Voting in India's 2019 elections will run from April 11 to May 19 and the results will be counted on May 23

Reuters
  • The world's biggest democracy will vote for the next government from April 11 to May 19.
  • The voting will be held in seven phases through 29 states and seven union territories.
  • In 2019, Nearly 900 million people are expected to vote to send 543 representatives Lok Sabha, the lower house of Parliament.
    Elections to four state assemblies will be held simultaneously with the Parliament elections
Indians will go to vote in 2019 for the seventeenth time since the first election in 1951-52. The Election Commission of India announced on March 10 (Sunday) that the polling will be held in seven phases from April 11 to May 19. The results will be counted on May 23.

In a first for the country, voting for the four state legislatures, as well as bypolls, will be held alongside with the election for the Parliament. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been pushing for simultaneous elections for both state and central legislatures, but the proposal has faced severe political opposition.

Nearly 900 million voters are expected to turn out this year, compared to 814.5 million in 2014. The number of polling stations will be increased from 900,000 in 2014 to 1 million this year. 16 million new voters will be between the age of 18 and 19, compared to 23.1 million in 2014.

1.7 million voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines will be in use after a series of allegations of foul play in many state polls in the run up to the general elections in 2019. VVPAT is a second line of independent verification via a printer machine, which is attached to electronic voting machines.

When a voter presses the button against the party symbol of their choice on the electronic voting machine (EVM), a paper slip is printed through VVPAT. The slip would contain the poll symbol and name of the candidate and allows voters to verify if their vote has gone to the intended candidate. After the voter views the slip, that slip will be dropped inside a sealed box linked to the EVM.

"The Model Code of Conduct comes into effect from today itself in the entire country. Any violation will be dealt with in the strictest manner," Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said.

Date of pollingConstituenciesStates/Union Territories
11-Apr9120
18-Apr9713
23-Apr11514
29-Apr719
6-May517
12-May597
19-May598

The big question in front of the election watchdog is the campaigning by political parties on social media, which has been difficult to regulate especially after the deadlines set by the Commission. However, the election commissioner did not have a clear answer on how it plans to ensure that vote seeking does not continue on social media in the last 48 hours before the polling begins. Physical campaigning is allowed during this period.

Strife-torn Jammu and Kashmir, the northern state that shares the border with Pakistan, will witness polling in five phases amidst heightened security. The armies of the two countries have been trading fire, a lot more than usual in the last few weeks ever since the terror attack in Pulwama, Kashmir that killed over 40 Indian security personnel in February.

StatesPolling Dates
Andaman and Nicobar IslandsApril 11
Andhra PradeshApril 11
ArunachalApril 11
AssamApril 11, 18, 23
BiharApril 11, 18, 23, 29 & May 6, 12, 19
ChandigarhMay 12
ChhatisgarhApril 11, 18, 23
Dadra and Nagar HaveliApril 23
Daman and DiuApril 23
DelhiMay 12
Goa April 23
GujaratApril 23
HaryanaMay 12
Himachal PradeshMay 19
Jammu KashmirApril 11, 18, 23, 29, & May 6
JharkhandApril 29 & May 6, 12, 19
KarnatakaApril 18, 23
KeralaApril 23
LakshadweepApril 11
Madhya PradeshApril 11, & May 6, 12, 19
MaharashtraApril 11, 18, 23, 29,
ManipurApril 11, 18,
MeghalayaApril 11
MizoramApril 11
NagalandApril 11
OdishaApril 11, 18, 23, 29,
PuducherryApril 18
PunjabMay 19
RajasthanApril 29 & May 6
SikkimApril 11
Tamil NaduApril 18
TelenganaApril 11
TripuraApril 11, 18
Uttar PradeshApril 11, 18, 23, 29 & May 6, 12
UttarakhandApril 11
West BengalApril 11, 18, 23, 29 & May 6, 12, 19

See also :
BJP spends too much on political advertising on Facebook as Congress spends too little — yet again
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