Indian Government Clarifies Voting by Overseas (NRI) Voters of India in Upcoming Elections

In light of the mass circulation of misleading information through social media about the online voting/voting in the Consulate or through proxy/mail by Overseas (NRI) Indian Voters in the forthcoming general election in India, the Election Commission of India has clarified the air surrounding the rumour by clearly affirming that no such facility has been extended to NRIs.

The current law with regard to voting by NRI voters in the general election is as following:

Under Section 20A of the Representation of People Act, 1950 and rules made there under, every Indian Citizen:-

(a) whose name is not included in the electoral roll;

(b) who has not acquired the citizenship of any other country; and

(c) who is absenting from his place of ordinary residence in India owing to his employment, education or otherwise outside India, is entitled to have his/her name registered in the electoral roll as “Overseas electors” in the constituency in one’s place of residence in India as mentioned in one’s passport is located.

The statement by the Election Commission further clarified that the application for this purpose can be filed in the prescribed form and in in person before the concerned Electoral Registration Officer or can be sent via post or can be filed online on the website of Chief Electoral Officer of the concerned state or website of Election Commission of India (www.eci.gov.in).

Finally, once an NRI is enrolled in the electoral roll, such person can cast its vote in India during Assembly or Parliamentary election at the respective polling station after showing their valid original Indian passport and despite the fact that they will not be issued electoral photo ID/Voter ID Card. Significantly, provision/s for alternative options for voting by overseas Indian elections are currently under consideration.



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