Under Article 243K and 243ZA of the Constitution of India, the State Election Commission is vested with powers of superintendence, direction and control of the preparation of Electoral Rolls for, and the conduct of, all elections to the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) and Urban Local Bodies (ULBs).State Election Commission is a single Member Body consisting of the State Election Commissioner. The State Election Commission, Odisha came into existence on 27th May 1994. After constitution of State Election Commission the 1st General Election to PRIs as well as Urban Local Bodies was held in the year 1997.
In three tier Panchayati Raj Institutions direct elections are held to the offices of Ward Member, Sarapanch, Panchayat Samiti Member and Zilla Parishad Member. Indirect elections are held to the offices of Naib Sarpanch of Gram Panchayat, Chairman, Vice-Chairman of Panchayat Samiti and President, Vice-President for Zilla Parishad. The Acts and Rules which govern these elections are:
- Odisha Gram Panchayat Act, 1964;
- Odisha Gram Panchayat Samiti Act 1959;
- Odisha Zilla Parishad Act, 1991;
- Odisha Gram Panchayat Election Rules, 1965;
- Odisha Panchayat Samiti Election Rules, 1991
- Odisha Zilla Parishad Election Rules, 1994.
Similarly, for urban local bodies direct election is held for the offices of Councillors of Municipalities and NACs and Corporators for Municipal Corporations. The Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson for Municipalities and NACs and Mayor/Deputy Mayor for Municipal Corporation get elected indirectly. The Acts and Rules which govern elections to Urban Local Bodies are:
- Odisha Municipal Act, 1950
- Odisha Municipal Corporation Act, 2003
- Odisha Municipal (Delimitation of Wards, Reservation of Seats and Conduct of Election) Rules, 1994
- Odisha Municipal Corporation (Division of City into Wards, Reservation of Seats and Conduct of Election) Rules, 2003