New Delhi: For the upcoming Presidential election, there will be green-coloured ballot papers for members of Parliament and pink for legislators who vote on July 17.
In case the NDA and the opposition field their own candidates and none withdraws till July 1 evening, the Election Commission will initiate the process of “final printing” of ballot papers as a contest would then become imminent.
The value of a legislator’s vote depends on the population of the state he or she represents. But the value of the vote of a lawmaker doesn’t vary — it is 708. Hence, the different colour of ballot papers will help the returning officer count the votes based on the value. The total value of the Electoral College is 10,98,903. The ballot boxes will be brought to Delhi for counting on July 20.
The Electoral College which elects the president through the system of proportional representation comprises elected lawmakers (776) and legislators (4,120). While 233 are elected members of the Rajya Sabha, 543 are from the Lok Sabha.
In a set of directions issued to the states, the Commission has said that while “the ballot papers for use by elected members of both houses of Parliament shall be printed on green-coloured paper, those for use by elected members of legislative assemblies shall be printed on pink coloured paper.”
Electronic voting machines are not used in these elections as EVMs are formatted for first-past-the post system of voting. “They are not meant for proportional representation by means of single transferable vote,” Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi had said while announcing the presidential polls.
Following the ink controversy in the Rajya Sabha polls in Haryana last year, the Commission has decided to use special pens for the electors to mark their votes in the presidential election.
“For marking the votes, the Commission will supply particular pens. This pen will be given to the electors in the polling station by the designated official when the ballot paper is handed over. Electors have to mark the ballot only with this particular pen and not with any other pen. Voting by using any other pen may lead to invalidation of the vote,” Zaidi had said.
President Pranab Mukherjee’s term ends on July 24. Voting for the next president is scheduled on July 17, while the counting will take place on July 20. The BJP is trying to get the opposition on board to put forward a common candidate. If that happens, an election will not be held.