Voting time again

Bangalore is voting tomorrow (Thu, 17 Apr) for Lok Sabha.  (The last time we voted was for the assembly elections last year) There is unprecedented information about candidates in the internet, unlike earlier elections.  We are not talking about candidate's own web page or their party web pages (which could be arguably biased).

It is important to know your candidates even if you were to vote for a specific party.

The best place to start (for me) was Google's election page.

You start off by typing the Pincode (where you stay/plan to vote).  In my case it is 560037.

You now get a list of candidates, with their party (if not independent) and symbols.  For each candidate, there is a Candidate Info link.  Clicking that link gives the following summary information
  • Age
  • Total criminal cases
  • Assets
  • Education

(If existing MP),
  • Attendance
  • Debated Participated
  • Questions Asked 
This is decent information to start with.  You can check how you educated your candidate is, how rich he is (can we say, the richer they are, the less corrupt they maybe?) and so on.

I found the BSP candidate in my constituency has 1 criminal case, while the JDS and Congress candidates of Bangalore Central have 3 and 2 criminal cases respectively. 

If you would like to probe the candidates further, you can click on the urls in the candidate info screen.

For instance this is the comprehensive detail of the BJP candidate in my constituency and this is his record when he was an MP last.   The latter allows us not only to see details of the candidate's attendance in Lok Sabha, but the exact text of each of the questions that the candidate has asked or the contents of the debate that the candidate was involved in.  (Of course, these may have been prepared by the candidate's IAS assistant).

I can also see how MPs from Karnataka fared in the last Lok Sabha.  For instance, I see H D Kumaraswamy had 32% attendance, while D K Suresh had 100% attendance but participated in 0 debates.

If I am curious, I can see the details of the criminal cases of some candidates, as well as registration numbers of the vehicles that they own.

No longer can we say that we don't know whom we are voting for.

Now, if you want to know where your booth is, you have internet to your rescue again.  You can get it from the Election Commission search tool.   Or in case you have voter id card, by sending an SMS to 92433-55223 with the content KAEPIC .  By the way, your name needs to be present in electoral foll for you to vote - it is not required for you to have the Voter Id card.  Any recognized Id proof should be good enough!

Happy voting.