Voting – Something which is often ignored by many of us. Sometimes, due to sheer laziness, or sometimes due to lack of knowledge. What is voter registration? Are you eligible to vote? Can I vote online? are some of the questions often asked. The below guide shares with you all the facts you need to know about voting.
Why should you vote?
India is the largest democracy in the world. The right to vote and moreimportantly the exercise of franchise by the eligible citizens is at the heart ofevery democracy. We, the people, through this exercise of our right to votehave the ultimate power to shape the destiny of country by electing ourrepresentatives who run the Government and take decisions for the growth,development and benefit of all the citizens.
Am I eligible to vote?
If you are a citizen of India and are above 18 years of age and are a resident of your current address for more than 6 months, then yes, you are eligble to vote.
How do I register for voting?
Registration happens throughout the year and voters can register anytime before the last day prescribed for filling nominations for elections. To register, you need to fill out Form 6 (to include your name in the electoral rolls)
What are the different forms used for Voting?
Like you read above, Form 6 is used to include your name in the electoral rolls.
Form 7 can be used to remove a name from the rolls for eg: Someone expires (death) in your family, and you want to remove the name from the electoral rolls.
If you think you’re name is mis-spelt, or your gender is wrong, or you need to change your age, you can use Form 8. if you do not have a voter Id card, but your name exists on the rolls, you can still fill Form 8.
Form 8A can be used for change of address within the same assembly constituency.
What should I do if I change my address?
If you are changing your address, but are going to be in the same assembly constituency, i.e if you move from one building within Bandra to another building, you need to fill out Form 8A, but if you change your suburb, eg: if you move to Bandra to Andheri, you need to fill out form 6 again to include your name in the electoral rolls, after removing your name from your old constituency.
What to do after registration?
Once you have registered, it is your (voters) responsibility to check whether your name appears on the rolls correctly. You can visit your nearest office and check for the same.
How important is a voting I-card?
Having a voting I card is very important. It acts as a proof of residence, in case you cant carry your ration card or passport, your voting card acts as a proof.
What is an electoral roll?
An electoral roll is a list of all eligible citizens who are entitled to casttheir vote in an election. The electoral rolls are prepared AssemblyConstituency wise. An electoral roll for any Assembly Constituency is subdividedinto parts corresponding with the polling booths. The ElectionCommission of India has decided to generally have a maximum of 1200electors per booth. The polling booths are so set up that no voter shouldordinarily travel more than 2 kms. to reach the polling booth. Normally, onepart will correspond with one polling booth. To exercise your franchise, the first and foremost requirement is thatyour name should be in the electoral roll. Without your name registered in therelevant part for the area where you ordinarily reside in the AssemblyConstituency, you will not be allowed to exercise your franchise. Therefore, itis your duty to find out whether your name has been registered or not.
Do you have an Electors’ Photo Identity Card (EPIC)?
The Election Commission of India has made voter identificationmandatory at the time of poll. The electors have to identify themselves witheither Electors Photo Identity Card (EPIC) issued by the Commission or anyother documentary proof as prescribed by the Commission.
What if I want to vote for Nobody?
If you do not go to the voting centre and cast your vote, it is known as no show. But what if you do go and do not want to vote for any of the listed candidates. Sec 49-O allows you to cast a protest vote, indicating that you are not happy with the candidates and you choose nobody. At the moment, the Government of India has not allowed this option, and the case is still pending with the Supreme court.
What are the basic do’s and don’t’s as polling dayapproaches?
As a voter you should also know the aspects that are considered ascorrupt practices or electoral offences. Offering or accepting money or any other gratification either to vote foror not to vote for a particular candidate.Inducement by way of liquor, feast, gifts, etc. to vote for or not to votefor a particular candidate.Inducement to vote or not to vote for a particular candidate on thegrounds of religion, caste, community, sectarian beliefs or place ofbirth. Threat to an elector of ex-communication if he votes for or against aparticular candidate.Offer of free conveyance to any elector to go to or from any pollingstation.
What is the best time to vote on the Voting day?
On the polling day, voting happens from 8am to 5pm. There is no best time, and you can visit the voting booth, anytime you wish to and cast your vote.
Finally, who should I vote for?
This is entirely the voters decision. You can read about all the candidates in the newspapers before the elections and choose who according to you is the best candidate who will do good for you and for the constituency.
What happens if someone else has cast the vote in yourname?
If the First Polling Officer tells you on arrival inside the polling stationthat your vote has already been cast, bring this to the attention of thePresiding Officer immediately. The law allows you to cast a Tendered Vote. ATendered Ballot Paper, as per Rule 49P of the Conduct of Elections Rules,will be given to you and you will be required to sign your name on the list oftendered votes. A tendered ballot paper is the same as the ballot paperdisplayed on the balloting unit, except that it shall be endorsed on the back,with the words, “Tendered Ballot Paper” either stamped by the Returning orwritten by the Presiding Officer at the time of issuing it.After marking your choice of candidate with the help of Arrow CrossMark rubber stamp you should hand over the tendered ballot paper to thePresiding Officer, who will keep it in a separate cover. Please note that insuch case, you will not cast your vote on the EVM.
Still have questions? You can call the helpline on 022 – 2301 8542 / 2302 0825.
For more questions visit the Mumbai Election website.