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About Election Commission of India.ppt

  1. 1. 1 Election Commission of India URL :
  2. 2. 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
  3. 3. 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.
  4. 4. 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.
  5. 5. 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)
  6. 6. 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.
  7. 7. 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
  8. 8. 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
  9. 9. 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
  10. 10. 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)
  11. 11. 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
  12. 12. 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)
  13. 13. 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
  14. 14. 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
  15. 15. 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
  16. 16. 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
  17. 17. 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
  18. 18. 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.
  19. 19. 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
  20. 20. 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
  21. 21. 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.
  22. 22. 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
  23. 23. 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)
  24. 24. 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
  25. 25. 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
  26. 26. 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
  27. 27. 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
  28. 28. 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
  29. 29. 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
  30. 30. 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
  31. 31. 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
  32. 32. 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
  33. 33. 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
  34. 34. 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
  35. 35. 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
  36. 36. 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
  37. 37. 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
  38. 38. 38 GE 2004 – Interesting Facts 1. The oldest Candidate, as well as winner was 94 years old. 2. The youngest elected MP is 26 years old. 3. The average age of elected MP is 52.6 years. 4. Out of 543 MPs, 45 are women. 5. Maximum number of candidates was 35 in Madras South Constituency. 6. Due to first-past-the-post system, about 2/3rd elected MPs have less than 35% Votes polled (against number of Electors).
  39. 39. 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
  40. 40. 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
  41. 41. 41 Thanks