Mar 22, 2024

Lok Sabha Elections: What Voters Should Know

India is all set to enter election season with the announcement of the 18th Lok Sabha elections. From April 19 to June 1, 2024, we will be electing 543 members from across the country as our representatives in the Parliament. At the same time, the states of Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh will also have their State assembly elections.

 What are Lok Sabha Elections?

Through the Lok Sabha elections you are electing the Members of Parliament, who will represent your constituency at the national level. Every state is equitably represented in Lok Sabha. A state is divided into constituencies based on where people live and how many people live there. You will elect one member from each constituency to represent you in the Lok Sabha as a Member of Parliament. A Member of Parliament serves a term of 5 years in the lower house of the Parliament.

The Lok Sabha elections also decide who the Prime Minister of our country will be. The party that wins these elections nominates a person to be the Prime Minister.

Who can vote in the Lok Sabha Elections?

Every Indian citizen over the age of 18 has the right to participate and vote in national, state, district as well as local government body elections. You have to register yourself as a voter on the electoral roll of your constituency. To register on the electoral roll you have to ensure that:

  • You are a citizen of India.
  • You are above the age of 18 years
  • You are mentally fit
  • You haven’t been convicted by a court for committing any of these crimes. 

How do you register for a Voter ID?

To vote, you need to have a Voter ID card through which your name will be added to an ‘electoral roll’ which is a list of names of voters in a particular constituency.

You can register for a new Voter ID Card for free either in person or online by filling out Form 6, which is the application form to register as a voter in India.

  1. Fill out Form 6 either online or look up your Electoral Registration Officers or the Booth Level Officers and request for Form 6
  2. Include supporting documents like recent passport size photo, copy of age proof, copy of address proof. 
  3. Submit the Form. If offline, you can find out where the offices are here. You can even send the form via post to the offices along with the required self-attested documents.
  4. Wait for Voter ID card. A booth level officer will visit the address given in the Form, to verify the details you gave in your application. After the Voter ID card is ready, a booth level officer will either send/drop it off to your address or will request you to collect it from the Electoral Registration Office

What is the Model Code of Conduct?

With the announcement of the dates of election, the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) also came into force in the country. The MCC regulates the actions of the political parties, candidates, people supporting them, the civil servants during election time and anybody else who is associated with elections. It also regulates the actions of other individuals and organizations with the aim of making the elections as transparent as possible.

The MCC ensures that the elections are held on fair grounds and no party in power takes any action to derive any benefit during the elections. It levels the playing field for all political parties involved in the electoral process.

In the case of the Lok Sabha elections, the MCC applies to the whole of India.

The schedule for elections as announced by the Election Commission is as follows:

Phase Date States & UTs
1 April 19 Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Jammu and Kashmir, Lakshadweep, Puducherry
2 April 26 Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Rajasthan, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Jammu and Kashmir
3 May 7 Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Jammu and Kashmir
4 May 13 Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Jammu and Kashmir
5 May 20 Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh
6 May 25 Bihar, Haryana, Jharkhand, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, NCT of Delhi
7 June 1 Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Chandigarh

Counting of votes and declaration of results is scheduled for June 4, 2024.

For more information on voting in India, you can read our guide here. 


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