Tender Votes

  • Category
    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    24th Apr, 2019

Polling officials at a booth in Dalgaon in Assam’s Mangaldoi constituency let a woman cast a tender vote after she complained against one of them having forced her to vote for a party she did not support.

Context

Polling officials at a booth in Dalgaon in Assam’s Mangaldoi constituency let a woman cast a tender vote after she complained against one of them having forced her to vote for a party she did not support.

About

What are tender votes?

  • A voter is allowed to cast a “tender vote” if he or she finds out that someone has already voted in his or her name.
  • Tender votes are cast on ballot papers and then sealed and locked away.
  • A tendered ballot paper, as per Rule 49P of the Conduct of Elections Rules, is given to the voter and they will be required to sign their name on the list of tendered votes.
  • A tendered ballot paper is the same as the ballot paper displayed on the balloting unit, except that it shall be endorsed on the back with the words, “Tendered Ballot Paper” either stamped by the returning officer or written by the presiding officer at the time of issuing it.

When it is casted?

  • It was seen that when some voters found on reaching the polling booth that someone had already voted in their name, they would get agitated and go back. In this situation, such voters can cast a tender vote, which is their right under election laws.
  • After marking their choice of candidate with the help of the arrow cross mark rubber stamp, the voter should hand over the tendered ballot paper to the presiding officer, who will keep it in a separate cover. In such a case, the voter will not cast their vote on the EVM.

What is the challenge for voter before casting this vote?

  • In case the identity of the voter is challenged by a polling agent of any candidate on the grounds that they are not the person whose name is listed on the rolls, the presiding officer will ask the challenger to provide evidence in proof of his claim.
  • Similarly, the presiding officer will ask the voter for proof of their identity. They can use their Election Photo Identity Card or any other supporting document such as passport or ration card for this purpose.
  • If the challenge is not established, the voter will be allowed to vote. However, if the challenge is established, the voter will be barred from voting and handed over to the police with a written complaint from the presiding officer.

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