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No, You can’t vote if your name is not in the voter list: The viral message about the Challenge Vote is fake

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Summary

The claim that one can vote by showing Aadhar card or voter ID through Challenge Vote if the name is missing in the voter list is false. A tendered vote is only when one finds that someone else has voted against his/her name in the voter list. A person whose name is not in the voter list cannot vote at any condition.

The message is going viral on Whatsapp with a claim that you can ask for a challenge vote if your name is not in the voter list.  The viral message reads:

 When you reach polling 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 polling booth.
?? Please share this very important message with maximum groups and friends as everyone should aware of their right to vote”

The same message is going viral on Facebook as well.

There are three claims that have been made in the viral message.

Claim 1: When you reach polling 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.

Verdict: False

Explanation: We went through the handbook issued by the Election Commission of India for polling agents and found that the polling officer would identify the voter through the electoral roll.

We also checked the section 49A the Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961 and found that it does not refer to ‘challenge vote’ as claimed in the viral message. The section 49A is about the "Design of Electronic Voting Machines" which states that every electronic voting machine (hereinafter referred to as the voting machine) shall have a control unit and a balloting unit and shall be of such designs as may be approved by the Election Commission.

However, section 49J mentions about challenging of identity. It states that any polling agent may challenge the identity of a person claiming to be a particular elector by first depositing a sum of two rupees in cash with the presiding officer for each such challenge. Once the presiding officer conducts an inquiry the ‘challenged’ voter’s name and address are then put in the list of challenged votes in Form 14.
But all this will happen only if your name is in the voting list. Hence, the claim is false.

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

Verdict: True

Explanation: The handbook issued by the Election Commission of India 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 the ballot paper.

This has also been mentioned in section 49P of the Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961 which states that if a person representing himself to be a particular elector seeks to vote after another person has already voted as such elector, he shall, on satisfactorily answering such questions relating to his identity as the presiding officer may ask, be, instead of being allowed to vote through the balloting unit, supplied with a tendered ballot paper

Claim 3: If any polling booth records more than 14% tender votes, repolling will be conducted in such polling booth.

Verdict: False

Explanation: The handbook issued by the Election Commission of India doesn't mention anything about repolling. Even in  Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961 there is no mention of repolling.

However, while replying to a query by SMHoaxSlayer, the former Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Dr. S Y Quraishi stated that the Election Commission can order repoll if it notices any serious breaches.

Hence, it is confirmed that if your name is not in voter list then you can't vote.

Note: You can reach out to us at support[at]facthunt.co.in if you find any issue with our articles.

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