Election commission

Election commission is a constitutional body i.e., it is established under the mandate of constitution.Article 324 of Constitution of India gives genesis to this body and the talks comprehensively about the number of members and well as their appointments and designation.

Article 324 of constitution says that; there shall be constituted a body in whose powers be vested to conduct the elections:

  • To parliament, legislature of every State, office of President, and the office of vice-president

Origin and Challenges:

This body was constituted in year 1950, since the first elections to newly born India was a huge responsibility. There were many looming problems that needed to be addressed which in present scenario looks minor; such as unawareness of the process, illiteracy, poverty, funds, etc.  It was a very bold step on parts of  constitution makers that they gave right to all citizens above 18 years of age a legal and constitutional right to vote. Where India has just born, it was crippling with various problems. Common Indian was more concerned with food, cloth and home and choosing leader  beyond their desires as well as a secondary thing.

The reason being simple, when one is hungry, what he can think about is food and nothing else. In that scenario; it was challenging for Election Commission to attain foot-fall on election booths .The most important to make people realize that now they have power to choose their leaders. Needless to say;there were election due to previous enactments of Britishers, yet not everyone was acquainted with the process and power elections. In internet-less era, it was very difficult to disseminate information to every corner, so Election Commission decided to take on newspapers, but how to deal with the ones who could not read?  Radio! It became a vehicle to help election commission traverse the ocean full of difficulties.


Election Commission adaptability to technology:


With endless tiring efforts; the first election process was completed but one more challenge was waiting for them – counting the ballot papers. It used to take a whole day or more to count ballots from one booth. The requirement of manpower was dealt with but there was one major exercise that needed urgent solution – booth capturing.

Until 1990s, increasing surveillance was one of the weapon used by the body. Then came Electronic Voting Machine under the aegis of the then election commissioner  T.N. Seshan.

First time EVMs  were used in year 1982 in the by-election to North Paravur Assembly Constituency in Kerala for a few booths.

Later it was experimented in Rajasthan, Delhi and Madya Pradesh. Goa was the first State where it was used first time on State-level. This way EVMs took over ballot papers.


To make citizenry more informed EVMS were provided with a new feature in year 2010 known as Voter-Verifiable Paper Audit Trail. The motive to introduce this is to tell the voter to whom it has casted his vote via a paper slip, automatically generated after he presses button on EVM.

Apart from this, election commission has time to time used advanced technology to raise awareness and ensure free and fair elections such as SVEEP( Systematic Voter’s Education and Electoral Participation program). This way the commission has performed its functions in most productive manner so far.


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