A quick guide to India’s 2019 election

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India is the world's biggest democracy! Indeed, the 2019 election will be the largest democratic exercise in human history.

Voting will begin on April 11 and be split into 7 phases. In total, the process will take 5 weeks, which also makes India's election the longest in the world!

Read on to find out more about this remarkable event...

WHO'S VOTING?

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first time voters
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WHAT'S AT STAKE?

There are 543 seats up for grab in the Lok Sabha – the lower house of parliament

whats at stake

Whichever party or coalition controls a majority of seats gets to elect a prime minister

Underrepresented...

females in lok sabha

Only 11.2% of the current Lok Sabha are women

THE SUPERSTATE

Uttar Pradesh 1

Home to more than 200 million people, Uttar Pradesh accounts for 80 seats in the Lok Sabha – that's almost 15% of all lower house seats!

Electoral outcomes in this superstate are critical to the formation of any Indian government.

Other key states to watch...

Maharashtra in the west (48 seats)

West Bengal in the east (42 seats)

Bihar in the north (40 seats)

Tamil Nadu in the south (39 seats)

OTHER KEY STATES

Taken together these 5 states account for 249 MPs; 272 MPs are required to form government

THE MAJOR POLITICAL PARTIES

There are more than 400 political parties taking part in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. But two parties have dominated Indian politics since independence in 1947...

BJP Party Graphic
INC graphic info updated

THE CHOICE FOR THE NEXT PRIME MINISTER

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Led the BJP to the first single-party majority in 30 years in 2014

Served as the Chief Minister of Gujarat from 2001 to 2014

Known as a highly effective orator and campaigner

The first prime minister born post-independence

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Served as an MP in the Lok Sabha since 2004

Elected to lead the Indian National Congress in 2017

His great grandfather, grandmother and father have all led India

At 48 he could become the second youngest prime minister

HOW VOTING WORKS...

Voting takes place over 5 weeks and 7 phases, beginning on April 11 and ending on May 19

More than 10 million election officials will be manage 1 million polling stations across India

India’s election rules determine there must be a polling booth within 2 kilometres of every home

India has bid goodbye to paper ballots and now uses Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs)

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Electronic Voting Machines display the symbols of political parties. Voters press the corresponding button to cast their ballot

In 2019, all EVMs will produce a paper trail according to the Election Commission of India. This will provide a physical record of votes

'None of the Above' has been an option since 2014. Last election, NOTA received 6 million votes (or 1.1% of all ballots cast)

EVMs operate ‘offline’ – they’re not connected to a network, reducing the risk of them being hacked or tampered with

WHEN WILL WE KNOW THE RESULTS?

india election 2019 results

EVMs allow for fast and accurate counting of hundreds of millions of votes

Using EVMs, 5 weeks of voting takes just a few hours to count. Results will be known on May 23!

Banner image: Courtesy Al Jazeera English via Flickr

EVM image: Election Commission of India via YouTube

Results image: Courtesy Al Jazeera English via Flickr