Voting is your fundamental right and duty. Through voting, you are transferring a part of the power over yourself to a representative elected for common good.
If you do not participate in voting, your power is taken away from you by default or cheating or by force. You and the society are the losers.
So far, no government in India was elected at the national level with a majority vote. Even the largest parliamentary majorities were based on less than 50% voter support. When we consider that the polling percentages are about 50-60%, the winning parties obtained a maximum of 25-27% of the total eligible voters' support. Sometimes, this support is only about 20% of the total voters. On many occasions at the constituency level, the winning candidates obtained only 25% or fewer votes polled! There are also instances of the winning candidate obtaining fewers votes than required for refund of deposit i.e. less than 1/6 of the total number of valid votes polled.
As elections become increasingly competitive, and as politics and society are highly polarized, even 4 or 5% votes cast by enlightened and informed citizens will make a big difference to the result. Therefore please take the following steps for voting.
You should cast your vote. Or else the local goonda will capture the booths and cast your vote.
Ensure that ineligible names are deleted from the electoral rolls in advance.
Ensure that your name and names of other eligible persons are enrolled.
- Please vote for any candidate or party of your choice.
If the party of your choice does not put up a good candidate, and if there is a genuinely worthy candidate contesting, then you should not vote for a bad or incompetent or corrupt or criminal candidate in the name of a party. Ultimately there is no guarantee that the candidate elected in the name of a party will remain with that party! Therefore the calibre and character of a candidate are more important than your party loyalty.
Find out your polling station number (part number) and the serial number and address of polling booth in advance.
- Do not accept transport from any party or candidate.
If you do not know your serial number, you can receive help from the agents of candidates near the polling area. But you are not in anyway obliged to vote for a party or candidate, whose workers gave you assistance.
Go as early as possible, so that someone else cannot impersonate you and vote in your name. Please remember, if someone impersonate you, and votes, then that person's false vote will be in the ballot box, and it will be counted!
In such a case, you should ask for a tendered vote after establishing your identity through a ration card or driving license or credit card or passport. You can mark the ballot paper given to you and hand it over to the polling officials. However, in such a case, your vote called tendered vote, cannot be counted. But it can be a valid ground for an election petition.
Lok Satta is making efforts to persuade the Election Commission to order an automatic repoll whenever the tendered votes exceed a prescribed number. This simple step, which can be taken by the Election Commission without any change of law, will significantly reduce bogus voting and booth capturing.
If the polling officials are encouraging the voters to vote for any particular party or candidate, please give a written complaint to the officers who will be visiting regularly, or else complain to the Returning Officer, or Assistant Returning Officer. You may approach the local MRO or RDO or Sub-Collector.
If there is organized rigging or impersonation or booth capturing or if people are forcibly prevented from voting, please complain immediately to the authorities mentioned above. In such cases, if there is evidence, repolling will be ordered.
Even if you do not like any candidate, please go out and vote. In case you feel all candidates or unworthy, please obtain the ballot paper and cancel it by making a big X mark across it.
By this 'Rejection Vote', you will be preventing impersonation and bogus vote.
If enlightened people go out and vote, parties will be compelled to nominate good candidates. If there are many rejections, the voters will be sending a powerful signal to the parties and the society about the need for electoral and party reforms.
This rejection vote is an expression of strong protest and should be used, instead of not voting.
If you need any assistance regarding voting, please contact the local Lok Satta unit. Where there is no local unit of Lok Satta, please form a unit in consultation with Lok Satta District Branch of apex unit.
Please organize common platforms with all party candidates at major centres in the constituency and obtain answers to people's questions in public. Let people decide on the basis of knowledge.
Please obtain information about candidates and circulate it widely.
Lok Satta will extend all help in organizing common platforms and in circulating information about candidates. Please avail this help and help yourself by electing a good candidate and rejecting unworthy persons.