Don’t be tempted to take a selfie inside the polling booth!

Chief Election Officer for Karnataka, Anil Kumar Jha in a press conference in Bengaluru on Monday reiterated the model code of conduct and presented statistics relating to the number of polling stations, vehicles mobilised for poll purpose and polling personnel, among others. Jha said there would be a ban on public meetings and processions from 15 April evening onwards.

Setting up of temporary offices by party or candidate
Such offices cannot be opened by way of any encroachment either on public or private property/ in any religious places or campus of such religious places/ contiguous to any educational institution / hospital / within 200 meters of an existing polling station. Further, such offices can display only one party flag and banner with party symbol/photographs and the size of the banner used in such offices should not exceed 4.5 feet length and 3 feet breadth.

No bribing or impersonation of voters

According to the guidelines prescribed by the Election Commission of India, all parties and candidates shall scrupulously avoid all activities which are “corrupt practices” and offences under the election law. They are:

  • Bribing of voters in cash or kind
  • Intimidation of voters
  • Impersonation of voters (voting on behalf of others)
  • Canvassing within 100 meters of a polling station
  • Holding public meetings during the period of 48 hours before the commencement of the polls
  • Whenever possible, buses to the polling booths will be run by the administration officials
  • None of the candidates or parties can make transport arrangements
Some numbers

  • Number of polling stations: 54,261 (excluding 3 auxiliary)
  • Hypersensitive: 11,424
  • Sensitive: 14,968
  • Number of polling personnel: 2,95,016 (Men: 1,76,968  Women: 1,18,048)
  • Uniformed personnel (Armed police, Home Guards, CRPF): More than 60,000
  • Number of vehicles mobilised for poll purpose (not security): 20,200 (5,000 vehicles for sector/election officers)
  • Model polling booths set up by BBMP: 100 (5-10 in each constituency)
Paid Hoilday
Voting hours will be between 7 am and 6 pm on Thursday April 17th. Voters who are present at the polling booth at 6 pm, will be allowed to vote. According to Sec 135 B of the Representation of the People Act, people employed in any business, trade, industrial undertaking or any other establishment and entitled to vote in poll-bound states were entitled to paid holiday on the day of election. People who are campaigning or workers, if they are not voters, should leave the area near the polling booth on April 15th (6 pm onwards).
 
No survey or poll analysis
Any kind of poll-related survey/analysis, panel discussion which will in any way affect the decision of the voter or results, on electronic media will be banned 6 pm onwards on April 15th. Not following this guideline can attract a penalty of up to two years.
 
No ‘selfies’ inside booths

The Election Commission has issued a circular banning the use of mobile phones inside polling booths. None of the voters will be allowed to carry their mobile phones inside the polling booth. They will be required to handover their phones to the returning officer or polling officer at the booth. Jha added, “Any selfies clicked inside the polling booths can attract imprisonment up to three months since it is a violation of the Representation of the People Act. Voters are however free to take selfies outside the polling booth.”

When asked about the first time voters in all the 28 constituencies in Bangalore, CEO-KA Jha said, “We cannot give you the exact number of first time voters, because even a 21-year-old can be a first time voter. But, the number of voters in the age group 18-19 years is 11,12,520.

On the number of voters with disabilities, he added, “We have no database for disabled voters.”

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