Election FAQ: What is a Tendered vote?

Election FAQ: What is a Tendered vote?

Someone stole your vote? Don't be disheartened, the system guarantees you a vote

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It's the election day, you've braved the elements and stood in a lengthy line to cast your vote, and when you get to the polling station, you are informed someone already put the vote in your name!

Shocked at the obvious theft of identity and dejected at the fact that your vote is lost to you, you prepare to head out. However, do you know that you can still exercise your franchise even if someone else has done it in your name and the ECI gave voters a power just for that?

That power given to a voter to bypass identity theft and exercise your right to vote is called the Tendered Vote.

The Tendered Vote, like the Challenged Vote, is defined in The Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961. Here is what it stipulates:

If a person representing himself to be a particular elector applies for a ballot paper 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 entitled, subject to the provisions of this rule, to mark a tendered ballot paper in the same manner as any other elector.

Every such person shall, before being supplied with a tendered ballot paper, sign his name against the entry relating to him in a list in Form 15.

A tendered ballot paper shall be the same as the other ballot papers used at the polling except that

  • Such tendered ballot paper shall be serially the last in the bundle of ballot papers issued for use at the polling station
  • Such tendered ballot paper and its counterfoil shall be endorsed on the back with the words "tendered ballot paper" by the presiding officer in his own hand and signed by him.


The elector, after marking a tendered ballot paper in the voting compartment and folding it, shall, instead of putting it into the ballot box, give it to the presiding officer, who shall place it in a cover specially kept for the purpose.

Provided that where such elector is a member of a political party in an election to fill a seat or seats in the Council of States, the presiding officer shall, before placing the tendered ballot paper in the said cover, allow the authorised agent of that political party to verify as to which candidate the elector has cast his vote.

For the purposes of this rule, “authorised agent”, in respect of a political party, means an authorised agent appointed to election, in a council constituency and, by assembly members other than by postal ballot by that political party.