The election process in a country where elections are celebrated as a festival must be interesting. All important elections in India are conducted by the Election Commission.

But how does this happen, how does the entire electoral machinery work or what happens after the announcement of the election till the counting of votes; It is very interesting to go.

In this article, we will discuss the election process, machinery, work etc. in India in a simple and easy way, so read this article till the end. And don’t forget to read election related articles; links are given below-  Basics of Election

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Election Process in India

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election process in india

In our country, Lok Sabha, Vidhan Sabha, Panchayat elections etc. are conducted according to the “ First Past the Post ” method. That is, the one who gets the most votes will be declared the winner, even if it is one vote more. Since the voting is done directly in this system, the Election Commission has to set up polling stations at different desired places and from there the votes are collected. It is counted at a certain point and then the whole process ends with the award of a certificate to the winner. It is not easy for the Election Commission to manage this entire process, so it is conducted at many levels in small blocks.

However , the election of the President , Rajya Sabha etc. is conducted on the system of single transferable vote through proportional representation. This arrangement is completely different from the above arrangement. How is it? You can understand it through the given link.

Electoral machinery to carry out the election process

Election Commission of India (ECI)

At the top of the Indian electoral system is the three-member Election Commission consisting of a Chief Election Commissioner and two Election Commissioners. Under Article 324 , it superintends, directs and controls the Parliament, State Legislature, President and Vice President elections.

Chief Election Officer

Every state or union territory has a Chief Electoral Officer whose job is to supervise the election work in that state or union territory and help the Election Commission in conducting elections successfully.

The appointment of this officer is done in consultation with the government of a state and the administrator there in the union territory. You can use the given link to reach the Chief Electoral Officer of any State or Union Territory .

District Election Officer

At the district level below the state, the highest official of the electoral system is the District Election Officer. Usually this post is given to the District Magistrate only, however, on the advice of the State Government, this post can be given to anyone else. The main job of this officer is to supervise the election work in the district and help the Election Commission in conducting the elections successfully.

Returning Officer (RO)

Below the district level, an officer is appointed for each assembly or Lok Sabha constituency, which is called the Returning Officer. It is responsible for the conduct of the election business of a parliamentary or legislative assembly constituency. It is also appointed in the same way as mentioned above. In order to reduce the workload from this officer or for its cooperation, one or more Assistant Election Officers are also appointed according to the need.

Election Registration Officer (ERO)

The Election Commission, in consultation with the State Government, appoints the Election Registration Officer for the preparation of electoral rolls and other related works in each Assembly or Lok Sabha constituency. The Election Commission of India may appoint one or more Assistant Election Registration Officers to assist the Election Registration Officer.

Presiding Officer

Below that, there is a Presiding Officer (PO) at the polling station who, along with his other assistant officers, gets the election work done at the polling station. All these officers are appointed by the District Election Officer. In the case of Union Territories, where there is no district, the appointment is made by the Chief Electoral Officer. You can use this portal to know your polling station – Polling Stations 

This has become the main electoral system, but apart from this, there are many other officers or military forces which help in conducting elections. It is called Supervisor, it is nominated by the Election Commission. These are of many types.


General Supervisor : In order to conduct free and fair elections, it is necessary to supervise every stage of the election process, for this the Election Commission appoints a general observer.

Expenditure supervisor: The work of expenditure supervisor is very important. It keeps a close watch on the election expenditure of the candidates and also keeps an eye on whether voters are being lured during the entire election process.

Besides expenditure supervisors, assistant expenditure supervisors are also appointed in each assembly constituency. Which ensures that all major election campaign events are videographed and complaints of electoral irregularities are redressed promptly.

Police Supervisor: The Election Commission appoints Indian Police Service officers as police supervisors at the state and district levels. Its main job is to coordinate the civil and police administration during the election period and to keep an eye on law and order.

Awareness supervisor: This was not always the case, it was first restored by the Election Commission in the 16th Lok Sabha elections (2014). Its main function was to spread awareness among voters and to see efficient and effective management of the election process at the field level. Apart from this, it also supervises the measures prepared by the commission to tackle the problem of paid news at the district level.

Minor level supervisor: Apart from the general supervisor, the commission also reinstates the small level supervisor. Their job is to supervise the voting process on election day at the selected polling stations and to check the basic minimum facilities at the polling stations. Such supervisors are chosen from among the officers of the Central Government or Central Public Sector Units. After the voting is over, they seal the EVM and other documents. Apart from this, directly inform the general supervisors of the disturbances in the poll process inside their polling stations.

The Supreme CourtHindiEnglish
The Indian ParliamentHindiEnglish
The President of IndiaHindiEnglish

start of election process

election schedule

So much so that we understand that elections are held every five years. Well, it can happen even before that if the government loses majority etc. But under normal circumstances, the legislature is dissolved as soon as the term of the government completes five years. Since the constitutional provision is that after the dissolution of the legislature, elections are required to be held within 6 months, that is why the Election Commission announces new elections and activates its entire electoral system.

As soon as the election is announced, the model code of conduct comes into force on the candidates and political parties. During election campaign, the contesting candidates and political parties are expected to follow the model code of conduct. This is done so that the election campaign can be conducted in a healthy manner and to prevent conflicts and quarrels between political parties and candidates or their supporters, at least till the election is over.

With the release of the election notification , the formal election process starts. The Election Commission, through this notification, tells the entire program, till when the candidates can file nomination papers and when they can withdraw it and for how many days they can campaign for the election.

Interested candidates file nomination papers between that due date. Usually, after one week from the last date of nomination, the nominations are scrutinized by the election officers of the respective constituency. If the nomination papers are not found correct, they are rejected after a hearing.

Within two days after verification, valid candidates can withdraw their names and withdraw from the election if they so desire. After this the contesting candidates usually get two weeks before the date of poll to campaign for the election.

ballot paper and election symbol

When the process of nomination of candidates is completed, a list of contesting candidates is prepared by the Returning Officer and the ballot papers are printed. The election symbol of national and state level parties is fixed, but the election symbols are allotted to the independents who contest. It is marked on the EVM.


The candidate is expected to submit the affidavit immediately after the filing of nomination papers or at least one day before the date of scrutiny of nomination papers. A candidate has to take oath before an officer authorized by the Election Commission.

For such candidates who are imprisoned or who have been detained, the concerned jail superintendent or the commandant of the detention camp is authorized to take oath.

For such candidates who are in the hospital and are sick, then the Medical Superintendent or Medical Officer in-charge of the hospital is authorized for this.

If a candidate is outside India, then the oath is taken before the Ambassador or High Commissioner of India or the diplomatic consular authorized by him.

Election Campaign

This is the pre-poll period when all the political parties bring out their candidates and inspire people to vote in favor of their party and candidates. The formal election campaign continues from the publication of the list of candidates to 48 hours before the end of the poll. However, many candidates are engaged in election campaign even before the filing of nominations.

Election Manifesto and Rallies

Different parties start releasing their election manifestos. This manifesto contains information about what they want to do after winning the election and forming the government. Slogans are used, advertisements and posters etc. are distributed among the voters so that important issues can be brought on the tongue of the people. Rallies are held throughout the constituency, with candidates cheering on their supporters and criticizing their opponents.

Personal appeals and promises are also made by candidates to voters so that they can be brought to their support in maximum numbers.

Polling day

Keeping in mind the large number of voters and the large-scale electoral action, the national election is conducted in several phases. This is done to make the security arrangements effective and to give full opportunity of monitoring to the people involved in the voting arrangements. A separate date is fixed for the counting of votes but the counting of votes is done on the same day.

Voting starts

Polling stations are set up in public places, such as schools or community halls, but voting is secret. To exercise maximum voter franchise, the Election Commission ensures that the distance of the polling station from each voter is 2 km. Also, not more than 500 voters should come to any polling station.

As soon as he enters the polling station, after checking the voter’s name in the voter list, he is given a ballot paper. After this, the process of voting is completed in a small chamber built in the polling station itself.

EVMs were first used in 1982 in the 70-Parur assembly constituency of Kerala. In all state elections and by-elections in 2003, E.V. M was used. This experiment was completely successful, after this the Election Commission used only EVMs in the Lok Sabha elections in 2004 and now it is a common practice. Know more about EVM and VVPAT ️ .

Counting of votes

When the polling is over, the process of counting of votes begins in the stipulated time under the supervision of the Returning Officer and the observer. After the counting of votes is over, the election officials announce the name of the candidate who gets the most votes as the winning candidate.

end of election process

The commission prepares the list of elected members and issues suitable notification for the constitution of the house. With this the process of election is completed and in the case of Lok Sabha, the President and the Governors of the respective states convene a session of the House/Houses for the Legislative Assemblies.

Hopefully, you must have understood the election process and machinery etc. in India very well, some other important articles related to this topic are being linked below.

⚫ Other Important Articles ⚫

English ArticlesHindi Articles
election commission of india
Model Code of Conduct
What is EVM and VVPAT?
Voting Behaviour : Meaning, Features etc.
Why is electoral reform necessary?
Political party, why and how is it formed
What is Anti-defection law?
91st Constitutional Amendment Act 2003
Representation of the People Act 1950
Representation of the People Act 1951
भारत का चुनाव आयोग
आदर्श आचार संहिता
EVM और VVPAT क्या है?
मतदान व्यवहार : अर्थ, विशेषताएँ
चुनाव सुधार क्यों जरूरी है? 
राजनितिक दल : क्या, क्यों, और कैसे
दल-बदल कानून क्या है?
91वां संविधान संशोधन अधिनियम 2003
जन-प्रतिनिधित्व अधिनियम 1950
जन-प्रतिनिधित्व अधिनियम 1951
Rules and regulations for hoisting the flag
Do you consider yourself educated?
Reservation in India [1/4]
Constitutional basis of reservation [2/4]
Evolution of Reservation [3/4]
Roster–The Maths Behind Reservation [4/4]
Creamy Layer: Background, Theory, Facts…
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भारत में आरक्षण [1/4]
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क्रीमी लेयर : पृष्ठभूमि, सिद्धांत, तथ्य…

भारत की राजव्यवस्था
मूल संविधान
ECI official site