Indian Government has allowed NRI (Non-Resident Indians) online applications for Voter ID cards to meet the demand of NRIs wishing to cast their vote in the Indian elections. With digitalization, it is easier to apply from anywhere in the world. An NRI can apply for voter ID online without visiting the country. The scope of voter registration has increased with this move.
Representation of the People's Act of 1950
Till the year 2010, there was no provision for NRIs being able to cast their votes in Indian Elections. The Representation of Peoples Act, 1950 was then amended to incorporate NRI voters. This amendment allows any NRI who doesn't hold the citizenship of India to enroll in the Indian Voting System if they have attained the age of 18 years. The only condition being that individual should not be a citizen of that country.
To become eligible for an NRI Voter ID card, you need to meet the following requirements:
You shouldn't be a citizen of the country in which you reside.
You must have attained the age of 18.
You need a valid Indian Passport.
The page in the passport which contains the identity and address details of the individual must be attested by a competent authority of the Indian Mission in the country where the NRI is residing.
NRI Voter ID Online Procedure
You can follow these steps to apply for your NRI Voter ID online.
Visit the ECI website.
Go to the State Election Commission of India by choosing the State/Union Territory.
Select Form 6A and download it.
Fill up the form and take a print out.
Ensure that the details filled by you are the same as the details mentioned in your documents and passport.
Your passport must be attested by a competent officer of the Indian Mission in the country.
Scan the form along with a copy of your attested passport and other required documents.
You can create a login ID and password if online registration is supported in your region. If you have already registered with the ECI website, then you can upload your documents and a copy of the scanned passport online.
You may send the soft copies by email addressed to the State Election website.
Applying for NRI Voter ID Offline
If you don't have online facilities available, then you can also apply for an NRI voter ID offline.
You will be required to visit an ERO in India if you wish to apply for a voter ID offline. You will be asked to fill out the form, submit the documents and complete the application from outside India. You must download the form from the official website of ECI. After filling up the form, you must scan it and all the documents that are required along with it and post it to the address mentioned on the website.
NRIs Can Now Cast Their Ballot From Overseas
NRIs need not visit the country to exercise their right to vote during elections. NRIs can have a proxy voter who is residing in India to cast their votes. Another acceptable method of voting for overseas residents is through the electronic ballot or e-ballot.
The ECI has recommended a proxy ballot as the most convenient and safe option for casting of NRI votes. NRI voters have a choice over whether they wish to cast their vote through the e-ballot and notify their relative who also must be eligible for voting. The Indian resident voter in these cases can cast a vote for the NRI voter.
The e-postal ballot is the safest way to cast one's vote. The eligible NRI can send an application to the Returning Officer 6 months before the termination of the House to be eligible for voting in the upcoming elections. The application can be sent electronically or physically. After the verification of the documents provided by the voter, the voter will be receiving a postal ballot electronically during the time of elections. To ensure confidentiality, a password will be allocated to the voter and the voter can cast their vote after downloading the ballot. The postal ballot is sent to the Returning Officer after the vote is cast.
NRI Voter ID Restrictions
There is no provision for voting from the Indian Embassy in any country. The voter must carry their original passport. The NRIs can vote only in the constituencies that they have enrolled in.