The objective of this Handbook is to provide information and guidance to perform
your duties as a Presiding Officer in the best possible manner. However, this
Handbook is neither an exhaustive compendium in all aspects nor a substitute
reference for the various provisions of election law related to the conduct of poll. You
should, therefore, wherever necessary, refer to those legal provisions, which are
reproduced in Annexures-1 (Provisions of A.P. Panchayat Raj Act, 1994) and
Annexure-1A (Provisions of Conduct of Elections Rules, 2006).
While detailed directions and instructions are contained in various chapters of this
Handbook, some of the salient aspects of your duties are given below for your
- You should acquaint yourself fully with the latest position about the rules and
procedures prescribed for the conduct of poll.
- You should familiarise yourself thoroughly with the operation of Ballot boxes,
i.e., Opening, Closing and proper Sealing of ballot boxes.
- You must acquaint yourself with members of your polling party in the
- You must keep in ready possession of all relevant instructions of the State
- You must have a clear idea of the location of your polling station and your
itinerary to and fro the polling station
- You should attend all rehearsals and training classes without fail.
- While collecting election materials (Annexure-5), you should ensure that all
items have been handed over to you. The most important items are Ballot
boxes, Ballot papers, Paper seals, marked copy of electoral roll and other
copies, arrow cross mark rubber stamp for voting, distinguishing mark,
statutory forms, sealing wax and indelible ink, etc.
- On arrival at the polling station, you should have a clear idea of the
arrangements to be made for setting up of a proper polling station especially
to secure secrecy of voting, regulation of queue of voters, protection of poll
proceedings free from outside interference, etc. (Annexure-6).
- You are required to sign your name in full on the back of each ballot paper
before issue (but not on the counterfoil of the ballot paper). To enable the
commencement of poll at the appointed time, you should keep some ballot
papers signed in advance.
- You are also required to affix on the back of each ballot paper and its
counterfoil distinguishing mark of your polling station with the rubber stamp
given to you.
- Before the commencement of poll, the ballot box has to be demonstrated to
the polling agents present to satisfy them that it is empty and that the ballot
box is in perfect working condition.
- The ballot box shall then be properly sealed, closed, secured and placed in
full view of the polling agents.
- The poll should commence at the hour fixed for such commencement by the
State Election Commission. Before commencing the poll, the candidates or
their agents present and the polling officers should be warned about the
maintenance of secrecy of vote and provisions of Section 217 of A.P.
Panchayat Raj Act, 1994 and mentioned in Chapter-XV of this booklet.
- At the commencement of poll, you have to exhibit the marked copy of the
electoral roll and there are declarations to be filled and signed by you and
also signed by polling agents present in the polling station at the
commencement and at end of the poll (Annexure-10).
- The instructions for establishing the identity of the elector should be followed
carefully. In the absence of EPIC (Voter ID Card), the voter has to produce
any one of the identity documents specified by the Commission to establish
his/her identity at the polling station.
- The identity of elector should be properly verified by the 1st Polling Officer
with reference to the entries in the marked copy of electoral roll and the
document(s) prescribed by the State Election Commission. The voter slip/
unofficial identity slip carried by an elector should not be accepted as proof of
identity. It is to be noted that the voter slips distributed by the official
machinery is meant for facilitating the voter to easily identify his/her polling
station. This will also help the 1st polling officer to quickly identify the voter’s
serial number in the marked copy of electoral roll.
- After an elector is identified with reference to his entry in the electoral roll
and the identity document(s) prescribed by the State Election Commission,
the left hand forefinger should be marked with the indelible ink by the 2nd
Polling Officer. The indelible mark should be prominent and should begin
from top end of the nail to the bottom of the first joint of the left forefinger.
- You should obtain the signature/thumb impression of the voter on the
counterfoil of the ballot paper and then only the voter should be issued with
the ballot paper. If a voter refuses to put his signature/ thumb impression on
the counterfoil, such voter should not be issued ballot paper.
- In order to ensure that the indelible ink mark put on the voter‘s finger has
properly dried up and developed into a distinct mark, the last polling officer
should inspect the indelible ink mark before the voter leaves polling booth.
- In order to indicate that an elector has been allowed to vote and also to
ensure that he/she does not turn up to vote again, in the entry relating to the
elector in the marked copy of the photo electoral roll should be struck
diagonally with a red ink pen. The serial number of female voter has to be
rounded off in addition as that will be helpful to the polling officer to count
the number of women voters voted at the end of the poll for the purpose of
the relevant statistics of voters to be mentioned in the Presiding Officer’s
- The serial number of the ballot paper should not be noted at all in the
marked copy of the electoral roll against the elector‘s name.
- The ballot papers need not be issued to electors in consecutive serial order as
that would enable the polling agents to work out the serial number of ballot
paper that is being issued to individual voters. At the same time, if the first
three or four bundles of ballot papers (50 in number in a bundle) are shuffled
and bundles used at random and not in consecutive serial order, then the
object would be served. At the close of the poll, the numbers of the ballot
papers issued to the electors should be in continuous and unbroken series to
avoid confusion in drawing up the ballot paper account.
- If you consider an elector to be much below the minimum age of voting, i.e.,
18 years, but are otherwise satisfied about his identity and the fact of
inclusion of his name in the electoral roll, you should obtain a declaration
from him about his age in the form of declaration at Annexure-2.
- You have to go on recording the relevant events as and when they occur in
the Presiding Officer’s Diary (Annexure-19).
- You have to regulate the proceedings in the polling station for peaceful and
smooth conduct of poll. You require much tact, but at the same time you
should be firm and impartial.
- You shall close the poll at the hour fixed by the Commission, even if the
commencement of poll was delayed for any reason. All voters standing in
queue at the closing hour of poll shall be allowed to vote even if that means
continuing of poll for some more time. It should also be ensured that after
the closing hour of poll nobody joins the queue of voters. For that purpose,
you should distribute numbered slips (1, 2, 3, etc.) to all voters standing in
queue at the time fixed for close of poll starting with the last person in the
queue in such a way that the last person is to be given slip No. 1 and the
person before him slip No. 2 and so on (from the tail end of the queue
towards its head). This will help you to find out if any person joins the queue
after distribution of slips and such person shall not be allowed to cast his/her
- At the close of poll, you are required to prepare, in duplicate, a Ballot Paper
Account in Part-I of Form-XXV (Annexure-20) authenticated copies of such
account are required to be given to the polling agent of each candidate
present. You are also required to make a declaration regarding furnishing of
such copies to the candidates agents in the form prescribed by the State
Election Commission in Part-III of Declarations by the Presiding Officer
- After the close of poll, the Ballot Boxes and all election papers should be
sealed and secured in the manner prescribed by the State Election
Commission. Candidates or their agents present have also to be allowed to
affix their seals, if they so desire, on the ballot boxes and the election papers
in addition to your seals. You should follow carefully the relevant instructions
about the sealing and securing of ballot boxes and election papers so that no
mistake is committed which cannot be rectified later.
- It is your personal responsibility to hand over the Ballot boxes and all election
papers duly sealed and secured to the officer responsible for the collection
thereof, under proper receipt at Reception Centre.