1. Election Machinery
1. Which authority conducts elections to Corporation, Municipalities and other Local Bodies?
The State Election Commission constituted under the Constitution (73rd and 74th ) amendments Act, 1992 for each State / Union Territory is vested with the power of conduct of elections to the Corporations, Municipalities, District Panchayats, Panchayat Unions and Village Panchayats.
2. What is the status of the Tamil Nadu State Election Commissioner?
The Status of the Tamil Nadu State Election Commissioner is equivalent to that of a serving Judge of a High Court.
3. Who appoints the Tamil Nadu State Election Commissioner?
His Excellency the Governor of Tamil Nadu appoints the Tamil Nadu State Election Commissioner.
4. Who are the State Election Officers ?
The Commissioner/Director of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, Commissioner/Director of Town Panchayats and Commissioner of Municipal Administration are the State Election Officers.
5. Who is incharge of Conduct of elections at District level?
District Election Officer/ District Collector supervises the election work in the District.
6. Who appoints the State Election Officers and District Election Officers?
Tamil Nadu State Election Commission appoints the State Election Officers and District Election Officers.
7. Who is responsible for election in any local body?
The Returning Officer of the respective local body is responsible for conduct of election in that local body.
8. Who appoints the Returning Officer?
The District Election Officer appoints the Returning Officer.
9. Who appoints the Election Observers?
The Tamil Nadu State Election Commission appoints Election observers.
10. Who is the Electoral Registration Officer for local bodies?
The Panchayat Union Commissioners, Commissioners of Municipalities, Executive Officers of Town Panchayats and Commissioners of City Municipal Corporations (Revenue Officer in the case of Chennai) are the Electoral Registration Officers.
11. Who appoints the Presiding Officers and Polling officers?
The Presiding/Polling Officers are appointed by the Returning Officer
2. Electoral Roll:
1. Who is responsible for preparation of local body electoral roll?
The Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) of the Local Body concerned is responsible for preparation of local body electoral roll. The Panchayat Union Commissioner is the ERO of Panchayat, the Executive Officer is the ERO of Town Panchayat, the concerned Commissioner is the ERO of the Municipalities / Corporations.
2. What is the minimum age limit for enrolment in an electoral roll?
A person who has completed the age of 18 years as on the first day of January of the year can enroll himself as a voter in the assembly electoral roll concerned.
3.What is the procedure to include the name in the local body electoral roll?
The Electoral roll of the local body is prepared based on the current electoral roll of the Legislative Assembly Constituency concerned. Hence, the name of the individual should first be included in the respective Assembly electoral roll by submitting an application in Form 6 to the Electoral Registration Officer (Revenue Divisional Officer) of the Assembly Constituency Concerned. The ERO of Assembly Constituency will handover a list of such inclusions to the local body ERO before the last date of nomination and the newly enrolled voters will be included in the local body electoral roll at the appropriate ward by the local body ERO.
4. What is the last date for inclusion in the electoral roll?
There is no such restriction for applying for enrolment of the name as a voter in the electoral roll. However, during any election, inclusion, addition, deletion, modifications, etc., will be made till the last day of receiving nominations. Any application received after the last date of nomination till the election procedure is over will be processed only after the election is over. It should also to be kept in mind that the ERO requires a minimum of seven clear days notice time for processing applications related to inclusion, addition, deletion, etc., in the assembly electoral roll.
5. What is the procedure for settling the issues related to omissions of names in the electoral roll and objections to any entry?
All omissions of names in any part of the roll or objections to any entry in the roll, at any point of time after its publication, shall be settled first by getting amended suitably in the relevant portion of the electoral roll of the Assembly Constituency based on which the Panchayat roll is prepared.
Anybody wishing to raise a claim for inclusion of any name in the roll or any objection in respect of any entry in the roll so published, shall submit a proper claim or objection under the provisions of the Registration of Electors Rules, 1960 to the Electoral Registration Officer of the concerned Assembly Constituency. Subject to the provisions of the local body Acts and based on the orders of the Electoral Registration Officer of the Assembly Constituency on such claims and objections, the Local body Electoral Registration Officer shall amend the relevant portion of the Local body electoral roll, incorporating the changes by issuing an amendment to the relevant part of the Local Body electoral roll.
6. Can one be enrolled in more than one place?
A person cannot be enrolled as a voter in more than one place as per the provisions contained under Sec.17 and 18 of Representation of the People Act, 1950.
7. If the name of a person is found in two places or more than once, can he vote in more than one place?
No. One can vote only in one place though his/her name is found in two places or more.
3. Political Parties:
1. Who is the authority to register the political party?
The Tamil Nadu State Election Commission through its Statutory Order called the Tamil Nadu Local Bodies Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1996 started registering and notifying the list of recognized political parties and the Symbols reserved for them and the list of registered and unrecognized political parties for the purpose of elections to local bodies from the year 1996. This was practised upto 2001.
From 2001 onwards, the TNSEC in supersession of its earlier notification / order as amended from time to time, is now notifying the list of political parties based on the orders of ECI issued under section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 for the purpose of elections to local bodies.
2.What are the parties considered as recognized political parties for local body election?
Every political party recognised by the Election Commission of India as a National party or as a State party in the State of Tamil Nadu under the Election symbols (Reservation and Allotment) order, 1968 shall be recognised parties for the purpose of election to local bodies in Tamil Nadu.
3. Who will publish the list of recognized parties and symbols for the Local Body Elections?
The Tamil Nadu State Election Commission will publish the list of recognised political parties and their symbols and the list of free symbols from time to time for use in the local body elections.
4. Conduct of Elections:
1. Which offices of local body are elected directly by the voters?
In Rural Local Bodies the offices of the Village Panchayat Ward Member, Village Panchayat President, Panchayat Union Ward Member and District Panchayat Ward Member are elected directly by the voters. In the case of Urban Local bodies the Offices of the Chairman and the Ward Members/Councilors are elected directly by the voters.
2. At present how many offices / Wards of local bodies are in Tamil Nadu?
No. of Seats
Town Panchayat Chairmen
Town Panchayat Ward Members
District Panchayat Ward Members
Panchayat Union Ward Members
Village Panchayat Presidents
Village Panchayat Ward Members
3. Is there any reservation for women in local body elections?
Yes. Not less than one third of the total number of offices are reserved for women.
4. What is the maximum number of votes, a voter has to cast in a local body election?
In Rural Local Bodies a voter has to cast 4 votes and in Urban Local Bodies a voter has to cast two votes.
5. What is Election Notification and Notice of Election?
Election Notification contains the election programme notified by the State Election Commission and published in the Gazette. In pursuance of the Election Notification issued by the State Election Commission, the election notice is published by the Returning Officers in their respective offices and the offices of the AROs.
6. What is the minimum age for contesting in local body elections?
A person who has attained the age of 21 years can contest in the local body election provided his name should find place in the electoral roll of the respective local body.
7. Can a non resident of a local body contest in the election for that Local Body?
No. A person who resides within the area of the local body and whose name finds place in the electoral roll alone can contest in the election of a local body.
8. Whether a candidate contesting in a ward election should be a resident of that respective ward?
It is not required that a contesting candidate should be a resident of that ward but he should be resident of that particular local body and his name must find place in the electoral roll of that local body.
9.How many nominations can an individual file for an election at a time?
Not more than four nomination papers can be presented by or on behalf of any candidate for an election.
10.Whether the nomination paper has to be filed by the candidate alone?
The nomination paper can be filed either by the candidate or his proposer directly with the Returning Officer/Assistant Returning Officer at the place and time fixed for this purpose.
11. Is there any concession in election deposit for candidate belonging to SC/ST?
Yes. There is fifty percent concession for candidates belonging to SC/ST.
12. Whether a contesting candidate can be a proposer?
The Contesting candidate can be a proposer for a ward/Office other than the one in which he contests.
13. Whether a candidate nominated by more than one nomination paper for a seat is required to remit separate deposits?
Deposit for one nomination is enough though a candidate is nominated by more than one nomination paper for a seat or office.
14. What are the polling hours?
The Polling hours will be not less than ten hours between 7.00 a.m and 5.30 p.m., as fixed by the Tamil Nadu State Election Commission from time to time.
15. If a contesting candidate set up by a recognised political party dies before poll what will be the consequence?
If a candidate, set up by a recognised political party dies at any time after 11.00 a.m. on the last date for making nomination and his/her nomination is found valid on scrutiny or who has not withdrawn his/her candidature dies and in either case a report of his death is received at any time before the publication of the list of contesting candidates or dies as a contesting candidate and a report of his death is received before the commencement of the Poll, the Returning Officer, shall, upon being satisfied about the fact of the death of the candidate, by order, adjourn the poll and report the fact to the State Election Commission, the State Election Officer and the District Election Officer and all Proceedings with reference to the election shall be commenced afresh in all respects by the State Election Commission, as if for a new election subject to certain conditions as provided in the Rules.
16. Is there any preference for women electors at a polling station on polling day?
Where a polling station is for both men and women electors, the presiding Officer may direct that they shall be admitted into the polling station alternatively in separate batches. The Returning Officer or the Presiding Officer may engage the services of a woman to serve as an attendant at any Polling Station to assist women electors and also to assist the Presiding Officer in taking the poll in respect of women electors generally, and in particular to help in searching any woman elector in case it becomes necessary.
17. What is challenging of identity?
Any Polling agent may challenge the identity of a person claiming to be particular elector by first depositing the prescribed sum of Rs.2/- in cash with the Presiding Officer for every such challenge. After enquiry if the Presiding Officer considers that the challenge has been established, he shall debar the person challenged from voting besides taking appropriate action against him.
18. What is contested election and uncontested election?
If more than one candidate stands in the election after scrutiny and withdrawal of nomination and where poll becomes necessary it is called contested election. Where only one candidate is found eligible after scrutiny and withdrawal and where no poll is necessary it becomes uncontested election and the candidate is elected unopposed.
19. If you go to your polling station and find that some body else has impersonated and already voted in your name, can you vote in such circumstances?
Yes. If a person finds that someone else has already voted in his name, then also he will be allowed to vote provided he / she shall satisfactorily answer such questions relating to his/her identity as the presiding officer may ask. But his ballot paper will be marked as a Tendered Ballot paper by the Presiding Officer. This will be kept separately in the prescribed cover as per the Election Rules.
20. On the day of poll, can any one vote in the name of another person, even with his consent?
No. On the day of poll no one can vote in the name of another even with his consent. If he does so it would amount to impersonation.
21. What is the eligibility to get refund of the deposit amount?
A candidate who secures more than one sixth of the total valid polled votes in that election is eligible to apply for the refund of deposit from the Returning Officer.
22. Is a candidate free to spend as much as he likes on election?
No. A Candidate cannot spend more than the ceiling amount prescribed as per rules for that election.
23. Are the candidates required to file any account of election expenses?
Yes. As per the election laws a candidate shall file his election
expenses within thirty days from the date of declaration of result of election.
24. What is the penalty if a candidate does not file his account of election expenses?
Failure to lodge the election expenses account will attract disqualification to hold the post and to contest in the local body for a period of three years from the date of disqualification.