#MeraVoteMeriDilli: 5 things to keep in mind before you vote

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We’ve grown 18 years of age listening about politicians and politics, corruption and scams, lack of agility and force to cause an action in the society. But gone are the days when we were a mute spectator of growing problems, for now is the time to bring about a concrete solution to major, if not all problems prevalent today. The best way to this and to extend your support in a democracy is to vote.

With the voting process scheduled for tomorrow, 7th February 2015, here are a few things for you to keep in mind:

1. Be an informed voter

The entire city of Delhi has been divided into 70 constituencies with numerous candidates from each.. For detailed and objective information about the nominated candidates of your constituency do visit www.myneta.info, a portal that provides all necessary facts on qualification, allocated budget and use, and criminal proceedings, that can make you make up your mind and be an informed and aware voter.

2. What if I am in favour of none of the candidates?

If in case you are not satisfied by any of the candidates running in your constituency, choose the none of the above (NOTA) option on the EVM. If we have the liberty to express our collective decisions by choosing our leaders, then we have the right to express our displeasure at the candidates too. You should know it is not akin to ‘Right To Reject’ where if a certain percentage of the voters choose the latter option, the elections are cancelled and all the candidates have to be changed by the parties. In India, even if a majority of the voters choose NOTA, the candidate getting the most number of votes will win the contest.


3. Vote with prejudice to none

Cast your vote on the basis of your own research and experience, on your own vision and weighted capabilities of the individuals contesting elections. Narrow objects of voting in favour of known but incapable candidates does more bad than good. Refrain from being brainwashed my views, surveys and issues, base your thought process on them instead. Don’t vote for a party or candidate because your family is supporting it, rather vote because they meet your vision.

Do not let your voting decision to be affected by any externalities like call for votes on caste, creed, religion, gender or extended common roots. Do not accept any gifts, appeasements or cash from candidates, report events like distribution of liquor, undue influence, booth capturing to the regional election officer. Do not even accept nominal perks like commutation to the voting booth from the contestants.

4. How does the voting happen?

Mere possession of EPIC (elector’s photo identity card) doesn’t guarantee voting right, the name of voter should appear in the electoral roll. This checking of identification and credentials is the first thing that happens as the voter enters polling booth. The second polling officer marks the left hand forefinger of voter with indelible ink and takes his signature on the electoral roll. The third polling officer collects the electoral slip and makes the voter vote. The voter shall then press the button against the desired candidate, only once. The pressing of button would glow a red lamp in front of candidate’s name following a beep sound meaning that the vote has been is registered.

5. Secrecy of Vote & Tendered Vote

According to the Election Commission Guidelines, it is mandatory for the voter to maintain secrecy about his/her selection, failing to do which shall disqualify him/her from voting and may amount to legal proceedings. Also, incase the voter upon arrival finds his/her vote to be already cast, he/she can complain against such discrepancy. This shall forfeit the previously casted vote and the original voter shall be entitled to cast his/her vote on a tendered ballot paper, however not on the EVM.

Hope the above stated guidelines help you!

We hope the first time voters successfully cast a legitimate vote – one that is backed up by information and choice and is not a random button pressing futile exercise. As long as you cast an informed vote, you are being a responsible citizen.

Mridul Sharma is a final year B.Com (Honors) aspirant from DCAC, a patron of meaningful cinema and good soft music and has deep love for writing. He is more of a poet, feels whatever he writes and writes to understand what he feels, a little better. Currently, the Associate Web Editor at DU Beat, he is looking forward to his final year and can be contacted at [email protected]

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