Chapter I Broad Outlines Of Duties
Chapter II Formation Of Polling Party And Rehearsals
Chapter III Collection Of Polling Materials
Chapter IV Set Up Of Polling Station
Chapter V Assignment Of Duties To Polling Officers
Chapter VI Regulation Of Entry Into And Seating Arrangements In The Polling Station
Chapter VII Preparation Of Ballot Papers For Issue
Chapter VIII Preparation Of Ballot Box And Procedure For Use Of Additional Ballot Box
Chapter IX Commencement Of The Poll
Chapter X Safeguards For Free And Fair Election
Chapter XI Enforcement Of Election Law In And Around Polling Station
Chapter XII Verification Of Elector Identity And Procedure In Case Of Challenge
Chapter XIII Application Of Indelible Ink And Obtaining Signature Thumb Impression Of Elector Before Issue Of Ballot Paper
Chapter XIV Issue Of Ballot Papers And Instructions To Voters Regarding Voting Procedure
Chapter XV Precautions For Maintaining Secrecy
Chapter XVI Voting By Public Servants On Election Duty Certificates
Chapter XVII Tendered Ballot Papers And Cancellation Of Ballot Papers
Chapter XVIII Adjournment Stoppage Of Poll Riot Booth Capturing Etc.
Chapter XIX Close Of Poll
Chapter XX Closing And Sealing Of Ballot Boxes And Election Papers
Chapter XXI Preparation Of The Diary And Delivery Of Ballot Boxes And Election Papers At Collection Centres
Chapter XXII Brief Guidelines For The Presiding Officers
Chapter – I

  1. As Presiding Officer, you have an important role to play in the conduct of poll. You enjoy full legal power control the proceedings in the polling station under your charge. It is your primary duty and responsibility to ensure a free and fair poll at your polling station. It is necessary for this purpose to equip yourself fully with the law and procedure and the relevant instructions and directions of the Commission in relation the conduct of elections so as to enable you to act strictly in accordance with them and give no room for any reasonable complaint.

  2. The provisions of the law which have a bearing on your duties as a Presiding Officers are reproduced in Annexure I and Ii of this Handbook. While detailed instructions and guidance are contained in the various Chapters of this Handbook, some of the salient and important aspects of your duty are reproduced below for your guidance:-

    1. Your must acquaint yourself with members of your polling party and keep contact with them right from your appointment as Presiding Officer.

    2. You must keep in ready possession all relevant instructions of the Returning Officer.

    3. You must have a clear idea of the location of your polling station and your itinerary to and from the polling station.

    4. You should attend all rehearsals and training classes without fail

    5. While collecting election materials, you should ensure that all items have been handed over to you. The most important items are ballot papers, ballot boxes, working copy of electoral roll and other copy. arrow cross mark, rubber stamp for voting, distinguishing mark, statutory forms, sealing wax and indelible ink.

    6. On arrival at the polling station, you should have clear idea of the arrangements to be made for setting of a proper polling station especially to secure secrecy of voting, regulation of quake of voters, protection of poll proceedings free from outside interference etc.

    7. You are required to sign your name in full on the back of each ballot paper before issue (but not on the counterfoil of the ballor paper). To enable the commencement of poll at the appointed time, you should keep in advance some ballot papers signed.

    8. You are also required to affix on the back of each ballot paper and its counterfoil “distinguishing mark” of your polling station with the rubber stamp given to you.

    9. The identity of an elector should be properly verified by the First Polling Officer and the unofficial identity slips carried by an elctor should not be accepted as a matter of routine and ballot paper issued on that basis.

    10. The instructions for establishing the identity of the elector should be followed carefully. The First Polling Officer is not required to check the left forefinger of the elector with a view to seeing whether there is any indelible ink mark, faint or otherwise. This work will be done by the Second Polling Officer.

    11. After an elector is identified with reference to his entry with particulars in the elector left forefinger should be marked with the indelible ink. His signature or thumb should also be obtained on the counterfoil of the a ballot paper and then only he should be the ballot paper.

    12. In order to ensure the indelible ink mark put on the voter's finger has properly dried up and developed into a distinct indelible ink mark it may be necessary that his left forefinger is again checked up by the last Polling before the elector leaves the station. If the ink mark is not distinct or found removed, the elector's forefinger should again be marked with the indelible ink.

    13. After an elector has been identified in the working copy of the electoral roll, the entry relating to the elector should be underlined and tick mark () will also be put in the case of a female elector. The Serial No. of the ballot paper should not be noted at all in the marked copy of the electoral roll against the elector's name. If an elector refuses to put his signature or thumb impression on the counterfoil, he should not be issued a ballot paper.

    14. The ballot papers need not be issued to electors in consecutive serial order as that would enable the polling agents to work out the serial number of ballot paper that is being issued to individual voters. At the same time. If the first three or four bundles of ballot papers (50 in number in a bundle) are shuffled and bundles used at random and not in consecutive serial order, then the object would be served, At the close of the poll, the numbers of the ballot papers issued to the electors should be in continuous and unbroken series to avoid confusion in drawing up the ballot paper account.

    15. If an elector to whom a ballot paper issued, refuses even after warning given to him to observe the procedure relating to the maintenance of secrecy of voting within the polling station, the ballot paper issued to him shall, whether he has recorded his vote or not be taken form him by you or under your direction and thereafter cancelled.

    16. There are declarations to be filled by you and signed by polling agents in the polling station at the commencement and at the end of the poll.

    17. You have to go on recording the relevant events as and when they occur in the Presiding Officer's Diary given to you and which is serially numbered.

    18. You have to regulate the proceedings in the polling station for peaceful and smooth conduct of poll. You require much tact but at the same time should be firm and impartial.

    19. You are required to furnish particulars of the forms of ballot paper account filled at the close of the poll to the agent of each candidate present at the close poll, if they so desire.

    20. You should ensure that after the closing hour of poll, nobody is allowed to join the queue and for that purpose, you should distribute slips to all electors standing in the queue starting the operation from the end of the queue.

    21. You should follow carefully the instructions for sealing election papers in different covers so that no avoidable mistake is committed which cannot be rectified later.

    22. It is your responsibility to hand over the ballot boxes and other election materials after poll under proper receipt.

  3. Your duties in brief at various stages are given in Annexure III under the five different heads for your convenience.

  4. To ensure that you have fulfilled the various statutory requirements in connection with the election, Commissions has drawn up a CHECK MEMO for you as given in ANNEXURE-IV. The said CHECK MEMO should be maintained by you.
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Last Updated : 23 Mar,2014