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ITíS YOUR DAY

Polling begins at: 7am

Polling ends at: 6pm, though anyone who queues up before the deadline will be allowed to vote.

What if I arrive at 6.01pm?

Unless a special consideration is made for the elderly, infirm or disabled by the presiding officer, nobody will be allowed to join the queue after 6pm.

What should I carry to the booth? Your voter ID. If you donít have one, carry one of the following:

1. Passport

2. Driving licence

3. PAN card

4. Service identity card for employees of offices of state/central government, public sector undertakings, local bodies or public limited companies

5. Passbook with photograph issued by public sector bank/post office

6. SC/ST/OBC certificate

7. Pension documents with photograph

8. Freedom fighterís card

9. Arms licence

10. Certificate of physical disability

11. Health insurance scheme smart card issued by the Union labour ministry

12. Property documents such as a patta or a registered deed, with photograph

13. Job card under the Centreís rural employment guarantee scheme

All documents from 4 to 13 should have been issued on or before 28.2.2014

What will the weather be like?

Brace for a hot and sweaty wait in the queue when you step out to vote on Monday. The weather office predicts that the maximum temperature will be around 39 degrees Celsius, four notches above the normal temperature for this time of the year. Humidity too is likely to be on the higher side as winds are blowing in from the direction of the Bay of Bengal. But there is little chance of rain as moisture incursion is not enough for the formation of rain-bearing clouds. Arm yourself with an umbrella and drinking water, just in case you have to wait long in the sun for your turn.

What canít I carry to the booth?

  • Any object that can be used as a weapon, such as a cricket bat or a pen knife
  • A flag or any party symbol
  • A large amount of cash, the purpose or the source of which canít be explained

What about my mobile phone?

It must be switched off or in silent mode. Canít be used within 100 metres of a booth.

What should I do first on reaching the booth?

● Ask a cop to direct you to the right queue. He would need your ďpart numberĒ, mentioned on the voter slip.

● Wait for your turn.

Can I vote without the voter slip?

● Yes. All you need to carry is one of the 14 documents mentioned. It isnít mandatory to carry a voter slip, even if you have one.

What if I am not sure my name is on the electoral rolls and I havenít received a voter slip?

● Text your voter identity card number ó the one just above the photograph ó to 9433633333. An automated service will provide you the number of the Assembly segment, the part number, the voter serial number and the name of the polling booth. Those who received their voter ID cards in March or later this year might not be able to avail themselves of this service.

● You can also call the EC helpline at 1950 or log onto www.ceowestbengal.nic.in

What to do once inside the booth?

● Identify yourself and produce your voter card or any of the other valid documents

● You will be asked to sign the voting register.

● An official will put the indelible ink on your index finger and hand over a slip containing your serial number

● Hand the slip to the presiding officer, who will verify your particulars. The presiding officer will ask you to proceed to the EVM, placed in an enclosure with three sides covered

How do I cast my vote?

● The EVM displays the names of all the candidates for the seat along with their party symbols

● Next to each name and symbol there is a blue button and a red light. The last option on the EVM will be ďNone of the above (NOTA)Ē. You have to press the blue button against the name and symbol of your choice

● The red light will glow and the machine will beep, indicating a valid vote

● The glow and beep are mandatory for the vote to be recorded

● Inform the presiding officer and press again if the light doesnít glow or if you donít hear the beep

Will my vote be cancelled if I press the button twice by mistake?

● Only the first recorded vote counts

● The presiding officer has a ballot button that activates the EVM before each voter enters the counter

Who to approach if I have a query?

The presiding officer

Who to call to report a problem?

  • Election Commission: 1950
  • Calcutta police: 100
  • Control room, Lalbazar: 85848-65609
  • Traffic control room, Lalbazar: 85848-65624
  • North Division control room: 85848-65625
  • Central Division control room: 85848-65626
  • South Division control room: 85848-65627
  • Eastern Suburban Division control room: 85848-65628
  • South East Division control room: 85848-65629
  • Port Division control room: 85848-65630
  • South Suburban Division Control Room (Jadavpur Division) 85848-65631
  • South West Division Control Room (Behala Division) 85848-65632
  • Toll free election helpline (for North 24-Parganas) : 18003450441
  • South 24-Parganas police control room: 2479-1870

How soon will cops react to a complaint?

Calcutta police have promised help within three minutes if you call any of their helpline numbers (as mentioned here) for any law and order problem.

Can I drive down to my polling booth?

Yes, but your vehicle has to be parked at least 200 metres away from the booth.

Will there be party camps outside the polling booth?

Not within 100 metres.

Can I go to vote in a group?

Unnecessary assembly of people is banned within 100 metres of a booth. So a cop might quiz you if you are hanging around in a group of five or more.

Does that mean members of a family cannot go to their booth together?

They can, but each member should carry his/her personal identity card. The group must take care not to be noisy.

What about my kids? Can I take them along?

Only if the child is young enough to be carried in someoneís arms. An older child would need to wait outside the booth.

Can someone accompany a disabled voter?

● A visually impaired person can ask for help to cast a vote. The companion must be authorised by the voter, who is required to carry a document proving his or her disability.

● Those with other disabilities and the elderly can be accompanied till the booth but not into the EVM chamber.

Is it okay to move around in the city when polling is on?

● Yes, but make sure you carry your identity card.

● Donít be taken aback if the police question you.

How long can I be at the EVM counter?

Not longer than what it takes to press a button. If you suspect foul play, bring it to the notice of the police, especially central forces personnel, if there are any deployed in your booth.

What other complaints can I, as a voter, lodge?

● When the queue isnít moving at a reasonable pace.

● When someone, either an individual or a group, tries to influence, threaten or intimidate you or the other voters.

Can an NRI vote?

Yes, provided prior intimation has been given to the poll panel. The person has to be present at the polling booth with his or her voter ID card and passport.

Will there be help around if someone falls sick?

Yes, there will be medical assistance within 100 metres of a booth.

If someone wants to strike his or her name off or include it in the votersí list, can it be done now?

Too late now. It could have been done during the rolls revision process, usually held round the year. The process is suspended weeks ahead of elections. This year, the deadline for Calcutta was March 25.

Will there be transport on the roads?

● More than 60 per cent of private buses, including minibuses, are likely to be off the roads. The number of buses is expected to increase in the evening, after voting is over.

● Few taxis are expected to ply on Monday. ďMost of our taxis have been requisitioned for election duty and many operators are unwilling to ply, fearing trouble,Ē said Bimal Guha of the Bengal Taxi Association.

● Even autos, the primary mode of transport in many areas, will go off the road with drivers associated with parties likely to be busy elsewhere. ďWe have asked the leaders of all the routes controlled by our union to ensure normal service. However, around 50 per cent of the autos are likely to be off the road on Monday,Ē said Ranjit Sur, the south Calcutta secretary of the Trinamul auto union.

● Metro Railway will be the cityís transport lifeline, as usual. It will run 270 trains, which is the usual weekday number, from 7am till 10.40pm.