I remember when I was young, had no idea how democracy works and no political intellect or interest. Back then elections only meant an off day from school because the school I went to used to be a polling booth.
I also remember, once I understood the significance of elections, I was always curious whether people who are eligible to vote, voted or not. To my surprise, a lot replies used to be “Beta, ek jan ke vote na daalne se kya fark padega?”. These were the same people who would be prompt enough to vote and discuss which contestant from Indian Idol they have voted for. Their excuse for not voting used to vary from the inconvenience and commotion at the polling booth to “we were very busy”.
I voted for the first time in December 17’ during the Gujarat Legislative Assembly Elections, contrary to what I was told by many, it took me hardly 15 minutes to enter the polling booth, vote and come out. That day I promised myself that I will urge my peers to vote.
The general elections in India are scheduled this year, anytime between the months of April-May. Any Indian citizen who turned 18 before 1st January 2019 and has a voter’s ID will be eligible to vote in the forthcoming (and crucial) elections. Don’t have a voter’s ID yet? This is how you can apply –
Citizens can file an application, in prescribed Form 6 (Link to online form), before the Electoral Registration Officer/Assistant Electoral Registration Officer of their constituency. There are several ways to file the application.
– The application, accompanied by copies of the relevant documents, can be filed in person before the concerned Electoral Registration Officer/Assistant Electoral Registration Officer. For any queries, you can call on 1950 (Please add your STD code before 1950).
– It can be sent by post to the Booth Level Officer of the polling area or handed over to her/him.
– You can also file the application online.
How to apply online:
– Go to the National Voters’ Service Portal — www.nvsp.in
– Click on ‘Apply Online For Registration Of New Voter’
– A new window with Form 6 will open
– Fill up the form and click on ‘submit’. Once you have submitted Form-6, you will receive a reference number on your registered email ID using which you can track your application status. For the application to be accepted and voter ID to be issued, it can take up to a month’s time.
Documents required with Form 6:
– One recent passport-sized coloured photograph
– Photocopies of documentary proof of age (Birth Certificate, 10th Marksheet, Passport, Driving license) and residence (Electricity or Telephone bill, Passport, Driving license)
After receiving Form-6, the Electoral Registration Officer will display a copy of the form on his notice board inviting objections, if any, within a period of one week. The Electoral Registration Officer may also ask the concerned Booth Level Officer to visit the applicant’s residence and verify the information provided in the form. The Electoral Registration Officer will order the inclusion of name in the electoral roll if Form-6 is complete in all aspects and no person has raised any objection.
If you’re an NRI voter, you will need to fill Form 6A (Link to online form). The rest of the procedure remains the same. If you already have a voter’s ID and want any change in (Name, Photo, Age, EPIC Number, Address, Date of birth, Age, Name of relative, Type of relation, Gender) you will have to fill Form 8 (Link to online form). In case of shifting from one place of residence to another place of residence within the same constituency please fill Form 8A (Link to online form). If you are shifting from one constituency to another, you will have to fill Form 6.
Voter list is continuously updated till the last date of filing of nominations by the candidate. This is approximately 3 weeks before the polling date. The exact polling dates will be available on eci.gov.in, after the announcement.
My favorite film, Rang De Basanti has a dialogue, “Koi bhi desh perfect nahin hota, usse behtar banana padta hai.”, and to make thy nation better, voting is of utmost importance. Each vote matters. Step out and vote.