Election 2014, India: Role of the First Polling Officer (FPO)
• District Election Officer nominates the
Presiding Officer and Assistant Presiding
Officer at the polling stations under the
Section 26 of the R.P. Act, 1951.
• Under the revised section 159 of the R.P.
Act, employees of the Central
Government, Panchayat, Local
Bodies, Universities, Nationalised
Banks, LIC, Government Companies
registered under the Company
Act, Government enterprises can be
nominated as polling officers at the polling
FPO’s duty starts at the hour at which
they have been asked to report at the
polling station, and it ends when at the
end of polling time, they hand over to
the presiding officer the voters’ list and
the count of male and female voters.
Sometimes the other officers ask FPOs to
stay late until the night when all
formalities are over. You need not.
The election process only appoints
you, but makes no provision for your
food, or water. You may not be allowed
to leave the station, and there may be
Please take adequate snacks for you to
last the long day.
If it is summer, your cooked lunch may
rot. Choose your food wisely.
Is the first officer that the
elector encounters inside the
Has the marked copy of the
Is responsible for identification
of the electors
The electoral roll should not bear any
marks or entries other than the “EDC”
marks against the names of those voters
on election duty and Voters who have
chosen postal ballots
Separate queues for men and women
Allow three or four voters at a time as
Infirms and women with babies in arms
may be given precedence over other
Men and women voters should be
admitted in alternate batches
› The slip is on plain white paper, may have the
name, serial number in the electoral roll, the
number of the electoral roll part and the number
and name of the polling station
› The slip should not contain the name of the
candidate and/or the name of his party and/or
facsimile of symbol allotted to him.
Don’t compel voter to bring an identity slip,
nor turn them away solely because they
don’t have it
The slip is not a conclusive proof of his
Ascertain and locate the name of the
elector in the electoral roll
Matching particulars in the relevant entry
in the roll, and loudly call out the page
number, the part number, the serial
number and the name of the elector to
the hearing of the polling agents and the
second polling officer.
In case an elector brings an identity slip,
his identity is to be established under the
procedure as explained in Chapter XII.
Thereafter the identity slip brought by the
elector should be torn into pieces and
put in the Waste Paper Basket supplied.
Such torn slips should not be thrown on the
floor. If there is no challenge as regards the
identity of the voter, the Polling Officer will
underline in every case the entry relating to
the elector in the marked copy of the
electoral roll with him and where the
elector is a female, put a (ü) mark also on
the left hand side of the name of the
female elector. Such tick marking will not
be necessary at a polling station set-up
exclusively for women.
At the end of the day’s polling he should count the
number of men and women voters who have voted
and record the result in the Presiding Officer’s diary.
One easy method of doing this would be to write
down all the serial numbers from 1 to 200 or 300 on
two separate sheets of paper before the
commencement of the poll. One such sheet may be
used for recording the number of men voters and the
other for women voters. The serial number on the
relevant number sheet should be struck off in
consecutive order, according to the sex of the voters
as and when they come to vote. This will also help in
ascertaining instantly the total number of men and
women voters who have voted up to a particular
The voter will then move to the Second
The slip contains party/contestant’s
details, call the polling agent, tear the
The voter is faking ID, call the presiding
officer and handover the imposter to
Voter is a woman in Purdah, verify
identity with help of woman PO in
Polling agents, candidates/party workers
may have a list of the names of dead,
and allegedly bogus voters.
If any person from that list comes to vote,
check that person's identity rigorously.
This does not mean a formal challenge
Do not entertain any challenge by a
candidate/polling agent to a voter's identity
unless the challenger pays five rupees in cash
Furnish a receipt to challenger in the form
prescribed in Annexure IX.
Warn the person challenged about the
penalty, read the relevant entry in the electoral
roll in full and ask him whether he is the person
referred to in entry
Enter his name and address in the list of
Challenge Votes (Form 10) and ask him to sign
or affix thumb impression thereon.
If he refuses to do so do not allow him to vote.
Ask the challenger to produce evidence that the challenged
voter is indeed faking ID
If the challenger fails to produce evidence, dismiss the
challenge and allow the person challenged to vote
If the challenger provides the evidence, then ask the voter to
counter the challenge. If he proves his ID, allow him to vote
If voter fails to do so, establish the challenge as valid
Feel free to ask the village officer, the neighbors of the voter
question and any other person present, administer an oath to
the paper challenged or nay other person offering to give
In case the challenge has been established, hand over the
person to the policeman on duty together with your complaint
as in Annexure X addressed to Station House Officer of Police
Station in the jurisdiction of which your polling station falls.
After successful inquiry, return the
challenge fee of five rupees, take
receipt in Column of Form 10 and on
counterfoil of the relevant receipt in the
If challenge was not genuine, forfeit the
challenge fee, enter the word “forfeited”
in Column of Form 10 and relevant
counterfoil in the Receipt Book
If you are otherwise satisfied about
identity of the person, ignore the clerical
errors in the roll
It may appear to you that the voter is
younger than 18 years of age in spite of
th ID proof. If so, take an affidavit from
him/her but allow to vote if they have
the ID proof.
On production of election duty certificate,
obtain the signature of the person
Enter the person’s name and electoral roll
number as mentioned in the certificate at
the end of the marked copy of electoral roll
Permit him to vote by means of the voting
machine in the same manner as for an
elector entitled to vote at that polling
1. Maintain close relation with members of your Polling
Party, work as team
2. Ensure that all the Polling materials have been given to
3. Compare marked copies of Electoral Roll and see that
both are identical and see that marked copies of
Electoral Rolls contain no mark other than PB and EDC.
4. See that deletions of names and corrections as per
supplement have been incorporated.
5. All papers of working copies of Roll are serially
numbered in manuscript.
6. Printed serial numbers of voters are not corrected and
no new number substituted.
7. Arrive at least 45 minutes before Poll at the Polling
8. Separate entry and exit for voters at Polling Station.
9. Appoint a Polling Officer locally, if any Polling Officer is