Voting on May 12th? This guide is for you

Your vote gives you the power to hold elected representatives accountable. So, be an informed voter. Here's everything you may want to know before you head for the polling booth this Saturday.

With Karnataka Assembly Elections 2018 just around the corner, it’s important to be well-informed about the procedure and your options before you cast your vote. Here’s a quick guide from Citizen Matters to clear the most common questions you may be pondering upon for the moment.

  • Why vote in the Legislative Assembly elections?
  • How do I know if I can cast my vote?
  • How do I locate my Assembly Constituency?
  • How do I know where my polling booth is?
  • Can I vote if I do not have a Voter ID card?
  • How do I know who’s contesting from my constituency?
  • What is the Model Code of Conduct that all candidates should follow?
  • Where can I report if I observe any violation of the above code of conduct or any other offence?
  • What is the process inside the polling station?
    How to know that my vote cast on the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) has been correctly recorded?

Why vote in the Legislative Assembly elections?  

Because you can then hold the elected representative accountable for the changes that you want to see around you.  But we know it’s not as simple as that, and there are a hundred conflicting thoughts running amok in your mind right now. So, just read this article from our archives to convince yourself why you must vote.

How do I know if I can cast my vote?

You can only vote from your polling booth in the constituency your ward falls under and your name must be in the voting list. The electoral roll or voting list is comprised of names of all citizens who can vote in a specific constituency.

You can check if your name appears in the electoral list on the official website of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Karnataka, using either your registered name or your Electoral Photo ID Card (EPIC).

Alternatively, you can also search for the same on the National Voters’ Services Portal. (PG Bhat, who has analysed the voter roll issues extensively, says this site has many mistakes. So do cross check)

Which is my Assembly Constituency?

Take a look at the map view of all BBMP wards in Bengaluru. You can find the corresponding Assembly Constituency for your ward on this database.

Where is my polling booth?

To know your Assembly Constituency, polling station address and other details, you can sms your EPIC (Voter ID) card Number to +91 9731979899 in the following format:

KAEPIC <space> ID Card No.

Example: KAEPIC XYZ1509201

Can I vote if I do not have a Voter ID card?

As long as your name is there on the electoral roll, you can vote. In case you do not have your Voter ID or EPIC card, you will have to carry a valid ID card when you go to the polling booth. The alternative photo ID cards accepted by the Election Commission are:

  • Passport
  • Driving License
  • Service Identity Cards with photograph issued to employees by Central/State Govt PSUs/Public Limited Companies
  • Passbooks with photograph issued by Bank/Post Office
  • PAN Card
  • Smart Card issued by RGI under NPR
  • MNREGA Job Card
  • Health Insurance Smart Card issued under the scheme of Ministry of Labour
  • Pension document with photograph
  • Authenticated Photo Voter Slip issued by the election machinery
  • Official identity cards issued to MPs/MLAs/MLCs
  • Aadhaar Card

In the case of EPIC, clerical errors and spelling mistakes should be ignored, provided the identity of the elector can be established by the EPIC. If an elector produces an Electors Photo Identity Card, which has been issued by the Electoral Registration Officer of another Assembly Constituency, such EPICs shall also be accepted for identification provided the name of that elector finds place in the electoral roll pertaining to the polling station where the elector has turned up for voting. If it is not possible to establish the identity of the elector on account of mismatch of photograph, etc., the elector shall have to produce any one of the 12 alternative photo documents.

​The Election Commission in its order has directed that overseas electors shall have to produce their original passport for identification, and no other identity document, in the polling station.

How do I know who’s contesting from my constituency?

It’s important to know who you cast your vote for because they will be representing your voice in the Assembly for the next five years. If you want to know the names of candidates contesting from your constituency and the parties they represent, find the database of all candidates according to constituency here.

The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), a non-profit working for electoral reforms also has a summary of contesting candidates on the My Neta website.

We have also analysed the work of sitting MLAs in your constituency, you can check all details — including his personal contact information, MLA Local Area Development Funds utilisation, details furnished in the election affidavit etc. Reading their profiles, interviews and past achievement will help you make the right decision.

We have provided details of the contestants standing in each Bengaluru constituency and details of their background and assets. You can also find additional info on past election, and information about your constituency too.

You can get all of these on the Citizen Matters Election Dashboard.

What is the Model Code of Conduct that all candidates should follow?

The Model Code of Conduct is a set of instructions announced by the Election Commission of India to be followed by both political parties and candidates contesting elections. These include guidelines and instructions on general conduct, campaigning, meetings and processions etc.

You can check out the detailed guidelines with respect to each of the above on the website of the Chief Electoral Officer on the following links: Model Code of Conduct 1 | Model Code of Conduct 2 | Model Code of Conduct 3 | Model Code of Conduct 4 | Model Code of Conduct 5

Where can I report if I observe any violation of the above code of conduct or any other offence?

If you come across any violation of the model code of conduct or any electoral offence, you can get in touch with the Chief Electoral Officer of the Karnataka state or the District Election Officers or the SP of your district. You can also file an online complaint on the CEO website or the National Grievance Service platform of the Election Commission of India.

What is the process inside the polling station?

How to know that my vote cast on the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) has been correctly recorded?

This year, a Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) will be placed next to the Electronic Voting machine (EVM) in the polling booth. VVPAT prints the option you select on EVM, allowing you to verify whether your vote has been correctly recorded or not. A transparent window on the VVPAT machine will let you check the candidates serial number and party number that you’ve selected after which it will fall in to a sealed box.

Be an informed and engaged citizen and cast your vote on May 12, 2018.


  1. obat says:

    nice as well as his article very good and useful information.

  2. Philip Manohar Cherian says:

    Dear EC,

    My mother is 94 years old and stays with me in Bangalore, Richards Town. She is unable to go out to the Voting booth on the 12th, as she is always dependent on Oxygen, and is connected to the O2 generator. However, my mother did express her desire to caste her vote. Is there some way in which my mother could do a postal or proxy vote?? Please advise..

    • Dr KeYes says:

      The election staff will arrange for disabled/physically challenged people Approach them with doctors certificate they may consider postal ballo also if deserves supervised postal ballot.

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