Dearest Folks and Fellow Citizens!
Great that you people have not only woken up, but also geared up to cast your vote this election season!
Without beating about the bush, here are some crisp guidelines for you :
All about voter registration-
To register as a voter you need to submit your voter registration form along with your address proof (which could be your telephone bill, electricity bill, passport, driving license, ration card, bank statements, company I-card) at the office of your local Electoral Registration Officer. If you are a first time voter, you will also need to submit an age proof document.
Within 2 weeks of your voter registration, your booth level officer does the address verification.
Proxy submission/Bulk submission of Voter registration forms is prohibited. Only you and your family members are allowed to submit form on your behalf.
You can register till 10 days before the last date of filing nominations by the contesting candidates.
You can also ask for copies of nomination forms of these contesting candidates, to make an informed choice.
Issues concerning voter registration-
You can apply for voter registration by filling Form 6 by way of which, your name shall be included in the electoral roll (voter’s list) of your constituency. You can find the latest voter list for your polling booth at the office of your Electoral Registration Officer. Else you can also find it online at the website of the Chief Electoral Officer.
If you are an already registered voter and find any discrepancies in your record/entry in the electoral roll, then you can apply for the modifications by filling Form 8
In case you have shifted from your previous location to another location, within the same constituency, then you can apply for transfer of your entry in the electoral roll to another booth location, through Form8A.
Now, a relatively complicated scenario i.e. if you got relocated and now reside in a different constituency, then you should get your name deleted from the place you earlier resided, by applying through Form7, and again apply for voter registration by submitting Form 6 to the electoral registration officer of the new constituency while mentioning your new address. Note that you can only be registered at one place; registration in more than one place amounts to an offence.
Don’t you think that voter registration is a one-time effort as long as you don’t relocate?!
How to obtain/ maintain a voter ID card-
To get a voter ID card or EPIC, you need to register separately by applying through Form 001. You can do this either at the time of submitting your voter registration form (Form 6) or after you have submitted your voter registration form and your name features in the voter list/electoral roll.
In case you have lost your voter ID card, you can apply for a duplicate voter ID card through Form 002. Also lodge an FIR with the police and submit this FIR document along with a copy of Form 002 to your Electoral Registration Officer with Rs 25 as a penalty amount.
Note that the electors who have been provided with EPIC shall be identified through EPIC only i.e. if you are already issued with a voter ID card, only then it is mandatory for you to carry it on the day of voting . However, if you don’t have one right now, you can carry any other approved identity proof document.
Voter ID card is forever, whether you change your address or not. It is useful only as a voter identification document at polling booths on the election day. Therefore, it remains equally valid even if you have relocated.
Casting your vote-
On the election day at the polling station, the First Polling Officer collects your identity documents; the Second Polling Officer makes you sign in the Register of voters while handing over a signed voter’s slip to you and marking your left forefinger with indelible ink. And finally the Third Polling Officer directs you to the voting compartment where you record your vote.
Note that even after receiving the voter’s slip, you can decline to cast your vote by signing against your entry in the Register of Voters.
Also note that in case someone has cast a vote in your name, you can still cast your vote by way of a tendered ballot paper issued by the Presiding Officer.
Feel free to share your views and revert with your queries. Let us make it together!