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HomeFact Check2024 Lok Sabha Polls: Viral Message On ‘Challenge Vote’ And ‘Tendered Vote’...

2024 Lok Sabha Polls: Viral Message On ‘Challenge Vote’ And ‘Tendered Vote’ Is Misleading

Authors

Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

Claim
– Provision of a “challenge vote”, which allows voters who do not feature in the electoral list to vote.
– Provision of a “tendered vote” in case someone has cast a vote in a voter’s name. If tendered votes are over 14%, a repolling is ordered. 

Fact
– No provision of any “challenge vote.” 
– ECI allows “tendered vote,” however there is no mention of any repolling. 

As the country gears for the Lok Sabha polls, a viral WhatsApp forward claiming to spread awareness about “voter’s rights,” by detailing “challenge vote,” and “tender vote” is being widely shared on social media platforms.

The viral post claims,

  • “When you reach the polling booth and find that your name is not in the voter list, just show your Aadhar card or voter ID and ask for ” challenge vote” under section 49P and cast your vote.
  • If you find that someone has already cast your vote, then ask for “tender vote” and cast your vote.
  • If any polling booth records more than 14% tender votes, re-polling will be conducted in such polling booths.“ 

We received it on our tipline (+91-9999499044) requesting to be fact checked.

Lok Sabha Polls

Multiple X users shared the post.

Such posts can be seen here and here.

The 2024 Lok Sabha Polls will be conducted in seven phases starting from April 19. The counting of votes will be done on June 4.

Also Read: 2024 Lok Sabha Elections- Old Video Shared As Massive Turnout At PM Modi’s Rally In Jalpaiguri

Fact Check/Verification

Newschecker decided to investigate the claims made in the viral post one-by-one.

‘Challenge Vote’ If Your Name Is Not In Voter List?

A Google keyword search for “Challenge Vote, ECI” did not yield any credible results on any such provision allowing people to cast their vote even if their name is not mentioned in the voter list.

However, we did come across a phrase called “challenged vote.” A report by Deccan Herald, dated May 9, 2019, stated, “A challenged vote is a process where a political agent working at the polling booth, called a polling agent, challenges the identity of any elector they think is falsifying their identity.”

We then looked up “Challenged vote” in the ‘Handbook for presiding officer 2023’ by the ECI, uploaded on the official website of Chief Electoral Officer, Tripura. It stated, “The identity of a person claiming to be a particular elector may be challenged by a polling agent, by depositing Rs 2/- (two rupees) in cash. You must determine the challenge through a summary inquiry. If the challenge is not sustained, you must allow the challenged person to cast his vote. If the challenge is sustained, you must not only refuse the challenged person from voting, but also hand him over to the police along with a complaint in writing.”

Screengrab from Handbook for presiding officer 2023 pdf

Adding, ”Unless there arise compelling grounds to indicate that an elector is a bogus voter, he is to be deemed to be a genuine elector. You must determine any such case through a summary inquiry”

Furthermore, we didn’t find any mention of “Challenge vote” in the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961.

Screengrab from Conduct of Election Rules, 1961 pdf

Also Read: 2016 Video Of Brawl On Afghan Channel Shared As BJP-Congress Fight During Debate On Manipur

Then What Is Section 49P?

Section 49P of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961 deals with the ‘tendered vote.’ It states, “ If a person representing himself to be a particular elector seeks to vote after another person has already voted as such elector, he shall, on satisfactorily answering such questions relating to his identity as the presiding officer may ask, be, instead of being allowed to vote through the balloting unit, supplied with a tendered ballot paper which shall be of such design, and the particulars of which shall be in such language or languages as the Election Commission may specify.” 

Screengrab from Conduct of Election Rules, 1961 pdf

 We could thus conclude that the claim regarding ‘tender vote’ is true.

So Repolling In Case Of Over 14% Tendered Votes?

We skimmed through the 1961 Rules, and the handbook of the presiding officer, however did not find any provision stating a repolling in case tendered votes breach the 14% threshold. A keyword search did not yield any official notification from the Election Commission, nor did we find any credible news reports on repolling owing to tendered votes.

Reportedly, Tendered votes are not included in the main vote count, and “as per judiciary, tendered votes are to be considered only when they are likely to affect the outcome of the election, that is, when the margin of victory is less than the number of tendered vote,” reportedly.

Also Read: Viral Video Of Shoe Being Hurled At Mansukh Mandaviya Is Old

Conclusion

The viral post is misleading as there is no provision of any “challenge vote.” Additionally, though “tendered vote” can be casted, there is no mention of any repolling if it exceeds 14%.

Result: Partly False

Sources
Handbook For Presiding Officer 2023 By ECI
Conduct Of Election Rules, 1961
Report By Time Of India, Dated April 5, 2019
Report By AmarUjala, Dated April 14, 2019


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Authors

Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

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