Tips for Presiding Officers & Polling Officers

The Presiding Officers is the Incharge of a Polling Booth. He holds the full responsibility of his booth. Any lacunae occured in the election procedure should be answered by the Presiding Officers.


India is the largest Democracy in the world. The Government of India is chosen by the people of India through election.
The Election Commission of India takes the whole responsibility of conducting Election in a fair and peaceful manner. The
Elections are of different types such as Parlimentary Election, Assembly Election, Panchayat Election, Municipal Election etc.
The Election Commission appoints Returning Officer who plays a vital role in conducting free and fair election. The Returning
Officer appoints the Presiding and Polling Officers who are the incharge of Polling Station. In each Polling Station there will be
a Presiding Officer, First Polling Officer, Second Polling Officer, Third Polling Officer and sometime fourth Polling Officer.
The first Polling Officer will take over the charge of Identification & marking the ' Marked Copy of Electoral Roll' as soon as
the voter is identified and found true he puts an indelible mark in the forefinger of the voter then he permits the voter to move to the
Second Polling Officer. The Second Polling Officer is the incharge of Ballot Papers. He will issue the Ballot Paper to the voter after
obtaining signature in the counterfoil. The Third Polling Officer will help the voter in folding the Ballot Paper. In the last row there will be
a Fourth Polling Officer who will holding the charge of keeping the voting seal and the stamp pad.

The presiding Officer is the incharge of the Polling Station . All Polling Officers are under the control of Presiding Officer. The Presiding
Officer has the right to change the sequence of the Polling Officers as he feels better for the smooth conduct of election. The Presiding
Officer has lot of work to be done in the previous and on the polling day. He is continuously under constant pressure till the submission of
election material alongwith Ballot Boxes or EVM whatever it may be. It is observed that in each election the Presiding Officers generally
confused with lot of formalities to be done during, before and after the closing of Election. The Presiding Officer should ensure all the formalities
are done in a perfect manner. A little lack in any election precedure may lead to lot of problems. Now I want to laid some tips for the
Presiding & Polling Officers which will help them in completing all formalities without any discrepency.
The work pertaining to election can be divided into three parts

1. Formalities to be completed in the previous day of Election.

2. Formalities to be Completed during the Election Day.

3. Formalities to be Completed after closing of Election


Checking of Materials

As you are aware of the fact that you will be issued all the Election Materials on the previous Day. As soon as the materials are received
it should be thoroughly checked before proceeding to the Election Booth. Each and every item in the lot is most essential.
You will be appointed in such a remote place where you cannot even get a pin. So, you should be very cautious.

1. Indelible ink must be thorougly checked whether it is dried or not.

2. All the Ballot Papers should be checked with the serial numbers printed on the Ballot Paper as well as in the counterfoil are to be tallied.

3. If any shortages or surplus of Ballot Papers found immediately it should be brought into the notice of Returning Officer for further
necessary action.

4.There will be seven Statutory Covers with necessary printed forms.

5. There will be seven Non- Statutory Covers with necessary printed forms.

6. All other allied materials will be tallied with the list given alongwith the materials.

Setting Up of Polling Station

As soon as reaching the Polling Station.
1. Open all the materials carefully.

2. Make proper Seating Arrangement for the Presiding Officer, Polling Officers and the Polling Agents.

Tips for Presiding and Polling Officers.

3. The Seating Arrangement for the Polling Agents should be near the Entrance so that they can see the voter for proper identification.

4. The Seating Arrangement of the Presiding Officer should be in such a way that he can easily watch the Polling Officers, Polling Agents,
the voters and the Ballot Boxes so that he can watch all the activities which are going inside as well as outside of the polling station.

5. Voting compartment should be made by using the card board given for that particular use.

6. Make ensure that there is no photograph of any political leaders except 'Father of Our Nation'.

7. Make ensure that the bulbs and fans are in working condition.

8. There should be two separate way for Enter and Exit. If there is a common entrance than the same entrance can be divided into
two way using a thread or with any stick.

9. Paste a Slip bearing your polling station number and name in such a way that the voter can easily recognise your Polling Station.

10. Paste a Slip of Contesting Candidates which will be supplied alongwith the Polling Materials.

11. Place the Ballot Box closer to the Presiding Officer so that he can have an eye over dropping of votes.
Now your Polling Station is ready for next day voting.

Making the Materials Readily Available.

All the necessary Polling Materials should be arranged in such a way that there is no need of searching any materials.
1. Keep the Electoral Roll of Marked Copy, Ruler , Indelible Ink in the desk of First Polling Officer.

2. Keep the Ballot Papers and a metal stick for detaching the Ballot Papers in the desk of Second Polling Officer.

3. Keep all the materials for sealing such as match box, sealing waxes, Candle,metal seal etc in a safe corner of the Polling Station.

4. Separate all the Statutory Covers and Non Statutory Covers. The necessary printed forms can be put inside for readily available.

5. Affixing signature and distinguising mark in the reverse of the Ballot Papers. The distinguishing mark should be put backside of the
right top corner (that is behind the name of the candidate). The signature of the Presiding Officer should be in the Ballot Paper only but
the distinguishing mark should be put on both the counterfoil and the Ballot Paper.

6. Keep the Declaration of Start and Close of the poll to be pronounced by the Presiding Officer in a readily available place.

7. Keep the Appointment of Polling Agents readily available.

8. Keep ready of paper seal

9. Keep a duly filled Addressed Tag for using in the Ballot Boxes.

with this you have completed all the formalities to be done before the poll.


1.In the morning of the Election Day: All the Polling & Presiding Officer should be present atleast 2 hours prior to the commencement of the poll.

2 .Appointment of Polling Agents: Your work start with appintment of polling agents. For this purpose you have printed forms for the
appointment of Polling Agents.

3. .Ballot Box Preparation: You can start your Ballot Box preparation 20 Minutes prior to the commencement of poll. These can be Categorised as:

a) Show the empty Ballot Box to the Polling Agents for ensuring the box is empty.

b) Get your paper seal signed by the Polling Agents and yourself (Presiding Officer)

c) Put the Address Tag duly filled inside the box for identification at the counting centre.

d) Fix the paper seal cautiously so that it should not be damaged at any cost.

e) Strengthen the paper seal with cardboard provided for the purpose.

f) Put Sealing wax in such a way that the paper seal should not move in any direction.

g) Put the distinguishing mark over the visible area of the paper seal from outside.

h) Close the slit.

i) The box is ready for polling.

4. Declaration: The declaration statement to be loudly read by the Presiding Officer that the Polling Starts.

5. It is the whole responsibility of the Presiding Officer that the polling should be conducted in a peaceful manner.
The particular Polling Booth is totally under his control.

6. The police personal should not enter the station until and unless a call from the Presiding Officer.

7. During the Polling, the Presiding Officer has to complete the Presiding Officer's Diary.

8. He should have a scoresheet for obtaining the percentage of Polling in each interval of an hour.

9. If there is anymore voter standing in the queue even after the closing time specified for the poll, than the Presiding Officer
should issue a slip bearing numbers from the last voter standing on the queue starting from serial number 1. No voter should be
allowed to join the queue just after the issue of slips.

10. When the last voter polled his vote than the Presiding Officer can read out the Declaration for the Closing of Poll.

11.Just after reading the Closing Declaration, The Presiding Officer can close the slit of the Ballot Box.


1. After the Closing of the Slit of the Ballot Box, the same can be packed with with cloth provided with the polling materials.

2. Obtain the signature of the Polling Agents if any present on that time.

3. Complete your Ballot Paper Account carefully. No of Ballot Papers inside the box should tally with the no you shown in your
Ballot Paper Account.

4. Complete the paper seal Account.

5. Ballot Paper Account, Paper Seal Account, Presiding Officers Diary and the Declaration should not be sealed and pasted because
these are to be checked physically by the Returning Officer at the Collection Centre.

6. All seven Statutory covers should be sealed carefully.

7. All the seven Non-Statutory covers should be pasted carefully.

8. All the un-used centre materials should be packed in the third cover.

9. Now you can move towards the collection centre by availing the bus engaged for the election duty. You will be accompanied by the
Laison Officer who will be the incharge of transporting the materials from the Collection Centre to Polling Station and vice versa.

By going through this article, I hope the Presiding Officers and the Polling Officers definitely feel better in accomplishing their task
in a complete manner. All the Best. Go Ahead.


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