voting in the elections

Democracy in Action

Elections are held in different states of India at different points in time for the people to elect a new government that will rule the state. For the central level and for the state level, elections are held once in 5 years. The next election for the central government is in 2024. The state of Karnataka recently had elections on May 10, 2023, and the results are yet to be announced.

There is something called the Election Code of Conduct which talks about the dos and don’ts of the parties during the elections. This comes into effect as soon as the Elections are announced by the Election Commission of India.

When elections are announced, each party starts their campaign to gain votes from the people and to form the government. They also nominate the contestants on behalf of their party. There are also independents who do not belong to any specific political party. Each party comes up with their own manifesto. These contain a set of promises that they intend to fulfil if they are elected power. Each party has its own way of campaigning. Many leaders give powerful speeches to the people in order to get elected. There is a lot of fun as candidates throw a lot of mud at each other! Finally, it is the people’s vote or mandate that decides the government.

All parties have to stop campaigning 48 hours before the elections as it gives the citizens time to think and vote. On the voting day, people vote for the most favourable party or candidate to them. Physical ballot papers were used in the olden days. As technology has advanced, Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) are used now. There used to be many debates in terms of whether EVMs are safe and whether or not they can be manipulated. Finally, it was found that they are safe.

After the voting day, the EVMs from different constituencies are collected and stored in places where they are guarded till the votes are counted. Again, there will be much speculation from the day of the elections till the results are announced in terms of who will win. Finally, after the counting gets completed, the party that received the majority votes, is declared as the winner and they are asked to form the government.

In Karnataka, the results of the elections haven’t been announced yet and all parties and people are anticipating for the results with crossed fingers! Naturally, everyone will be looking forward to the party they had voted to be the winning party. The entire exercise is like a festival and no wonder it is called the festival of democracy.

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