Explained: India’s election system, voting rights and how you can check your name on electoral list

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New Delhi: The Lok Sabha elections 2024 that will be conducted in seven phases are just days ahead. The first phase of polling for the general election will take place on April 19. All the preparations are almost completed by Election Commission of India and other relevant authorities. Conducting elections in India is a gigantic task with millions of poll personnel being involved in the entire process to carry out free and fair polling. Here we can discuss the various process involved in democratic process in India.

How does the electoral system works in India?

The Election Commission of India (ECI) derives it powers from the Constitution of India that basically guides the poll officials to direct, control and pursue the entire electoral process for the Parliament and state legislative assemblies, the office of President of India and vice-presidents.
So far, the Election commission has conducted elections to the satisfaction of all stakeholders including political parties and candidates.

The polling process in India is conducted through constitutional process which are supplemented by laws made by Parliament. The first and major among them is Representation of the People Act, 1950. This law is related to preparation of electoral rolls, conduct of elections, settling disputes related to pre and post elections.

According to Supreme Court of India, in cases where the laws are silent or lack clarity to address certain aspect of elections, the Election Commission has the residual powers under Constitution to take appropriate action. The election commission is a constitutional body and was set up as per the constitution on Jan 25, 1950.

Voting rights in India

All eligible Indian citizens have the right to cast their votes in the elections. All Indian citizens with sound mind and above the age of 18 have the right to take part in electoral process as per the constitution irrespective of religion, caste, ethnicity, social or economic status. The constitution outlines certain protections and entitlements to a voter. While voting is not a fundamental right, it is recognized as a legal right bestowed upon citizens.

All those Indian who have voting rights are eligible to cast their franchise in national, state and local bodies elections. No one can be prevented from voting unless there are grounds for disqualification. All voter are allowed to cast only one vote where he is registered in the electoral rolls. Anyone found casting a bogus vote is liable for legal action. Any Indian national wanting to participate in the election must register in his constituency where he lives. After his registration, the individual will be provided an election identity card.

When a voter can be disqualified?

1) There are certain guidelines laid down by the constitution wherein a voting right can be cancelled. A person can be barred from participating in election if he/she is convicted of a crime including bribery (Section 171E) and Section 171F (Punishment for undue influence or personation at an election) of IPC.

2) If anyone is convicted under Section 125 (Promoting enmity between classes in connection with election), Section 135 (Any person who at any election unauthorisedly takes, or attempts to take, a ballot paper out of a polling station) and Section 136 (fraudulently defaces or fraudulently destroys any nomination paper) of the Representation of People’s Act, is liable for disqualification from voting process.

How you can check your name on the voter list

Many a times, there are allegations that people don’t find their names in electoral rolls and thus they are denied from voting right. Now, there is a simple process to check your name in the voter list online.

Go to the official website of National Voters’ Service Portal (NVSP)
Click on ‘Search in Electoral Roll’.
A new page will open where you can check your name on the voter list using one of options:
Search by Details
Search by EPIC number

If you are searching with ‘Search by Details’ option, then you are required to enter your name, age, gather’s name, gender, district, state, assembly constituency. Fill the captcha code and click ‘Search’.

If you are using the second option-‘Search by EPIC No’ (voter ID number), then you need to fill in state name, your EPIC no and captcha code and click on ‘Search’.

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