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Polling and Counting of Votes

The final stage of an election is the day when the voters cast their vote. This day is usually called the election day.

Voting - Counting Centre

Polling or Voting Procedure

  • Every person whose name is on the voter's list can go to a nearby 'polling booth' to cast his vote.
  • Polling booths are usually situated in a local school or a government office.
  • Once the voter goes inside the booth, the election officials check his name on the voters list.
  • Then the voters name is ticked in the list so that the official knows that the voter has cast the vote.
  • A mark is put on the voters finger and is allowed to cast the vote.
  • The mark ensures that the same person cannot cast the vote 2 times, as the mark cannot be erased for at least a week.
  • If the voter has a voters ID he has to produce it before voting.
  • Voters are given a ballot paper.
  • A ballot paper is a sheet of paper on which the names of the contesting candidates along with party name and symbols are listed.
  • The voter puts a stamp on the name of the candidate he wants to elect.
  • Voting is done in utmost secrecy. No one else, even the election officers do not know who the voter is voting for. This is called the 'secret ballot'.
  • Nowadays electronic voting machines (EVM) are used to record votes.
  • An agent of each candidate is allowed to sit inside the polling booth and ensure that the voting takes place in a fair way.

Electoral Voting machines (EVM)

  • The machine shows the names of all the candidates and the party symbols.
  • Independent candidates too have their own symbols, allotted by election officials.
  • All the voter has to do is to press the button against the name of the candidate she/ he wants to give her/his vote.
  • Once the polling is over, all the EVMs are sealed and taken to a secure place.
  • A few days later, on a fixed date, all the EVMs from a constituency are opened and the votes secured by each candidate are counted.
  • The agents of all candidates are present there to ensure that the counting is done properly.

Electoral Voting Machines

The candidate who secures the highest number of votes from a constituency is declared elected. In a general election, usually the counting of votes in all the constituencies takes place at the same time and on the same day.

Television channels, radio and newspapers report this event. Within a few hours of counting, all the results are declared and it becomes clear as to who will form the next government.

Electoral Politics

A large amount of money is spent in conducting elections in India.


2004 Lok Sabha Election Expenditure

  • The Government spent about Rs.1,300 crores
  • The candidates spent roughly Rs. 1,700 crores
  • That is, the election has cost Rs. 50/- per voter

In a developing country like India, elections can be a burden sometimes.


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