HANDBOOK FOR PRESIDING
FORMATION OF POLLING PARTY AND
the other members of the polling parties
for postal ballot paper or Election Duty Certificate
1.1. At an election to the House of the People/State Legislative Assembly, your party
will consist of yourself and three or four Polling Officers. While appointing the polling
party, your District Election Officer/Returning Officer will authorise one of the Polling
Officers in your party to perform the duties of Presiding Officer in case you are to be
unavoidably absent from the polling station.
1.2. At a single election, where the number of voters allotted to a polling station is
thousand or less, the polling party will normally consist of one Presiding Officer and
three polling officers and where the number of voters exceeds one thousand, the party will
consist of a Presiding Officer and four Polling Officers. At a simultaneous election, the
polling party will consist of 5 Polling Officers, besides the Presiding Officer.
Contact with the other members of the polling
2. Ascertain as soon as it is practicable, who the other members of your polling party
are going to be. It is necessary for you to have the residential addresses of all the
Polling Officers appointed to work under you. You should go over with them as frequently
as possible, and explain to them, the part to be taken at the poll by each member of the
party. Unless there is team work, your task as Presiding Officer will be more difficult.
3.1 Attend as many polling rehearsals as you can. This is essential for obtaining a
clear idea of the procedure to be followed and for understanding the provisions of the
3.2 You must take with you the Polling Officer authorised to perform your duties in your
unavoidable absence to these rehearsals. It is very necessary that you and such authorised
Polling Officer should do the various operations with the ballot box yourself/himself and
should not be content with simply watching the demonstration. Both of you should also
familiarise yourselves with the fixing of the green paper seals, in case such seals are
3.3 You should also prepare a sample ballot paper account and paper seal account.
3.4 Even in case you had worked as a Presiding Officer or a Polling Officer in some
earlier election, you must attend the training classes/rehearsals, as the election law and
procedure are being amended from time to time and it is necessary that you should follow
the revised procedure as otherwise the conduct of election may not be in accordance with
the latest procedures or instructions. Further, it is always advantageous to refresh your
memory even if there is no change in the law and procedure.
Application for postal ballot paper or Election
4.1 You and your Polling Officers may be electors in the same constituency in which
you are posted on duty or in some other constituency. The order of appointment as
Presiding Officer will be issued in duplicate and along with this order, the District
Election Officer/Returning Officer will send you sufficient number of Forms 12 and 12A to
enable you and the Polling Officers to apply for postal ballot papers and Election Duty
Certificates. If any one of you is an elector in the same constituency, you can apply for
an Election Duty Certificate in Form 12A to the Returning Officer, which would enable you
to vote at the polling station at which you use on election duty. If any one of you is an
elector from a constituency other than the one where you are posted on election duty, you
may fill in Form 12 and apply for a postal ballot paper. In either case, you have to send
the application forms immediately along with the duplicate copy of the order of
appointment, as otherwise there may not be enough time to receive the Election Duty
Certificate/Postal Ballot Paper, and in the case of postal ballot paper, to record your
vote and return it to the Returning Officer well in time before counting. Applications
from voters on election duty for permission to vote by postal ballot are required by law
to be made at least seven days or such shorter period as the Returning Officer may allow
before the day of poll or the first day of the poll in the constituency.
4.2 In case of simultaneous elections, it may so happen that any one of you may be on
election duty outside your assembly constituency, but within your parliamentary
constituency. In such cases, you may apply for Election Duty Certificate for the
parliamentary election and for postal ballot paper for voting at the assembly election.
4.3 A copy each of the electoral rolls for all the assembly constituencies in the district
will be made available for inspection by the District Election Officer at the centre(s)
for rehearsal and training classes, so that you can note down the particulars of electoral
roll numbers which you have to furnish in your applications for postal ballot paper or
Election Duty Certificate, as the case may be. Spare copies of Forms 12 and 12A will also
be available at the said centre(s).
4.4 Sub-rule (2) of rule 24 of the Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961, requires that the
elector giving his vote by postal ballot paper shall sign the declaration in Form 13A in
the presence of, and have the signature attested by, a stipendiary magistrate or such
other officer specified for the purpose. Under the rules, you can attest the declarations
of Polling Officers working with you.
BACK TO INDEX I NEXT DOCUMENT