The question of whether a Non-Resident Indian (NRI) can decide the political future of India still attracts an ample amount of attention. But, the answer to this question is yes. According to the new amendments in the Representation of People Act 2010, an NRI can actively participate in the Indian Elections.
One of the best firms that answer this question correctly is Lex Solutions. Lex solutions is a law firm in Chandigarh that houses many experienced and best lawyers in Chandigarh. If you are an NRI and want to give your part in Indian elections then Election dispute lawyers will be the best option to take suggestions from.
Read the complete post to know how a Non-Resident Indian can participate in the Indian elections.
The Representation of People Act 1950:
According to the Representation of People Act 1950, an NRI can join the electoral rolls as an elector to exercise their right to vote. Voting rights for NRIs were introduced in 2011 through an amendment made in the Representation of People Act.
According to the reports by the Ministry of External Affairs, there are more than 3.10 crores NRIs, forming a daunting electoral population. Well, it is quite a ‘costly affair’ for the NRIs to fly back home just to cast their vote by pushing a ballet button. So, there are proposals that can help NRIs cast their vote in Indian elections from overseas.
Requirements to Get NRI Voting Rights In The First Place:
You can too become an Overseas Elector if you are an NRI. There are a few requirements to be eligible for the NRI voting rights. Read about the given requirements before you proceed to yourself register as an Overseas Elector.
- The NRI should be a citizen of India i.e. she must possess a valid Indian passport.
- The NRI must not have acquired the citizenship of the country she is living in.
- A minimum of 18 years of age is required every 1st of January as per the electron rolls.
If an NRI has all these conditions fulfilled then registration with the election commission of India is the next step to becoming an Overseas Elector.
Overseas Elector Registration:
To become an eligible Overseas Elector, an NRI needs to register with the Election Commission of India. To this date there are provisions of only flying back to India to cast vote, there are no such options available as proxy voting.
Well, an NRI can choose one out of two registration modes: Offline and Online. Read more to know how you can apply for the electoral registrations.
If you are an NRI and you wish to register offline then you would need to fly back to India to reach the location of your constituency, mentioned in your address proof. Read the steps given below, this is how you can register offline as an Overseas Elector.
- Visit the election registration office of your polling area.
- Now, fill out the Enrollment Form (FORM 6A) by providing all the necessary details.
- Along with the FORM 6A, submit the required documents including recent passport size photographs, copies of relevant documents, address proof, and passport pages.
- At the Registration office, you will need to show your documents as proof too.
- After successful verification, post the form along with attached documents to the concerned Electoral Registration Office (ERO).
For all the NRIs, thanks to the digital world! It is now possible to digitally apply for Overseas Electoral Registrations. Here are the steps to be followed for online registration.
- Visit the official website of the Election Commission of India at https://eci.gov.in/.
- Now, get yourself registered on the website first, provide your email address or mobile number, and for the registration procedure.
- Go to the Election Commission division and choose your state and district.
- You will be able to see FORM 6A.
- Download the form by clicking on it.
- Now, fill out the complete form and cross-check the information with your original documents.
- Attach important documents including passport size photos, self-attested copies of passport pages, signature, address proof, and visa endorsement.
- Now, upload the form along with all the relevant documents.
- Remember to post the physical copy of the form along with attached documents to the concerned Electoral Registration Office (ERO).
The last step to your electoral roll registration is verification. After the submission of the form, Electoral Registration Officer will send a Booth Level officer to the address mentioned in your address proof. The officer will enquire about the documents and will, later on, provide a declaration to the effect.
After the successful registration process, you will receive your Voter ID credentials. You can check your name in the list of ‘Overseas Electors’ through the official site mentioned above.
Voting through Postal Ballots:
An amendment in the Representative of People Acts 2017 may soon allow NRIs to vote through postal ballots. The electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot System (ETPBS) will be seen soon in the Indian elections to help NRI’s save the cost of flying back to their native country.
If this system is enacted then an NRI can send anyone one of his registered relatives to cast vote on his behalf. Through this system, Non-resident Indians can avoid traveling to India. Well, the process is under execution and preferably the system will enact soon.
A Non-resident Indian (NRI) can indeed participate in the Indian elections. But, for an Overseas Elector, it is important to fly back to India to cast his vote. Till now there are no such provisions for E-postal ballots, but soon NRIs will be able to give their part in Indian elections through the Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot System (ETPBS).
For information regarding the same, you can visit Lex Solutions, which is a house of the best lawyers in Chandigarh. In any confusion, you can contact the election dispute lawyer to know every detail of the NRIs elections.