Guide to Vote in 2019 Indian General Elections If You Are Serviceman/NRIJanuary 31, 2019 11:26
(Image source from: www.bgr.in)
Ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in India this year, the government is making an effort to encourage voters to exercise their franchise, not only for its citizens but also for servicemen and Non-Resident Indians (NRIs).
As a huge chunk of votes gets wasted every election as people away from constituency could not exercise their franchise, the government is easing out the electoral registration process.
The option of service vote was already available for servicemen posted abroad. But now, overseas voters can also shortly cast their votes through proxy voting if a bill which is currently still pending in Rajya Sabha is cleared this budget session.
Here is a look at the process of servicemen and NRI voting in India:
How to Enroll as an Overseas or NRI Voter
After an NRI or person of Indian origin traces the polling station and gets the contact information of Election officers in the region, they can fill up Form 6A online on http://www.nsvp.in or from the Election Commission of India website and then upload the needed documents showing proof which can either be submitted through post or in person.
One recent passport size photograph, self-attested photocopies of the applicable pages of the passport and valid visa endorsement.
As soon as the documents are submitted, for the verification process, a Booth Level Officer visits the home address mentioned in the passport and just in case of declaration for proof, it is sent to the concerned Indian Mission. The decision is and so communicated by post and through SMS, apart from which electoral rolls are also available on the ECI website under the “Overseas Electors” section.
How to Vote?
An NRI voter will not be issued an EPIC card and will be allowed to vote in person at the polling station on the production of original passport. The bill for proxy voting which allows NRI voters to exercise their right through e-postal ballots is yet awaiting in Rajya Sabha.
Who Can Enroll as Service Voter?
A person who is in the Armed Forces of India, or belongs to the Assam Rifles, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Border Security Force (BSF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force (ITBPF); General Reserve Engineer Force (GREF) in Border Road Organization; Central Industrial Security Force or is employed under the Indian government in a post outside the country or is a member of the Armed Police Force of a state and serving outside the state can enroll as a service voter.
How to Enroll?
Once the voter finds out the name of the constituency that he/she belongs to, they can fill the enrollment form, Declaration form and then submit it to the Record or Nodal officer.
This will guarantee that the service voter’s spouse will be enrolled on their behalf as mentioned in the declaration. As an alternative, the serviceman can also choose to enroll as a general elector at the place of posting, if it is a peace posting.
How to Vote?
The Returning officer of the constituency sends the service voter the postal ballot in which the service voter can register their vote and seal the cover. The voter has to sign the declaration in Form 13A after which the Commanding officer of the unit will certify the voter’s signature which is required to be given to the Returning Officer by messenger or post.