NRI Voter ID Card
India has the largest diaspora in the world, with an estimated 18 million non-resident Indians (NRIs) living abroad. Despite being physically distant, NRIs are still deeply connected to their homeland and strongly desire to participate in the country’s democratic process. The NRI Voter ID Card is an essential tool that enables NRIs to exercise their right to vote and make their voices heard in Indian elections.
This guide provides an overview of the NRI Voter ID Card, including its eligibility criteria and the application process. We also explore how NRIs can make a difference in the Indian electoral process by participating in the democratic process from afar. Whether you're an NRI or simply curious about how NRIs can vote in Indian elections, this blog is a must-read for anyone interested in the intersection of democracy and diaspora.
Eligibility Criteria: NRI Voter ID Card
Before 2010, the Representation of the People's Act of 1950 had no provisions for NRIs to apply for a Voter ID card. However, it was later amended in 2010 to accommodate NRIs and allow them to apply for their Voter ID card.
According to the amended act, any NRI who is an Indian citizen and has not acquired citizenship of any other country is eligible to register as a voter and participate in Indian elections, provided they are absent from their place of ordinary residence in India due to employment, education or other reasons.
To be deemed an overseas elector, an NRI must meet the following requirements:
- They must not hold citizenship of any other country besides India, be 18 years or older,
- have a valid Indian passport with details attested by an officer of the Indian Embassy or Mission in their country of residence, and
- meet all other essential requirements to be deemed an elector in India.
How Can You Apply for an NRI Voter ID?
NRIs eligible to apply for a Voter ID Card in India can do so through three modes - online, offline or via an overseas application. The Election Commission of India (ECI) has made applying for a Voter ID Card more straightforward and accessible for NRIs.
With the option to apply online, offline or via an overseas application, NRIs can choose the method that best suits their convenience.
Steps to Apply NRI Voter ID Card Online
- Go to the website of the Election Commission of India (ECI).
- Choose your state or union territory from the list provided.
- Download Form 6A from the website.
- Print and fill out the form with the details mentioned in your documents and passport.
- Get your passport attested by a competent office of the Indian Mission in the country you are residing in.
- Scan your filled-in form and a copy of your attested passport and other required documents.
- If online registration is supported in your area, create a login ID and password, fill in your form, upload your scanned documents, and submit your application online.
- If online registration is unavailable in your area, send the scanned copies of your documents to the email address provided on the State Election website.
Procedure to Apply for NRI Voter ID Card Offline
- Visit an Election Registration Office (ERO) in India.
- Obtain Form 6A from the office.
- Fill out the form with the details mentioned in your documents and passport.
- Submit the form and attested copies of your passport and other required documents.
- Alternatively, outside India, you can download and print the form from the ECI website.
- Fill in the form and scan it along with all the required documents.
- Post the scanned copies to the address provided on the website
Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) living outside India can still vote in Indian elections. There are two ways they can do this:
- Proxy Ballot: This means that the NRI voter chooses someone in India who is also allowed to vote, like a family member, to vote on their behalf. The Indian resident voter will cast a vote for the NRI voter.
- E-Postal Ballot: This is a safe way to cast your vote. The NRI voter needs to apply for this six months before the end of the House term. They will receive the ballot paper electronically and can download it using a password. After casting their vote, they will send the ballot paper to the Returning Officer.
Although NRIs can apply for a voter ID card from outside India, they still need to be physically present at the polling booth in India to cast their vote. NRIs can only vote in the constituency where they have enrolled. They also need to carry their original passport while voting.
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About Voter Id
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How can an NRI get enrolled in the electoral roll?
NRI can enrol in the electoral roll by filling out Form 6A, available online on the Election Commission of India website or from the Indian Embassy in their country of residence.
How can an NRI register as a general elector?
NRI can register as a general elector by filling out Form 6A and submitting it along with the necessary documents to the Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) of the constituency they are eligible to vote in.
Can an NRI vote for more than one candidate?
An NRI can vote for more than one candidate in their constituency.
What is proxy voting?
Proxy voting is a process where a registered voter nominates someone else to cast their vote on their behalf.
When was proxy voting introduced in India?
Proxy voting was introduced in India in 2003.
Can an NRI cast their vote outside the constituency they have enrolled in?
No, an NRI can only vote in the constituency they have enrolled in.
From where can one get Form 6A?
Form 6A is available online on the Election Commission of India website or can be obtained from the Indian Embassy in the country of the NRI’s residence.
Can an NRI cast their vote in the Indian Embassy in their country?
No, an NRI cannot cast their vote at the Indian Embassy in their country. They can only cast their vote in the constituency they are enrolled in.