing of accounts Streamlining procedure for registration Model Code of Conduct

GE 2004 – Interesting Facts:

38 GE 2004 – Interesting Facts The oldest Candidate, as well as winner was 94 years old. The youngest elected MP is 26 years old. The average age of elected MP is 52.6 years. Out of 543 MPs, 45 are women. Maximum number of candidates was 35 in Madras South Constituency. Due to first-past-the-post system, about 2/3 rd elected MPs have less than 35% Votes polled (against number of Electors).

Photo Gallery – Elections 2004:

39 Photo Gallery – Elections 2004 Officials at distribution center Officials checking EVMs and polling materials Officials carrying EVMs and polling materials A group of Villagers with EPI cards Officials carrying EVMs and polling materials Electors going to exercise their Franchise An Elector familiarizing himself regarding functioning of EVM

Photo Gallery – Elections 2004:

40 Photo Gallery – Elections 2004 An elder on way to cast her vote Electors waiting in Q Indelible ink being marked on elector’s finger Physically challenged casting her vote Chief Election Commissioner casting his vote Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, Hon’ble President of India after casting his vote

Thanks:

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