As Karnataka gears up for the state assembly elections on May 10, 2023, there are several first-time voters who will be participating in the festival of democracy for the very first time. For these new voters, it is important to understand the basics of voting.
To begin with, it is essential for every voter to check their name on the electoral roll. A voter can only vote from a particular booth in a specific constituency, and their name must appear on the electoral roll for that constituency. To check their name on the electoral roll, voters can use the Voter Helpline app, refer to the website of the Chief Election Commissioner of Karnataka, use the Chunavana app launched specifically for the Karnataka Elections 2023, or visit the National Voters Service Portal.
Once a voter has confirmed their polling booth, they only need to carry a valid ID card with them to the polling station. There are several alternatives for valid ID cards, such as a passport, driving license, service identity cards, passbooks with a photograph issued by a bank or post office, PAN card, smart card issued by RGI under NPR, MNREGA job card, health insurance smart card issued under the scheme of Ministry of Labour, pension document with photograph, authenticated photo voter slip issued by the booth level officer, official identity cards issued to MPs/MLAs/MLCs, and Aadhar card. For overseas voters, the Election Commission has directed that they must produce their original passport for identification.
Furthermore, the Election Commission of India has set a Moral Code of Conduct, which is a set of instructions to be followed by both political parties and candidates contesting elections. These guidelines include instructions on general conduct, campaigning, meetings, and processions, among other things.
It is also important to note that voters with special needs or who are unable to reach their polling booth easily can book a wheelchair or a pick-up service.
In conclusion, voting is not only a fundamental right but also a civic duty. As a first-time voter, it is essential to understand the basics of voting, including checking one’s name on the electoral roll, carrying a valid ID card to the polling booth, understanding the Moral Code of Conduct, and availing of special facilities if required. By exercising their right to vote, citizens can play an active role in shaping the future of their state and country.