Voting for Presidential election begins

NEW DELHI:  Voting  began today at 1000 hrs for electing the 14th President of the country at 32 polling stations, one  in Parliament and  31  in state Assemblies  across the country.

   The voting will continue till 1700 hrs. Ruling NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind and joint Opposition candidate  Meira Kumar, both Dalits,  were pitted against each other in the election.

    The President is chosen by an electoral college comprising all the MPs and MLAs in the country, with weighted votes apportioned. As many as 233 elected members of the Rajya Sabha, 543 members from the Lok Sabha and 4,120 MLAs from the state Assemblies comprise the electors.

     The electoral college has a vote value of 10.98 lakh and comprises 4,896 electors – elected members of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and elected members of legislative assemblies of states and union territories.

    According to the Election Commission, since the technology for proportional election and single transferable vote is yet to be developed in the electronic voting machines, the presidential election is taking place through ballot papers.

     For marking the votes, the Election Commission is  providing special pens to the electors in the polling booth along with the ballot paper. “Only these pens can be used for marking the votes. The use of any other pen would render the ballot invalid.”   Lok Sabha Secretary General  has been appointed  returning officer for the poll.

     The counting of votes will take place on July 20. Incumbent  President Pranab Mukherjee’s term expires on July 24 and a  new President has to take over on July 25. (AGENCIES)

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