. The Indian government has announced a new opportunity for Non-Resident Indians (NRI) to be able to cast their votes at Indian elections. By offering a vote by postal-ballot option, the Election Commission of India has opened up the opportunity for NRIs to vote in Indian elections from overseas.
The following steps are proposed for the NRI should he choose to cast his ballot in Indian elections:
- Register with the local Indian embassy or voter registration booth as directed by the US consulate in your region, outside India. So far close to 117,000 NRIs have registered to vote.
- Alternatively, you can also register in the electronic portal supported by the ECI and download specific forms 6A.
- During this registration process, the voter intimates his desire to cast his vote via postal ballot by filling out Form 12 as directed by the secure electronic system.
- This process should be completed 5 days after the election notification is sent out to all voters.
- A background verification process is conducted by an election officer in India. Once cleared, the voter is notified via phone and the website is updated. The voter will electronically receive the ballot paper.
- This process is to be further fine-tuned by the Election Commission.
Currently, India doesn’t allow any non-service person to cast votes from abroad yet. Only military personnel and government officials outside their registered jurisdiction are allowed to vote by mail. As this proposal is being evaluated, there is a strong push towards allowing for NRIs to partake in Indian elections.