About 8,40,00,000 first-time voters are eligible to cast their vote as national elections begin in the world's largest democracy today. In the first phase, 18 states and two union territories are voting and simultaneous assembly polls are being held in four states- Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, this morning, urged the first-time voters in a tweet to step out in large numbers and exercise their franchise. "I call upon all those whose constituencies are voting in the first phase today to turn out in record numbers and exercise their franchise. I specially urge young and first-time voters to vote in large numbers," he tweeted.
2019 Lok Sabha elections commence today.— Chowkidar Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 11, 2019
I call upon all those whose constituencies are voting in the first phase today to turn out in record numbers and exercise their franchise.
I specially urge young and first-time voters to vote in large numbers.
Among other leaders, who had a message for the first-time voters, was YSR Congress Party chief Jagan Mohan Reddy. "Vote for change, vote without fear," Mr Reddy told NDTV, smiling, his supporters cheering from behind. "I am very confident. It will go well I guess. I am pretty sure people are looking for a change. I hope it would happen," he said, as he turned up early at a voting booth in Andhra Pradesh's Pulivendula.
Google's interactive doodle today contains information for first-time voters to cast their vote.
Here are the steps first-time voters can follow to cast their vote:
- To ensure your name is on the voters list, you can either log on to electoralsearch.in or call the Voter Helpline at 1950 (with your STD code). Also, you can SMS <ECI> space <EPIC No> to 1950 . EPIC stands for Electors Photo Identity Card also commonly known as Voter ID card, according to the EC website.
- Research about your candidates on Election Commission website.
- Find your polling booth by either calling at voter helpline at 1950 (with your STD code) or SMS <ECIPS> space <EPIC No> to 1950.
- At the polling booth, first polling officer checks the ID proof, second polling officer will ink your finger, give you a slip and take your signature on a register (Form 17A). You will have to deposit the slip at the third polling official and show your inked finger and then proceed to the polling booth.
- Record your vote by pressing the ballot button.
- The voters can use any of the following ID cards to cast vote: EPIC (Voter ID card), passport, driving licence, service Identity Cards with photograph issued to employees by Central/State Govt./PSUs/Public Limited Companies, pan card, Aadhar card, among other ID proofs.
Voting for the 543 Lok Sabha seats would be held in seven phases: April 11, April 18, April 23, April 29, May 6, May 12 and May 19. Counting would take place on May 23.
Ninety-one Lok Sabha constituencies spread across 18 states and two Union Territories are voting in the first-phase on Thursday.
(With inputs from agencies)