Ballot papers to be used in Panchayat polls: SEC

Bhubaneswar: With the first phase Panchayat elections in Odisha scheduled to kick off tomorrow morning, the State Election Commission (SEC) today briefed voting method to the new voters and those who have not fully understood the method of exercising their franchise.

Talking to media persons here, SEC secretary Rabindranath Sahu said unlike the voting which is usually conducted through Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) in General and Assembly elections, polling would be conducted through the ballot box in the Panchayat polls.

“People coming to the polling booth to exercise their franchise must have any one of the 23 proofs like the voter card, voter ID, Aadhaar Card and driving license etc which they will have to show to the First Polling Officer for verification. After the verification, they will collect the folded ballot paper from the Second Polling Officer who will put indelible ink on their forefinger,” Sahu said.

He also informed that there are different colours of ballot papers for different posts. “The blue ballot paper is for the Ward Member, yellow ballot paper for Sarpanch and violet ballot paper for Samiti Member. Except poll symbols, there would be no mention of the name of the candidates in the ballot paper. However, for the Zilla Parishad, there will be white ballot paper with the name of the candidates and their party symbols with the Sarpanch, Ward Member, Samiti Member and Zilla Parishad Member mentioned serially. The voters have to give their signature or fingerprint on the ballot paper and put the ballot paper inside the ballot box after putting a stamp on a blank box to the right of the name of the candidate they have preferred to vote,” the SEC secretary pointed out.

According to Parthasarathi Rath, Presiding Officer, no one will be allowed to enter into the polling booth after the polling is completed at 12 PM. But those who are in the queue before 12 PM will be allowed to vote. After the polling is over, the counting of votes would begin at 1 PM in presence of the agents of different political parties. After the counting is completed, a list mentioning the number of votes of the candidates, will be handed over to the Section Officer.

The official announcement of the names of the winning Ward Members and Sarpanches will be made on February 23 and Zilla Parishad members and Panchayat Samiti members on February 25.