CEC: E-ballot for NRIs under consideration

Updated on Apr 23, 2022 05:12 AM IST

A delegation led by chief election commissioner of India Sushil Chandra visited South Africa and Mauritius from April 9 to 19 and held multiple meetings with non resident Indians (NRIs). The delegation also met with the election commissions of South Africa and Mauritius, ECI added in its statement.

Just a little over 100,000 overseas Indians are currently registered as voters. (For representation)
Just a little over 100,000 overseas Indians are currently registered as voters. (For representation)
ByDeeksha Bhardwaj, New Delhi

The Election Commission of India is considering the introduction of electronically transmitted postal ballot system (ETPBS) facility for overseas voters, the poll body said in a statement on Friday.

A delegation led by chief election commissioner of India Sushil Chandra visited South Africa and Mauritius from April 9 to 19 and held multiple meetings with non resident Indians (NRIs). The delegation also met with the election commissions of South Africa and Mauritius, ECI added in its statement.

During his interactions with NRIs, Chandra urged them to register as overseas voters as the current numbers are “abysmally low”. According to ECI estimates, at least 60-65% of the 12.6 million Indians residing overseas are likely to be eligible to vote in Indian elections.

Just a little over 100,000 overseas Indians are currently registered as voters.

Overseas electors are allowed to register in their respective constituencies using form 6A that is available online. Their names are added at the end of the electoral list of their respective polling station. At present, non-resident Indians (NRIs) can cast their ballots only at their respective polling booths. ECI, however, wrote to the law ministry on November 27 last year to expedite the amendment of the People’s Representation Act, 1951, to extend the postal ballot facility to overseas electors. It has proposed that voting be done via ETPBS, which was first tested in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections for voters in the armed forces, central police forces, and diplomats and their families.

It is learnt that ECI, the law ministry and the ministry for external affairs are seeing how this can be done.

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