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Home India How can NRIs vote in the 2024 Lok Sabha Elections in India? know rules

How can NRIs vote in the 2024 Lok Sabha Elections in India? know rules

How can NRIs vote in the 2024 Lok Sabha Elections in India? know rules

All Indians above 18 years of age living abroad can vote in the elections held in India, provided they have not renounced Indian citizenship. However, there is a catch in this too and we know what it is.

Lok Sabha Elections: Now that the Lok Sabha elections have started in India, a question arises in the mind whether Indian citizens living in other countries including America can vote or not?

Indians settled in other countries have the right to vote in the elections held in India, unless they have renounced Indian citizenship.

Till 2010, Indian citizens settled in other countries did not have the right to vote in India. Right now they have the right to vote, but there is also a condition. And that condition is that they will have to come to the polling booth to cast their vote.

NRIs have been demanding remote voting for a long time, so that they can cast their votes in the elections to be held in India from there itself. Many petitions have also been filed in the Supreme Court regarding this. The Election Commission says that arrangements for this will also be made soon.

NRIs have voting rights

Before 2010, Indians living abroad did not have the right to vote. The rule then was that if an Indian was living abroad for more than six months, his name would be removed from the voter list.

Got the right to vote, but there is a catch. According to Section 20A of the RP Act, you will have to come to the polling station to cast your vote. That is, NRIs can vote, but by coming to the polling booth. Because of this, most NRIs are deprived of voting.

This is how names can be added to the voter list

Indian citizens living abroad for studies, job or any other purpose can get their names registered in the voter list. Any NRI above 18 years of age can do this by filling Form 6A.

This form can be downloaded from the Election Commission website. It can also be taken free of cost from Indian embassies abroad.

But any NRI can get his name registered in the voter list only where he resides in India. For example, if an NRI is a resident of Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh and his house falls in Govindpura assembly, then his name will be registered in the voter list here only.

After filling Form 6A, it can be sent to the concerned Electoral Registration Officer through post. It can also be submitted online from the Election Commission website. The names and numbers of all the registration officers will also be available on the website itself.

After their name appears in the voter list, NRIs also get the right to vote. On the day of voting, you can go to the polling booth and cast your vote. It is important to carry your passport with you.

Can’t you vote online?

At present, there is no online voting facility for Indian citizens living abroad.

At present, only employees engaged in election duty, army personnel or government officials working abroad can vote electronically or through post. These are called service voters.

Service voters cast their votes through Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot System i.e. ETPBS. The postal ballot is first sent to the service voter through ETPBS. After that the service voters download it and cast their vote. After this it is sent to the Returning Officer through email or post.

According to the data, more than 18 lakh postal ballots were sent in the 2019 elections, out of which 10.84 lakh people filled them and sent them. That means, more than 60 percent of the votes were cast through ETBPS.

The Election Commission and the government are working on starting a similar facility for NRIs also. However, it has not started yet.

Three years ago, the Election Commission had also presented a proposal regarding this to the government. The Center had told the Supreme Court that it was considering starting remote voting for non-resident Indians living abroad.

How many NRIs are there?

According to the Ministry of External Affairs, 1.36 crore Indians live abroad across the world. Maximum 34.19 lakh live in UAE. There are 12.80 lakh Indians in America. At the same time, according to the Election Commission, about 1.25 lakh Indians are registered.

Lok Sabha elections are in 7 phases

Lok Sabha elections have started from Wednesday. The notification for the first phase has been released on Wednesday. In the first phase, voting will be held on 19 April on 102 seats in 17 states and four union territories. After this, votes will be cast on 26 April, 7 May, 13 May, 20 May, 25 May and 1 June. The results will be declared on June 4.

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