All set to vote in the BBMP Elections 2015? Here’s a quick guide for you

After much drama, Bengaluru will finally be going to polls on Saturday August 22nd. And we’re hoping that people come out in droves to vote. Tomorrow will surely be a day of reckoning, not only for those who are standing for the elections, but also for all of Bengaluru’s citizens.

People queuing up at a polling booth in Whitefield during the previous BBMP elections. Pic: Subramaniam Vincent

Joining the three big players this time, are several contestants from new-age parties too. Many hopefuls who did not get tickets, have decided to contest independently.

Here is Citizen Matters’ guide on the big voting day! This will hopefully give you answers to any doubts you may have. In case you don’t find what you’re looking for in the article, drop us a note in the Comments thread, and we’ll try and answer it for you.

I’m not sure if I am eligible to vote in BBMP elections 2015. What should I do?

If your name features on the electoral roll, that means you are eligible to vote. You can search for your name using your EPIC number (voter ID number) and by keying in your personal details.

Follow the links to check.

I can find my name on the electoral roll, but I don’t have my voters ID. How can I vote?

As long as your name is there on the electoral roll, you can vote. In case you do not have your Voters ID or EPIC card, make sure you carry a valid ID card when you go to the polling booth.

If you have not found your name on voter list, and have not checked again recently, it is time to check it again. Because, there is a chance that your name might have been included recently.

What are the accepted forms of ID I can carry instead of the EPIC card?

For voters who do not have their EPIC card (but are registered on the voters list), the State Election Commission has said that the following photo IDs will suffice as proof of identity.

  1. Passports

  2. Driving license

  3. Income Tax Identity (PAN) Cards

  4. Service Identity Cards with photograph issued to its employees by State/Central Government, Public Sector undertakings or Public Limited Companies

  5. Passbooks with photograph issued by Public Sector Banks/Post Office and Kisan Passbook

  6. Student Identity Card with photograph issued by Recognized Educational Institutions

  7. Property documents with Photograph such a pattas, Registered Deeds, etc

  8. Ration Card with Photograph issued

  9. SC/ST/OBC Certificates with photograph issued by competent authority

  10. Pension Document with photograph such as ex – servicemen’s Pension Book/Pension Payment Order, ex-servicemen’s Widow/Dependent Certificates, Old Age Pension Order, Widow Pension Order with photograph

  11. Freedom Fighter Identity Card with photograph

  12. Arms License with photograph issued

  13. Certificate of Physical Handicap with photograph issued by competent authority

  14. Ex-servicemen CSD Canteen card with photograph

  15. Sandhya Suraksha Scheme Card with photograph issued

  16. Job Card with photograph issued under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme

  17. Yashaswini Card with photograph issued

  18. The service identity cards with photographs issued by the local bodies namely Municipal Corporation, City Municipal Council, Town Municipal Council, Village Panchayats, etc

  19. Senior Citizen Cards bearing photographs of the holder of the card, issued by the Government Department

  20. Temporary or permanent Ration card which including Family members details with photographs issued by Government of Karnataka

  21. Health Insurance Scheme smart card, with photograph (Ministry of Labour Scheme)

  22. Aadhaar Card issued

Can I vote if my name is not on the electoral roll?

No, you cannot vote if your name is not on the electoral roll. This also applies to those who might have their voter IDs from another state – you cannot vote in Bengaluru. It is also applicable to those who moved from one area to another within Bengaluru – you cannot vote in your new area if you don’t have your name listed in the voter list.

In any case, if you’ve been a resident of Bengaluru for a while, and would like to cast vote in the future, read our guide: Register yourself on the voter’s list.

How can I find out which ward I belong to?

While you may live in Indiranagar, the name of your ward is not necessarily the same. I Change My City has a tool that you can use to look for your ward. All you need to do is type out your address, and the name of your ward will be displayed. Click here to get started.

Where can I find information about the candidates for my ward?

You can look for the list of candidates in your ward on the BBMP website. You will find the Candidate Form 7 which has the names of all contestants (in Kannada) contesting in your ward. You can also view the candidate affidavits (in Kannada).

Alternately, you can also find the relevant information on Citizen Matters. Once you’ve identified which ward you belong to, you can click here to see the list of candidates for your ward.

We have also featured around 45 wards – you’ll find the lot of them here. In addition to candidate names, some candidates have shared their profiles with us. For some others, we have shared links to the affidavits.

To know more about your candidate, it may help to simply search for their name online. In case they’ve been in the limelight for work done in the community, or if they have been caught up in some scam, you might find some information on them.

So where do I need to go to cast my vote?

As per a press note released by the BBMP, all you need to do is SMS to get information about your polling booth.

SMS EPIC <10 digit EPIC number> to 8861866993.

Disclaimer: We did try, but it did not seem to work for us. We hope you will have more luck.

A BBMP press note also says that you can ask at Bagalore One centres for information about the same.

Alternately, you can check this page which a reader shared with us. This will help you locate the polling booths in your ward. 

What should I carry with me to the polling booth?

Besides yourself and every other member of your family who is eligible to vote, carry your EPIC card and your voter slip. This should have been delivered to your house by party volunteers or BBMP officials.

Once again, if you are eligible to vote, but don’t have your EPIC card, carry a valid photo ID with you.

What can I expect at the polling booth?

There are reportedly 7,436 polling booths across the city to cater to the 76,83,457 voters (Male – 38,76,291, Female – 35,01,728, Others – 1,174) in Bengaluru. So if you can wake up early, it may be best to head to the booth early to ensure you don’t get stuck in long queues.

The polling booths are open from 7 am to 5 pm.

I don’t want to vote for any party. Can I exercise the NOTA option?

Though many voters chose the NOTA (None of the above) option at the time of the Assembly Elections in May 2014, it doesn’t seem like it is an option this time around. The EVMs that will be used in the BBMP polls do not come with the NOTA option. Voting has been made compulsory for municipal and Gram Panchayat elections – you HAVE to vote for someone. Choose the lesser of the evils, if you don’t find good ones!

Additional resources

Helplines

On Citizen Matters

Check out Citizen Matters’ Special Reportage on the BBMP Elections 2015:
http://bangalore.citizenmatters.in/articles/bbmp-elections-2015-citizen-matters-coverage.

Here’s what we have covered so far.

Related Articles

BBMP Elections 2015: Special coverage by Citizen Matters
BBMP election 2015 – full list of candidates
Wardwise list of voters in Bengaluru – BBMP election 2015

About Ganga Madappa 77 Articles

Ganga Madappa is a Staff Reporter and the Community Manager at Citizen Matters. She loves cats and books and travel. She tweets at @pulicatmonster and blogs at Random Rambling.

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