Yesterday, the Election Commission announced the dates for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The voting will take place in seven phases between April 11, 2019 to May 19, 2019 when millions of voters will cast their franchise to choose the next government.
Voters will elect 543 members to the Lok Sabha in the seven-phased election and the party with 272 or more seats will form the government.
Here are terms to know before the Lok Sabha election 2019:
It is another term for secret voting in which people select a candidate in an election.
An election held between general elections, usually because the sitting member of Parliament has died or resigned.
The geographical unit which elects a single MP. There are 543 in the Lok Sabha.
It the sum of money paid by candidates to an electoral authority before they are allowed to contest an election. As per the rules of the Election Commission of India, if the candidate fails to get a minimum of one-sixth of the total valid votes polled, the deposit goes to the treasury.
Candidates are only allowed to spend a limited amount of money on their individual campaign. Accounts must be submitted to the Election Commission after the poll proving they did not exceed this limit.
Electoral bonds were pitched as an alternative to cash donations made to political parties and as a means of ensuring more transparency in political funding. These bonds, unlike debt instruments, resemble promissory notes, which allow donors to pay political parties with banks as an intermediary.
Electronic Voting Machine is voting using electronic means to either aid or take care of the chores of casting and counting votes. With the EVM, instead of issuing a ballot paper, the polling officer will press the Ballot Button which enables the voter to cast their vote. A list of candidates’ names or symbols appear on the machine with a blue button next to it. The voter can press the button next to the candidate’s name they wish to vote for.
Under the one-way Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot (ETPBS), voters receive the downloadable postal ballot through two-layer secure electronic medium – secured ‘One Time Password (OTP)’ for downloading the encrypted files sent through mobile or e-mail and the system generated unique “Personal Identification Number” (PIN) for decrypting and printing each and every single postal ballot to the individual service voter/ authorised person. The votes cast are received by the returning officer through post.
Voting through ETPBS was successfully run in November 2016 on a pilot basis in the bye-elections in Puducherry.
A poll carried out by researchers asking people how they have voted just after they have left the polling station on election day.
First past the post
It means a candidate only needs to win the most votes in their constituency to win the seat.
It is the right to vote available to those over 18 years of age and on the electoral register.
If no party has an overall majority after an election, then Parliament is said to be “hung”. The main parties then try to form a coalition with one or more of the minor parties.
It a term used when one party wins by a very large margin of votes.
When one party wins more than half of the seats in the Lok Sabha, they can rule alone in a majority government.
A public declaration of a party’s ideas and policies usually printed during the campaign. Once in power, a government is often judged by how many of its promises it manages to deliver.
A government formed by a party which does not have an absolute majority in the Lok Sabha.
Model code of conduct (MCC)
The model code of conduct is a set of instructions and guidelines to be followed by political parties and candidates contesting elections for free and fair polls. It is enforced by the Election Commission and kicks in as soon as polls to either state assemblies or the Lok Sabha are announced by the watchdog.
The none of the above option on electronic voting machines (EVMs) allows voters to exercise their right to disapprove of all the candidates contesting the elections. The Election Commission added the NOTA button on EVMs as the last option on the voting panel after the Supreme Court order in September 2013.
A survey asking people’s opinion on one or more issues. In an election campaign, the key question is usually about which party people will vote for.
The largest party not in government is known as the official opposition. It receives extra parliamentary funding in recognition of its status.
A person who represents candidates in their dealings with the electoral authorities and runs their campaigns.
While India does have a system in place for postal ballots, it is restricted to certain categories of people like members of the armed forces – Army, Navy and Air Force, members of the armed police force of a state who are serving outside the state, people employed under the Government of India in a post outside India, like Ambassadors and High Commissioners and their staff, are allowed to vote through the postal ballot.
The person responsible for ensuring the conduct of the voting in polling stations. They have to ensure that ballot boxes are kept secure and are responsible for transferring them safely to the count.
People unable to get to a polling station are allowed to appoint someone to vote on their behalf if they apply in advance. They are also allowed a postal vote.
The study of voting and voting patterns.
If a result is close, any candidate may ask for a recount. The process can be repeated several times if necessary until the candidates are satisfied. The returning officer has the final say on whether a recount takes place.
The official in charge of elections in each of the constituencies.
A constituency in which a party has a big lead to defend.
Ballot papers which have been filled in incorrectly. The returning officer has the final say over whether any paper not marked with a single cross is valid.
The transfer of votes from one party to another. The actual transfer is complicated, so usually taken to mean between the top two parties in any seat or area.
Tactical voting is when people vote not for the party they really support, but for another party in order to keep out a more disliked rival.
The number or percentage of people eligible to vote in a constituency who actually “turn out” to the polling station to do so or send in their postal vote.