The Election Commission on Sunday said the EVMs and postal ballot papers would carry photograph of all candidates to help voters identify the political leaders in the fray. Announcing the seven-phase Lok Sabha elections, beginning April 11 and ending May 19, the Election Commission said the provision for printing the candidate photographs will help avoid any confusion which may arise when candidates with similar names contest from the same constituency.
The photograph will be printed on the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) ballot units as well as on postal ballot papers, the EC said.
For this purpose, the candidates are required to submit to the returning officer, their recent stamp size photograph as per the specifications laid down by the Commission.
The EC also said India had gone to polls with photo electoral rolls for the first time in 2009. In that year, Assam, Jammu & Kashmir and Nagaland did not have photo electoral rolls, while elector photo identity cards were not distributed to electors in Assam and Nagaland.
Now, all states and union territories have photo electoral rolls and photographs of 99.72 per cent electors are already printed in the electoral rolls. Besides, 99.36 per cent electors have been given EPIC.
The percentage of electors with EPIC and photographs in electoral rolls is likely to increase further before the elections with several states and UTs having already reported 100 per cent coverage, the EC said.
The Commission also said that official voter slip bearing the photo of the elector (wherever present in the roll) will be distributed at least five days before the polling date.