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Can You Ask For A ‘Challenge Vote’ If Your Name Is Not On A Voter List?

Can You Ask For A ‘Challenge Vote’ If Your Name Is Not On A Voter List?

BOOM found that two out of the three claims made in the viral message are false.

A viral WhatsApp forward claiming a voter can cast their vote even if their name is on the electoral roll by asking for a ‘challenge vote’, is false.

Two of the three claims in the forward are false. The second claim about asking for a ‘tender vote’ in the event someone has already cast your vote, is true.

The viral message claims, “When you reach poling booth and find that your name is not in voter list, just show your Aadhar card or voter ID and ask for ” challenge vote” under section 49A 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, repolling will be conducted in such poling booth.
👉 Please share this very important message with maximum groups and friends as everyone should aware of their right to vote”

Viral WhatsApp message

FACT-CHECK

BOOM reached out to V Citizens Action Network (VCAN), a
civil society organisation partner of the Election Commission Of India (ECI) through Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Maharashtra

VCAN received an official reply from CEO Maharashtra responding to the viral message.

CLAIM 1: When you reach poling booth and find that your name is not on the voter list, just show your Aadhar card or voter ID and ask for “challenge vote” under section 49A and cast your vote

FACT: FALSE

According to the reply received by VCAN, a voter cannot vote unless his / her name appears on the electoral rolls.

Additionally, BOOM read through the handbook issued by the ECI for polling agents that in February 2019 that states the polling officer would primarily identify the voter through the electoral roll.

EC Handbook for Polling Agents
EC Handbook for Polling Agents

CLAIM 2: If you find that someone has already cast your vote, then ask for “tender vote” and cast your vote.

FACT: TRUE

“If you find someone has already cast your vote, then ask for ‘tender vote’ and cast your vote,” stated the reply by CEO Maharashtra to VCAN.

In the handbook also mentions that if a voter finds out that another person claiming to be that elector has voted in his / her name then the Presiding officer will permit the person to vote by means of ballot paper.

EC Handbook on Tendered votes
EC Handbook on Tendered votes

CLAIM 3: If any polling booth records more than 14 percent tender votes, repolling will be conducted in such a poling booth

FACT: FALSE

“There is no legal provision regarding repoll in case of challenge vote. In no case, there are unusual percent tender votes. Even if there are, there is no provision for a repoll,” according to CEO Maharashtra.

BOOM did not find any mention of the above claim in the EC handbook.

Screenshot of EC Handbook
Screenshot of EC Handbook

Click here to view the handbook.

ECI confirms that the WhatsApp message circulating is fake

BOOM had reached out Sheyphali Sharan, official spokesperson of the Election Commission of India (ECI), who confirmed that the WhatsApp forward circulating was indeed fake.

“Tendered vote is only when you find that someone has voted against your name in the voter list. A person whose name is not in the voter list cannot vote,” said Sharan.

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Claim Review : Message Claims If A Voter's Name Is Not On The Voters List, A Person Can Cast Their Vote Using 'Challenge Vote'

Fact Check : Partly True, Partly False

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Anmol Alphonso is a fact-checker with BOOM. He has previously interned at IndiaSpend as a fact-checker and was a reporting intern at Times of India, Indian Express, and Mid-Day. He is a post-graduate diploma holder in journalism from St Paul’s Institute of Communication Education, Mumbai.

1 Comments

1 Comment

  1. Venu

    April 9 at 5:28 pm

    In that case its the responsibility of EC to verify the voters list across the country for consistency, I have lost my vote in Assembly elections and now as well though i have submitted form to include my name in electoral list and nothing has been done. Pathetic EC which is being operated only for politicians not for general public, I have dropped a note to Telangana Election Commissioner during our Assembly Elections but no one has felt responsibility to respond but these governments and even the public sector bodies needs our money which is being paid as TAX and i have all right to ask the question why my vote has been deleted wherein i have been voting since 20 years for now. EC is just like other Local Govt office wherein not responsible for any such things by they have to be paid on time which i contradict why the hell i should pay my hard earned money as TAX.

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