Voting is an important way to help keep our democracy running. In India, people have the right to cast votes to choose their government. This is one of the fundamental rights of the citizen. However, you can vote only if your name appears in the Voter List which is also known as Electoral Roll.
India is going to have general elections in 2024. Many young citizens who just turned 18 years old are not familiar with the voting process in India. Having to go to the polls and vote is a new concept for them. This blog will take a look at what voting in India looks like, how to vote in India and other things you should know.
Vote Eligibility in India
According to the election commission of India, those citizens who met the following conditions are eligible to cast a vote in India.
- Any citizen who is 18 years old on the qualifying date (1st January) is eligible to vote.
- Citizens should enrol for voting at the place of their residence.
- A citizen can enrol only at one place.
- Overseas Indians deemed to normally reside at the passport address can also vote.
- Service voters deemed to be ordinarily residing at their home address are eligible to vote.
Find Name in Voter List/ Electoral Roll
A voter slip from the election commission is issued to every citizen who has registered to vote and is eligible to vote. The generation of a voter slip confirms the citizen’s name on the voter list.
A citizen can confirm his name in the voter list in any of the following manners
Check names in the voter list through National Voters Services Portal
Visit the official national voters’ service portal i.e. https://electoralsearch.in/
Provide your Name, Father’s Name, Age, and State.
Alternatively, you can search by EPIC No. or Voter ID Card No.
Click on the “Search”.
Your voter slip will then display on your screen.
Confirm Your Name in the Voter List by Phone
- You may call the National voter helpline number 1950 for the confirmation of your name on the voter list.
- Please make sure you add your STD code before dialling.
Find Your Name in the Voter ID using SMS
- SMS ECI space followed by your EPIC number to 1950.
- EPIC stands for Electors Photo Identity Card generally known as a Voter ID card.
- For example – if your voter ID number is 12345, then send ECI 12345 to 1950.
Note: If you have a smartphone then you may download Voter Helpline App through Google Play Store.
Find Voter’s Polling Booth
It is important to know the location of your polling booth in order to cast your vote.
- To locate their polling station, voters can use the Voter Helpline app or visit www.electoralsearch.in.
- They can also call the Voter Helpline at 1950 (please include your STD code before dialling).
- Voters can also get the polling location by sending an SMS to 1950.
You should know that Cameras, Mobile Phones, or any other electronic gadgets are not allowed inside a polling booth.
Voting Process in India
Voting for the first time can be an amazing experience. Check out the following instructions if you don’t know how to cast a vote in India.
- First of all, make sure you check your name in the voter list and have valid ID proof.
- After reaching the polling station, the polling official will ink your finger.
- Next, the official will provide you with a slip and take your signature on his register (Form 17A)
- You will need to deposit the slip at the third polling official and show your inked finger.
- Then, proceed to the polling booth to record your vote by pressing the ballot button on the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) opposite the symbol of the candidate of your choice.
- You will hear a beep sound when you cast the vote.
- Check the slip that appears in the VVPAT machine’s transparent window after hearing a beep.
- The slip having the candidate’s serial number, name, and symbol will be visible for seven seconds before dropping into the sealed VVPAT box.
- If you don’t like any candidate, you can press NOTA, which means None of the Above. It is the EVM’s final button.
EVM stands for Electronic Voting Machine and VVPAT stands for Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT). You should note that VVPAT is still not available at all polling booths in India.
Voting Documents to Carry During Election in India
Every now and then, we can see voters confused and asking questions like what documents are required for voting, what documents can I use to vote, etc. Such users should check the following list. They can carry any of the following documents for polling.
Remember, a photo voter slip is not accepted as a stand-alone identification document for voting.
- EPIC (Voter ID card)
- PAN Card
- Aadhaar Card
- Driving License
- Smart Card issued by RGI under NPR
- Service Identity Cards with a photograph issued to employees by Central/State Govt./PSUs/Public Limited Companies
- Passbooks with photograph issued by Bank/Post Office
- MNREGA Job Card (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee)
- Health Insurance Smart Card issued under the scheme of the Ministry of Labour
- Pension document with photograph
- Official identity cards issued to MPs/MLAs/MLCs
Benefits of Voting
We all know that India is the largest democracy in the world. Elections are the festivals of democracy. We all should take part in them to strengthen our country. Here are some general benefits of casting your vote in India.
- It’s your right to vote, and you can help make a difference in India’s future.
- Voting is your chance to show that you care about the issues that matter to you.
- The election commission has decided to generally have a maximum of 1200 voters per booth. So, it will just take a few minutes for you to cast your vote and have your voice heard.
- The trend in voting also helps governments in other states develop their policies.
Know your Candidates
It is crucial for Indian citizens to make informed decisions while casting their votes. You should have complete information about all the candidates who are contesting the election at the time of the voting.
The best way to know about the candidates is by checking their affidavits through the Candidate Affidavit Portal i.e. affidavit.eci.gov.in/
On this portal, you can search for the affidavits of all candidates. You may also download the Voter Helpline App to see the list of candidates’ affidavits. Remember, the data on these affidavits are updated by the candidates themselves.
Dos and Don’ts at the Polling Booth
As a voter, you should know about corrupt practices or electoral offences.
- Getting paid or receiving any other form of reward in exchange for voting for or against a candidate is an offence.
- Inducing behaviour with alcohol, food, gifts, etc. whether or not to vote for a specific candidate.
- Incentives to vote for or against a candidate based on religion, caste, community, sectarian beliefs, or birthplace are also corrupt practices.
- Giving a threat to a voter if he votes in favour or against a particular candidate is a criminal offence.
- Providing free transportation to any voter to and from any polling location is also a wrong practice as per the election commission of India.
Voting Registration in India (Can’t Find My Name in the Voter List)
If you can’t find your name in the Voter list and who has attained the age of 18 years then you can enrol as a General Voter and fill out form 6 online at National Voters’ Service Portal.
You can visit the official portal i.e. voterportal.eci.gov.in for voter registration. Also, the registration form is available through Voter Helpline App.
Here is the list of forms available on the official portal.
|First-time voter or Voters who have shifted to another constituency||Form 6|
|NRI Voters||Form 6A|
|Deletion or Objection in the electoral roll||Form 7|
|For Any Change in (Age, Name, Photo, EPIC Number, Date of birth, Address, Type of Relation, Name of Relative, or Gender)||Form 8|
|If you shift from one location to another within the same constituency||Form 8A|
Offline registration to vote
You can also enrol in offline mode. Fill in the two copies of Form 6. This form is available for free in the offices of Booth Level Officers and assistant electoral registration officers.
Complaints Related to Elections and Voting
If you have any complaint related to the Voter list, Voter ID card, etc. then you may contact the following officials.
- At the state level – Chief Electoral Officer
- District Level – District Election Officer
- Constituency Level – Returning Officer
- Taluka/ Tehsil Level – Assistant Returning Officer
- Constituency Level – Electoral Registration Officer
- Polling Station – Presiding Officer
- For a group of Polling stations – Zonal Officer
Frequently Asked Questions
Those who have an unsound mind or have been disqualified for “Corrupt Practices” or election-related offences are not eligible to vote.
No, you must register as a voter in the constituency you reside.
In the year 2024.
Source – Google and Election Commission Website
We have taken care to provide you with accurate information through this Article. However, if you think any detail is not correct then please let us know through the comment box.