India is the largest democracy in the world. It is a constitutional democracy with a parliamentary government dedicated to holding free and fair elections in a fixed time interval. After the independence of India in 1947, elections are conducted every five years at national and state levels. For instance, the electorate for the 17th Lok Sabha election, conducted in April and May of 2019, was larger than the electorates of 36 other democracies combined.
Election processes have developed through time, political parties have grown, logos have changed, leaders have been chosen and dismissed, but one thing has remained constant: the desire of Indian voters to participate in the democratic celebration. Since the year 1952, every year, an increment of 11.2 percent was observed in electorates. However, there are still many Indians who do not vote. As a citizen of India, it is our responsibility to vote and choose a suitable leader for the development of our nation.
As is said,
“Every election is determined by the people who show up.”
- Larry J. Sabato
Now, it is in your hands to vote once you are of the voting age.
To assist you with any of your questions related to the voting process in India, Keep reading.
Who Can Vote in #India?
The Citizenship Act guarantees citizens protection under the 15th Amendment, all citizens, regardless of race, color, or prior state of slavery, have the right to vote. Any Indian citizen with only Indian citizenship and above 18 years of age can enroll to vote at their place of residence.
How to Register to Vote in #India?
In the Lok Sabha elections of 2019, around 90 crore Indians registered to vote. Voter identification is created, which is mandatory to carry to the polling booth.
If an individual does not have a voter identity card, the Election Commission will accept other papers. The process of registering to vote in India is as follows:
1. Fill out the voter registration form (form 6).
2. A copy of your proof of residency and proof of age.
3. Lastly, you will need recent passport-size pictures.
Submit the form and other details as mentioned above to the Electoral Registration Officer of the Assembly Constituency. If you live outside of India, then you need to submit form 6A. You can follow the same steps and submit the form online at www.eci.nic.in. It is suggested that you go to your nearest e-Mitra office to get help with registration if you believe you are not sure of anything in the registration process.
After completing the process, your name is included in a list called the Electoral Roll or voter’s list. Due to any reason, if your name is not on the list, then you will not be able to vote.
Any other information related to the election dates and timings can be found on polling booths. Some common IDs, you can use to take to polling booths are EPIC (Electoral photo identity card), PAN Card, Driving License, Aadhar Card, MNREGA Card, etc.
If you have made an error while filling out the form, like spelling mistakes or any other error, it can be corrected by logging in to the same website as stated above. You need to fill out form 8 for this. For making address changes, you need to fill out form 6A. An amount of 25 INR or more may be asked for any mistakes that you committed while filling up details.
How to Check Your Name on the Electoral Roll?
You can call helpline 1950 and add your STD code before this number. You can also log in to electoralsearch.in for the same. To know more about this, you can visit http://ecisveep.nic.in/.
How to Vote at the Polling Booth in India?
A polling booth will be located near your place of residence. The official there will check your ID as mentioned above. Your finger will be inked and your signature will be taken on Form 17A, which is a register containing a list with all the details of voters in the nearby location. After this, you have to go to the EVM machine. There, you will be the only person, and the person next to you will wait outside to assure the confidentiality of your vote and prevent any malpractice. Record your vote by pressing the button of the party you want to vote for. If you do not want to vote for any party, you can use the NOTA (None of the above options).
After pressing the button, a beep sound can be heard and a red LED light glows, confirming that your vote has been taken into account. The VVPAT slip will appear with your serial number and other details for 7 seconds. This completes the process of voting. Please do not bring any type of gadget with you as they are not permitted. If you bring them, strict action can be taken against you.
Generally, afternoon hours are less busy, so it is the ideal time to go and cast your vote without waiting in lengthy queues.
How to Vote in Indian Elections by Online Medium?
There is no process to vote online in India to avoid any malpractice. However, most of the information related to the polling booth, registration, correction, etc. can be found on websites and helpline numbers stated above. The registration process can also be completed online.
Hopefully, this helped to solve all your queries related to voting. We would encourage everyone reading this article to cast your vote in elections as it is the future of your country which in turn impacts yours. It is said that elections are the festivals of democracy, so just like you would celebrate a festival, and celebrate elections by your participation.