The Election Commission on 4 October 2013 announced the dates of holding the General Elections to the Legislative Assemblies of the States whose terms expire around the same time together. The election dates were announced in five states of India- Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Rajasthan and Delhi. As per the norm, the Election Commission holds the General Elections to the Legislative Assemblies of the States.
Article 324 and Article 172(1) of the Constitution of India and Section 15 of Representation of the People Act, 1951
By virtue of its powers, duties and functions under Article 324 read with Article 172(1) of the Constitution of India and Section 15 of Representation of the People Act, 1951, the Commission is required to hold elections to constitute the new Legislative Assemblies in the said States of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Rajasthan and Delhi before expiry of their present terms.
Poll Schedule as Announced by the Election Commission
• Chhattisgarh- 11 Nov 2013 (Phase I), 19 Nov 2013 (Phase II)
• Madhya Pradesh- 25 Nov 2013
• Rajasthan- 1 Dec 2013
• Delhi- 4 Dec 2013
• Mizoram- 4 Dec 2013
It is important to note that the identification of the voters at the polling booth at the time of poll shall be mandatory. Electors who have been provided with EPIC shall be identified through EPIC.
Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs)
The poll in these States will be conducted at all polling stations using EVMs. The Commission has issued a new set of instructions with regard to the First Level Check of EVMs that will be used in the poll in these States. The First Level Check of EVMs has been done in the presence of representatives of political parties.
None of the Above (NOTA) Option in EVMs
In its judgment on 27 September, 2013 the Supreme Court of India directed that there should be a “None of the Above” (NOTA) option on the ballot papers and EVMs. The Court directed that the Commission should implement it either in a phased manner or at a time with the assistance of Government of India. For implementing the NOTA option, the Commission is preparing detailed instructions for issue to the Chief Electoral Officers of all States and Union Territories.
On the Balloting Unit, below the name of the last candidate, there will now be a button for NOTA option so that electors who do not want to vote for any of the candidates can exercise their option by pressing the button against NOTA.