Functions of Election Commission

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Definition

  • Voters’ List: The list of those who are eligible to vote is prepared much before the election and given to everyone. This list is officially called the Electoral Roll and is commonly known as the Voters' List.

Notes

Functions of the Election Commission:

1. Preparing the voters list:

  • In a democratic election, the list of those who are eligible to vote is prepared much before the election and given to everyone. This list is officially called the Electoral Roll and is commonly known as the Voters' List.
  • It is the election commission responsibility to get the names of all eligible voters on the voters' list. Names are added to the voters' list as new people reach voting age. Names of those who leave a location or who die are removed. Every five years, the list is completely updated. This is done to ensure that it is always up to date.
  • In recent years, a new system of Election Photo Identity Card (EPIC) has been introduced. The government attempted to issue this card to everyone on the voter list. Voters are required to bring this card with them when they vote so that no one else can vote for them.

2. Scrutiny of the applications of candidates:

People should have a genuine choice in a democratic election. This occurs only when there are almost no restrictions on who can enter an election. This is exactly what our system offers. Anyone who is eligible to vote can also compete for office. The only difference is that a candidate must be 25 years old to be in office, whereas a voter must be 18 years old. Other restrictions on criminals, for example, apply only in extreme cases. Political parties nominate candidates who receive the party symbol and backing. The nomination of a political party is commonly referred to as the party's ticket. 

Everyone who wants to contest an election must fill out a 'nomination form' and pay a 'security deposit'. On the Supreme Court's direction, a new declaration system was recently implemented. Every candidate must sign a legal declaration outlining the following information:  

  • Serious criminal cases pending against the candidate;  
  • Details of the candidate's assets and liabilities; and  
  • educational qualifications of the candidate. 

This data must be made public. This allows voters to base their decisions on the information provided by the candidates. 

3. Decide the timetable and the programme of elections:

It is the responsibility of the Election Commission to conduct elections. Decisions regarding when to conduct elections and in how many stages to hold elections in every stage are taken by the Election Commission.  

4. Give recognition to political parties:

In our country, we have a multiparty system. New parties are formed continuously. New parties are formed when a split in parties occurs. Election Commission recognizes all political parties. Likewise, it can derecognize any political party. Political parties are allotted election symbols by the Election Commission.

5. To resolve any disputes relating to elections: 

The responsibility of the Election Commission are as follows:  

  1. To resolve any disputes that may arise regarding elections.  
  2. To declare any candidate as disqualified 
  3. Conduct re-election in a particular constituency
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