What You Need To Know Before Making The Most Important Decision For India’s Future

Posted by Youth Ki Awaaz in #JetSetVote
July 4, 2017
Facebook logoEditor’s Note: With #JetSetVote, Youth Ki Awaaz and Facebook India have come together to create a community of millennials who are aware and informed about their voter rights and responsibilities, through a series of workshops organised in collaboration with PRIA across 50 campuses. If you're a student, teacher or admin member, register your college to organise a fun session!

The right to vote is the foundation of a healthy, functioning democracy. The ballot is your voice. It is the most powerful tool at your disposal to not only affect change in your neighbourhood or state, but to create a better India.

Voting is a big, big deal, but there are times, a lot of us don’t step out to do it because the whole process seems too daunting or confusing. Fret not. For all you confused souls out there, who want to vote, but can’t be bothered with all the complications that come with the process, we decided to make things easier for you.

We rounded up the most basic questions associated with the voting process – and their answers below. Just scroll through the answers and you should be ready to cast your vote. (Yes, it really is that simple!)

Image Credit: Mystic Musings/ Foter

1) I am a first-time voter. Where do I begin?

A: You should begin by checking if you meet the eligibility criteria for voter registration. To be eligible for voting, you need to be:

  1. A citizen of India,
  2. Be of 18 years of age or more
  3. Be Enrolled in the electoral roll of India or the polling area of the Indian constituency where you reside

In order to enrol yourself on the electoral roll, fill this form and get started on the voter registration process!

2) What documents do I require to register as a voter?

A: To register as a voter, you need the following documents:

  1. A filled voter registration form
  2. Copy of proof of residence
  3. Copy of proof of age and identity
  4. 2 recent passport size photographs

3) I am a college student and I live in my college hostel. How can I register to vote?

A: A college student living in a hostel who does not have ordinary address proof document needs to get a Student Declaration Form signed by college authorities. This can be submitted along with the voter registration form and your age proof.

If you are a college student who is NOT living in hostel, you need to submit an ordinary address proof document and an age proof document, like other first-time voters.

4) I recently shifted from Delhi To Maharashtra, but I am registered as a voter in Delhi. What should I do?

 A:  In order to be able to vote from Maharshtra, you will need to fill form 2 forms – Form 7  to delete your name from the Delhi constituency and Form 6 (with new address) in order to register to vote from the new constituency. You need to submit both these forms to the ERO of the new constituency.

Alternately, you can go to Delhi at the time of voting and cast your vote from there!

5) I recently lost my voter ID card. Can I still vote?

 A: It is a big myth that you cannot vote if you are not in possession of your voter identity card. Voter identity card is a very important government document, and if you have lost one, you should initiate the process of getting a duplicate one issued as soon as possible. However, in order to be eligible to vote, what is more essential is that your name is registered in the electoral roll of your constituency. Just make sure you are on that list and you will be allowed to vote, by showing other documents of identity proof.

Image Credit: Sunny Shende/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

6) What is the process of getting a duplicate voter ID card?

 A: You can now easily apply for a duplicate voter identity card online by downloading Form EPIC-002 which is the requisite form to apply for a duplicate id.Fill in the form and attach all the required documents as mentioned in the form such as FIR copy, proof of address, and proof of identity. Submit the form to your local electoral office, collect the reference number of your application and you can easily track your application status on the state election office website using this number.

7) Can a person confined in jail vote in an election?

A: No, a person confined in jail cannot vote in an election in India. As per the provisions given in the Representation of People Act, 1951, Section 62 (5), a person in prison, “under sentence of imprisonment or transportation or otherwise, or in the lawful custody of the police” is not eligible to cast his vote in an election

8) I am an Indian citizen, but I am currently living in another country. Can I vote?

 A: Yes, according to the provisions of the Representation of the People (Amendment) Act, 2010, a person who is a citizen of India,who has not acquired the citizenship of any other country and who owing to his employment, education or any other reason is not living at his residence in India  is eligible to be registered as a voter in the constituency in which his place of residence in India as mentioned in his passport.

9) As an overseas Indian, what is the process to get registered/enrolled in the Electoral Roll?

 A: Indian citizens living abroad can fill Form 6A before the Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) of the constituency under whose their residence falls as per the details of their passport. This form can be submitted to the ERO in person or can be sent by post to the ERO concerned. If the application is sent by post, it must be accompanied by duly self-attested copy of the passport and all relevant documents mentioned in Form 6A.

Image Credit: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)

10) Using my voter identity card, where all can I vote?

A: Being registered as a voter allows you to become eligible for both parliamentary elections as well as assembly elections.Besides Parliamentary and Assembly elections, one also becomes eligible to vote in local boy elections or municipal elections in your city.

11) What is an EVM? How do I use an EVM?

Electronic Voting Machines or EVMs as they are popularly called are machines that are used to cast vote in elections without revealing one’s identity. Used in local, state and general (parliamentary) elections in India, EVMs have replaced paper ballots that were used earlier.

An EVM  consists of 2 parts – a ‘control unit’ and a ‘balloting unit’, connected by a 5-metre cable. The control unit is with the Election Commission-appointed polling officer; the balloting unit is in the voting compartment and it is into this unit that the voter has to enter to cast the vote. All one needs to do is to press the button against the name and symbol of the candidate of their choice, and one’s vote is cast!

If you want to know more about EVMs and their working, check out this video by the Election Commission of India.

12) How is the President elected? Can I vote for him / her / them directly?

The President of India is elected by an electoral college that comprises of elected members of the Parliament of India and the Legislative assemblies of the States and the Union Territories of Delhi and Puducherry. These representatives are directly elected by citizens. It is these elected representatives who then vote for the President, in theory representing the people who would ideally vote for the President.

13) How is the Chief Minister of a state elected? Can I vote for him / her / them directly?

The Chief Minister of a state is elected through a majority in the state legislative assembly. Following elections to the state assembly, the governor usually invites the winning party to form the government. Usually, the CM belongs to the political party with the majority or the coalition in the assembly. The members of the party who choose the CM after winning majority are the MLAs. The whole process is established by the vote of confidence in the legislative assembly, as suggested by the governor of the state.

Since MLAs are directly elected by voters, who becomes the state Chief Minister directly reflects the choice of the people of that state.

Still curious about the voting process? Want to know more? This amazing resource by the Election Commission Of India will answer all your questions. Check it out.

#JetSetVote is a nationwide movement by YKA and Facebook India to make voting fun, interesting and engaging for the Indian millennial and empower you with your voting rights and responsibilities. Read more here and pledge your vote today – because every vote counts!