India has an asymmetric federal government where local, state and federal officials are elected by the citizens whereas the Prime Minister is elected by Lok Sabha members. Firstly a voter list is prepared and this list is revised every 10 years and then election procedure begins, it generally involves 8 crucial steps and they are as follows:
1. Formation of Constituencies:
The Constitution states that only after the completion of each census the readjustment of the allocation of seats from the Lok Sabha to State will be done and similarly the legislative assemblies’ constituencies for elections are also readjusted.
2. Filling of the nominations:
The filling of the nominations in a vital part of the election procedure but the candidate filling the form has to follow certain rules, like:
- A person must be above 30 years in order to be chosen for the State Legislative Council or the Rajya Sabha and for Lok Sabha the age must of 25 years or above
- He/ she will be disqualified if their competence is not declared by court, If they hold in office of profit under state or government of India, if they are bankrupt or is not a citizen of India
- A person disqualifies as a member legislature if they are found guilty of corrupt practices in election and election offences, have been convicted or have spent more than 2 years in jail and were dishonourably dismissed from government service.
3. Scrutiny of Nominations:
All the nominations papers go through thorough inspection by the Returning Officer and in case of dissatisfaction the nominee cannot stand election for 6 years. All the nominees standing for State Legislative Assembly or Lok Sabha elections must make a security deposit of Rs. 5000 and Rs. 10,000, respectively and the price will be reduced to half if the candidate is from the Scheduled Castes or Tribes (S.C or S.T)
4. Election Campaign:
Election Campaigns vary from party to party but there are particular traits that are mostly common like
- Election Policy
Each party has their own policy that signifies their aim and objective. It deals with various issues like road improvement, better housing, economic growth etc. This election policy consists of all the promises and assurances made by the nominee to his/ her voters.
Electioneering consists of the various tactics that the nominees employee to garner votes like holding rallies, taking the candidate door to door, holding charity events where the nominee is performing an act of charity, using media for publicity etc.
5. The Polling:
All the election campaigns must seize 48 hours before the concluding of the poll on the polling day. Presiding Officer handles the whole polling process thereby ensuring that no cheating is done. The voters come to the polling both, take the slip of paper with all the candidates, mark on the sign of a candidate they like and drop it in the voting box but with the current voting machines all you need to do is press a button.
6. Counting of votes and results declaration
All the votes are counted and the nominee with the highest number of votes is declared elected.
7. Submission of election expenses
Every candidate must submit his/her election expenses and if they exceed the given limit then it will be declared that it a corrupt practices to use more money than prescribed.
8. Election Disputes:
Any and all election disputes will be resolved by the High Courts