Lok Sabha elections 2019: Who can vote, how to register as voter?
Eligible voters have to register themselves in the constituency where they live after which they will be issued photo election identity cards. Citizens are not allowed to vote if they have not registered or do not have a voter ID card.Updated: Mar 20, 2019 20:07 IST
Millions of voters will cast their franchise in the Lok Sabha election, which will be held by the Election Commission of India, in the summer this year.
Here is all you need to know about what you need to vote:
Q. Who can vote in these elections?
A. Any Indian citizens above the age of 18 years and has registered themselves as voters are eligible to vote.
Eligible voters have to register themselves in the constituency where they live after which they will be issued photo election identity cards. Citizens are not allowed to vote if they have not registered or do not have a voter ID card.
Even non-resident Indians or NRIs can cast their ballots.
Q. How to register as a voter?
A. The Election commission offers online voter registration for Indian citizens who have attained the age of 18 on the qualifying date or January 1 of the year of the revision of electoral roll.
Citizens can enrol themselves as a general voter by filling up the Form 6 online at National Voters’ Service Portal. Registered voters should also check their enrollment status, says the commission.
Q. What can I do if I can’t find my name in the electoral rolls?
A. You can contact the nearest office of the Election Commission of India or visit the National Voters’ Services Portal at www.nvsp.in.
Q. Can I vote using document other than the election voter ID?
A. Yes, you can. These are the government-issued photo identity documents that can be used to vote:
• Driving license
• Service identity cards with photograph issued to employees by central or state government-run companies
• Passbooks with photograph issued by a bank or post office
• PAN card
• Smart card issued by the Registrar General of India (RGI) under the National Population Register
• MNREGA job card
• Health insurance smart card issued under a Ministry of Labour scheme
• Pension document with a photograph
• Authenticated photo voter slip issued by the election machinery
• Official identity cards issued to lawmakers or legislators
• Aadhaar card
If you don’t have these documents, you can visit the state election office and request a Form 6. You can submit the form after filling the required details and providing all relevant documents and will be issued the election ID at a later date. You can also register online by visiting the National Voters’ Services Portal at www.nvsp.in.
Q. What is a postal ballot? Who can use one?
A. It is a system of voting through which people can send their votes by post of they cannot be physically present at the voting centre. These votes are considered at the time of counting of votes.
People who work for the defence forces, the government or are on election duty and posted outside their state can use postal ballots. Someone who has been taken into custody as “preventive detention” can also vote through this ballot.
Q. What are EVMs and VVPATs?
Electronic voting machines are an electronic device used for recording votes and have two units - a control unit and a balloting unit.
The Election Commission has been using a third unit called the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail or VVPAT since 201. It allows voters to verify whether their votes have been recorded correctly by printing a paper receipt.
Q. Since when are EVMs being used?
A. EVMs were first used in 1982 in 50 polling stations in a by-election to the assembly seat in Kerala’s Parur. The first large-scale use of EVMs was in 1998 when it was used in 16 assembly seats in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi. The Lok Sabha election in 2004 was the first parliamentary poll conducted entirely on EVMs.
Q. What is NOTA and when was it introduced?
A. NOTA or “None Of The Above” is a voting option on EVMs that allows voters to reject every candidate in their constituency. It was introduced in India following the Supreme Court judgment in 2013. India became the 14th country to institute negative voting.
But NOTA does not provide for a right to reject. The candidate with the maximum votes wins the election irrespective of the number of NOTA votes polled.
NOTA button saw its debut in the assembly elections held in 2013 in Chhattisgarh, Mizoram, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh and Delhi.
The Election Commission has said that even though votes cast as NOTA are counted, they are considered as invalid votes so they do not change the outcome of an election.
The symbol for NOTA, a ballot paper with a black cross across it, was introduced in September 2015. The symbol is designed by National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad.