The Election Commission of India has opened registration for Non-Resident Indians to apply for voting rights. Indian citizens of 18 years and above, living overseas, who have not acquired any other citizenships, are eligible to vote can now visit the ECI website and register for voting rights.
Procedure for NRIs to register for voting
On the official website of the Election Commission of India, there is now a provision that allows NRIs to register as a voter.
If you click on the button titled ‘Enroll as a NRI voter’, it takes you to a form that needs to be filled and submitted to register as a voter in the 2019 general elections.
The web portal was launched days after the government cleared a proposal to extend the facility of voting in Assembly and General elections by electronic means and proxy to NRIs by amending the Representation of the People Act.
Upon completion of registration, NRI can vote by visiting India or through postal ballot facility which will be open soon. According to reports, one crore NRIs would be allowed to vote through postal ballot.
Steps for NRIs to register as voter
1. Go to https://eci.gov.in/voter/service-overseas-voter/
2. Use the interactive map provided to find your polling station and the contact details of Election Officers from your area.
3. Fill Enrollment Form (Form 6A) online and upload the requisite proofs.
- Download Form 6A from ECI website
- Fill Form 6A in 2 copies. Forms are also available free of cost in Indian Missions.
- The Application in Form 6A can be presented in person to the Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) or sent by post addressed to the ERO concerned.
- The particulars and postal address of the EROs of all the constituencies in India are available on the websites of CEOs of concerned States which can be accessed through website of Election Commission of India.
- Paste one recent passport size color photograph with a light background (preferably white) showing the full face of the applicant.
- Fill in all the columns in Form-6A. The name and other particulars, as given in the valid Indian Passport, should be written.
- If application is sent by post, it should be accompanied by photocopy of the relevant pages of the passport containing the photograph and all other particulars of the applicant and the page containing the valid visa endorsement. These photo-copies should be duly self-attested. Applications without the attested photo-copies of these documents will be liable to be summarily rejected.
- If the application is submitted in person before the ERO, the application should be accompanied by a photocopy of the relevant pages of the passport as mentioned above.
- The original passport should also be produced along with the application for verification by the registration officer. The passport will be returned immediately after verification.
Who can file Form 6A
Every Indian citizen staying in a foreign country, who has not acquired citizenship of a foreign country, and has completed 18 years as on 1st January of the year, can make an application in Form 6A, for being registered in the electoral roll.
The applicant should have completed eighteen years of age as on 1st January of the year. For example, if the application is for inclusion of name in the electoral roll with reference to 01-01- 2019 as the qualifying date, the applicant should have completed 18 years as on 01-01-2019.
What happens after the form submission
- Booth Level Officer will visit the home address mentioned in your passport and enquire to verify the copies of documents
- In cases where no relative is available or willing to give declaration for verification of documents, the documents will be sent for verification to the concerned Indian Mission
- The decision of the ERO will be communicated to you by post on the address and SMS on the mobile number given in Form 6A.
- No person can be enrolled on more than one electoral roll i.e. when you enrol as an overseas voter you have to submit a declaration – that you did not get enrolled as a general elector.
- If you are registered as a general voter, you should surrender your EPIC along with submission of Form 6A.
- When you return to India you can register as a general elector at your place of ordinary residence.
- Please remember that you have only one vote. Accordingly, you should not vote for more than one candidate.
- Electoral rolls are also on the website of the Chief Electoral Officer.
- Name of the overseas elector is included in a separate section for “Overseas Electors” which is the last section of the roll of each polling station area.
- You can use Form-8 for making any correction in the electoral roll.
An overseas elector is not issued an EPIC and you will be allowed to vote in person at the polling station on production of your original passport. As per reports, e- postal ballots shall soon be provided to NRI Voters.
There are nearly one crore NRIs across the world, of whom 24,348 are registered with the Election Commission, the poll panel informed the government earlier this month.