Election Commission of India
URL : www.eci.gov.in
Electoral Administration - Framework
Election Commission of India – The Indian
Constitution provides for its creation.
 Appointment of CEC and ECs
 Right to vote to all above 18 years of age
 Bicameral Composition of Parliament
 Composition of State Legislatures
 Delimitation of constituencies after each census
 Duration of each House
Election Commission of India
– Constitutional Provision
Article 324 (1) The superintendence,
direction and control of the preparation of the
electoral rolls for, and the conduct of, all
elections to Parliament and to the Legislature
of every State and of elections to the offices
of President and Vice-President held under
this Constitution shall be vested in the
Election Commission.
A Multi-Member Commission
– Constitutional Position
Article 324 (2) – The Election Commission shall consist of
the Chief Election Commissioner and such number of
other Election Commissioners, if any, as the President may
from time to time fix and the appointment of the Chief
Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners
shall, subject to the provisions of any law made in that
behalf by Parliament, be made by the President.
Article 324 (3) – When any other Election Commissioner
is so appointed the Chief Election Commissioner shall act
as the Chairman of the Election Commission.
A Multi-Member Commission
From Jan 1950 to mid Oct 1989 – A single Member Commission
headed by a Chief Election Commissioner.
(Argument put forward was that decisions need to be taken
expeditiously when election process is on. And, a single member
Commission would be more suited for it)
 From Oct 16, 1989 till Dec 1989 – It was a Three Member
 From Jan 1990 to Sep 1993 – A Single Member Commission.
 From Oct 1993 till today – A Three Member Commission.
(The Chief Election Commissioner and Two Election
Conditions of Service
The CEC and the ECs placed at par in matters of salary and allowances
and it is the same as that of a judge of Supreme Court.
Tenure of CEC and ECs fixed as 6 years subject to the maximum age
limit of 65 years.
The CEC and ECs all have equal powers in matters of decision making.
In case of difference, decisions are taken by opinion of majority.
The Commission takes all the elections by consensus.
The CEC shall not be removed from his office except in the like manner
and on the like grounds as a judge of the Supreme Court.
Service conditions cannot be varied to his disadvantage after his
The ECs cannot be removed except on the CEC’s recommendation.
Commission’s Secretariat
Deputy Election Commissioners – 03
 Directors(Admn. And IT) – 01
 Secretaries (Zonals and Specifics)– 10
 Under Secretaries – 12
 Jt Director + OSD (IT) – 02
 Assistant Director (Stats.) – 02
 Section Officers – 33
 Assistants & others – 275
Election Machinery in States
Chief Electoral Officers – 35
 District Election Officers – 601
 Returning Officers (Parliament) – 543
 Returning Officers (Assembly) – 4120
 Asstt. Returning Officers (Parliament) – 4600
 Asstt. Returning Officers (Assembly) – 10,000
 Electoral Registration Officers – 4120
 Asstt. Electoral Registration Officers - 4800
Right to Vote
Any citizen over 18 can vote can vote
Voting right denied to certain class of people:
criminal convicts of certain class
person convicted of electoral offence
person of unsound mind
There is no compulsion to vote
Voting statistics
57.94% in 1996
61.97% in 1998
59.01% in 1999
58.07% in 2004
Scale of Operation
Recognized National Parties – 06
Recognized State Parties – 45
Registered Unrecognized Parties – 702
Polling Stations – 687,000
Electorate – Nearly 671 million
Turn out – Nearly 389 million
Staff deployed on Poll Day (Presiding Officers, Polling
Officers and helpers) – Nearly 4 million
Security personnel deployed – Nearly 2.5 million
Approximate direct cost – INR 13000 million (USD
280 million)
Transaction of Business
Regular meetings
 Circulation of papers
 Consultation and informal discussions
 All Election Commissioners have equal say
 Delegation of some executive functions to
Division of work
Functional and territorial divisions
Information Systems
Secretarial Coordination
Territorial - States and UTs divided into 6 zones (North, NorthEast, East. Central, West, South)
Budget and Expenditure
Voted budget
Independent Budget finalised in consultation with
Finance Ministry
Funds for Conduct of elections reflected in the budget
of States/UTs
Only Parliament election - Funded entirely by Centre
Only Assembly election - Funded by the State
Simultaneous election - Expenses shared equally
Expenditure on capital equipment shared equally
Expenditure on electoral rolls, PICs also shared equally
When Elections take place?
Term of Parliament & Assembly - 5years (except J & K
Assembly where it is 6 years)
House can be dissolved before its term ends
Dates decided by the Commission. No consultation done with
any Government
Commission can call for elections six months prior to the date
on which normal tenure of Assembly or Parliament expires.
14 General elections since 1952.
Bye-elections when a seat falls vacant. Normally held within 6months of vacancy. No Bye-elections if vacancy for less than
one year
Scheduling of Elections
No more than 6-month gap between last session of
Parliament/Assembly and recalling of new House
Elections to fall within this period
Number of considerations in scheduling:
Law & order
Movement of Central police forces
Agricultural cycles
Exam schedules
Public holidays
Logistical requirements
Who can Contest?
Any citizen over 25 years for Lok Sabha & Vidhan Sabha
Any citizen over 30 years for Rajya sabha & Vidhan Parishad
For Lok Sabha & Rajya Sabha candidate- registered voter in any
For Vidhan Sabha & Vidhan Parishad- registered voter only in that
Candidate should not be convicted or disqualified otherwise
Security deposit:
– Rs.10,000/ for Lok Sabha
– Rs. 5000/- for Rajya Sabha, Vidhan Sabha & Vidhan Parishad
– SC & ST candidates pay half the amount
– Deposit returned if candidate secures more than 1/6th of valid
Nominations need to be proposed by electors:
– one for candidate of national/state party
– ten for others
The Contestants
7 days for filing nominations
Scrutiny a day following the last date for nominations
Thereafter 2 days provided for withdrawal
Final list prepared after withdrawal
4370 candidates for 543 seats in 1999, 5435 in 2004 (2386 independents)
Average number of contestants:
– 1952 -- 3.8
– 1991 -- 16.3
– 1996 -- 25.6
– 1998 -- 8.75
– 1999 -- 8.05
– 2004 -- 10.01
Size of deposit increased in1996
Number of electors nominating a candidate increased
Time and mode of election campaigns
Campaign period of about 13 days or more
 Ends 48 hours before polling closes
 Parties issue manifestoes
 Slogans, Door-to-door campaigning etc.
 Posters, meetings, processions etc.
Model Code of Conduct
Part I
Part II
Part III
 Part IV
 Part V
 Part VI
 Part VII
Minimum standards of behaviour
Public meetings
Processions by political parties
Conduct of political parties
Conduct on poll day
Handling of complaints
Parties in Power
Checks on Party in Power
No official tour with campaigning
 Bar on use of official vehicle/aircraft
 Equal opportunity for use of public places for
meetings, stay etc
 No ads on public expense
 No announcement or promise of new schemes
 No new financial sanctions
 No fresh appointments
Voter Education - I
 Fund provided to CEOs to give Newspaper inserts, radio jingles,
television spots, Banners, posters and produce literature
 In rural areas – drum beating, chaupal (village assemblies) etc
 Electoral Rolls displayed and read in local bodies like Gram
Sabhas and Resident’s Welfare Associations etc.
 To enable voters to make an informed choice
- All candidates are required to declare their criminal past,
educational qualifications, assets and liabilities etc.- Affidavits
filed displayed publicly and also put on the EC website.
 Efforts on to make information on poll expenses public.
Voter Education - II
 NGOs are encouraged to educate voters
 A number of Election Watch Groups played a positive roll in
2004 elections
 One industry gr. also helped in putting up helplines and kiosks
By Political parties and candidates
 They are the real stake holders and hence play crucial role in
voter education
 Advertisements, person to person contacts, meetings, posters are
the modes
By Media
Media mature - plays a crucial role
Women Participation
Women seats
 No specific law for reservation of seats as yet
 Political parties expected to put up women candidates
in reasonable numbers
Facilities on the polling stations
 Separate Q for women voters
 At least one lady officer posted in every polling station
 Lady officer alone can see and verify “pardhanasheen”
ladies ( Ladies wearing veils)
Limits on Poll Expenses - I
Limits on candidates
 Lok Sabha - Maximum Rs. 2,500,000 ; Minimum - Rs. 1,000,000.
 Vidhan Sabha- Max. Rs. 1,000,000; Min. - Rs. 500,000.
 Commission monitors expenses closely
– Expenditure Observers
– Detailed accounts furnished by candidates within 30 days of
declaration of election results
Limits on politicasl parties
Political parties and supporters till recently could spend as much as
they wanted in the campaign in addition
Political parties will file their annual income statements before the
Limits on Poll Expenses-II
Expenses that are exempted
 No expenses except the travel expenses on upto 40
national leaders of a recognised party and 20 of
registered/unrecognised parties are exempted
 Expenses made by well wishers, friends and relatives
of the candidates are now added to the candidate’s
 Expenses incurred by the parties to publicise its
policies and programmes are not included in the
candidate’s expenditure
Electronic Media
Arrangement between Prasar Bharti and Election
Free time on AIR and Doordarshan to National and
State parties
Political parties can reach out to every corner
Ensures level playing field
63 hours given during GE 1999, -- hours during GE
Indirect State funding
Now being extended to the Private Channels
Preparation for Elections
- Mobilisation of the Staff
Drawn from various Central and State
Government departments - no private individual
 Staff on deputation with the Commission
 Staff subject to Commission’ disciplinary
 Staff mobilized & deployed by the CEO under
Commission’s instruction
Preparation for Elections
- Deployment and Training of Staff
Staff of various districts and states can be mixed to ensure
Staff given nominal honorarium
Deployment of Government employees keeps expenditure under
check, enhances control
Training – of ROs,EROs & Observers by the EC, of DEOs, Dy
DEOs, ROs & EROs by the CEOs and of the Polling staff by
the DEOs
Tainted and known to be aligned not associated
Commission takes prompt action on complaints against staff
Preparation for Elections
- Procurement of Materials
Procurement of EVMs by the Commission
 Other materials by the CEOs and DEOs
 Standard procurement procedures followed
 Specifications of materials decided by the
Commission in case of non standard items
 Advance planning by the Commission, CEOs
and DEOs for procurement at their levels
Preparation for Elections
- Relationship with stakeholders
Commission hears complaints & concerns of all
political parties
All political parties given similar treatment
CEOs and DEOs call meetings of Political Parties for
electoral rolls, enforcement of code of conduct, for
deciding polling stations & counting centres
Any individual or NGO can offer suggestions or can
file complaints with the EC, CEOs & DEOs
Preparation for Elections
- Security Arrangements
Assessment for Central Force’s requirement is made
keeping in mind the Law and Order situation
State police and central paramilitary forces deployed
based on requirements
No police organ having any affiliation to the ruling
party deployed
Confidence building measures taken
Situations watched regularly - special directions given,
if needed
Appointed from senior civil servants
General Observers drawn from IAS
Expenditure Observers drawn from IRS
Statutory role for Observers
Report directly to Commission
Eyes and ears of the Commission in the Constituencies
Nearly 2000 observers appointed in GE 2004
All counting centers covered
Ingradients of a Credible Election
Correct electoral rolls - fair opportunity is given to all
for addition and deletion of names
Freedom for filing nominations to all eligible persons
No coercion – for abstention or casting votes
Proper enforcement of Model Code of Conduct to
create a level playing field
Expenses by the candidates within the prescribed limits
Conditions – in which an average elector feels secure
for casting his vote freely without any fear
Complete transparency in all electoral operations
Grievance Redressal Mechanism
Registration of electors
 Complete transparency maintained during preparation and revision of voter
 Provision of appeals and redressal of grievances at every level
Mechanism during the Campaign, the Poll and the counting of votes
 Setting up Control Rooms, Helplines and a credible communication network
to facilitate filing of complaints and their timely redressal
Election Petitions after the results are declared
Can be filed by any elector or candidate
Heard by High Court of the State
Can lead to re-staging of the election
Filed within 45 days of declaration of results
Appeals lie with Supreme Court
Information Technology
and the EC Website
EC makes an extensive use of Information Technology
Dissemination of information amongst it offices through intranet and to the
public through internet
The electoral rolls are computerised in all the state languages and are available
on the internet
EC website is a comprehensive resource center for Indian Elections with:
– all election laws, manuals and handbooks
– Election results
– Electoral rolls (Voter Lists)
EC servers are linked with all 1500 counting centers of the country on the poll
day and results are made available in the real time
URL is www.eci.gov.in
Electoral Reforms
Criminalisation of politics
Number of seats a person can contest
Ext Polls and Opinion Polls
Surrogate Advertisements on Print Media
Political Ads on TV and Cable network
Party Accounts and its Audit
Government sponsored Advertisements
Negative/Neutral Voting
Decisions on Anti-defection cases
Other New Initiatives
Use of Electronic Voting Machines
Free time on state owned Electronic media for political parties - a step
towards state funding of elections
Check on criminalization of politics
Computer networking and use of Information Technology
Computerization of Electoral rolls
Photo I-Cards
Electoral rolls with photograph
E-registration of electors
Publishing national voter register on the EC website with a credible search
Use of the GIS in electoral management
Simplifying maintenance of accounts by candidates
Simplifying filing of accounts
Streamlining procedure for registration
Model Code of Conduct
GE 2004 – Interesting Facts
The oldest Candidate, as well as winner was 94 years old.
The youngest elected MP is 26 years old.
The average age of elected MP is 52.6 years.
Out of 543 MPs, 45 are women.
Maximum number of candidates was 35 in Madras South
Due to first-past-the-post system, about 2/3rd elected MPs
have less than 35% Votes polled (against number of Electors).
Photo Gallery – Elections 2004
Officials at distribution center
A group of Villagers with EPI
cards Officials carrying EVMs
and polling materials
Officials checking EVMs and
polling materials
Electors going to exercise their
Officials carrying EVMs and
polling materials
An Elector familiarizing himself
functioning of EVM
Photo Gallery – Elections 2004
An elder on way to cast her
Electors waiting in Q
Physically challenged
casting her vote
Chief Election
Commissioner casting
his vote
Indelible ink being marked
on elector’s finger
Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam,
Hon’ble President of India
after casting his vote

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