Remote Voting Facility to Non Resident Indians (NRIs)

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Remote Voting Facility to Non Resident Indians (NRIs)

Recently the Central Government has informed the Supreme Court that it is considering giving remote voting facility to Non-Resident Indians (NRIs).

  • Under remote voting, voters are allowed to vote from places other than the designated polling stations in their registered constituency. These locations can be within the country or even abroad.
  • NRIs were given voting rights in the year 2011. This right was provided by amendment in the Representation of the People Act (RPA) 1950.
  • However, as per Section 20A of the Act, Indian voters residing abroad are required to be physically present in their constituencies to cast their vote.

Importance of remote voting

  • Due to geographical constraints, lakhs of voters are unable to exercise their franchise. Remote voting aims to address these problems.
  • A voter can cast his vote not only from a registered polling station but also from many other places.
  • It is also in consonance with the spirit of Article 326 of the Constitution. This article provides for the right to vote on the basis of adult suffrage.
  • Remote voting strengthens representative democracy as well.

Concerns about remote voting

  • The confidentiality of the ballot is violated because it can be hacked. This may affect the election results.
  • Voter identification is difficult. It hampers the quality of voting percentage and better representation.

Other Voting Systems

  • Proxy Voting: It was started in the year 2003. Under this, a registered voter can delegate his franchise to any of his representatives.
  • Only “Classified Service Voter” is allowed. These include members of the Armed Forces, the Border Security Force (BSF), the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), the General Engineering Reserve Force and the Border Roads Organization.
  • Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot System: In this, the ballot paper is sent electronically to the service voters.
  • These include members of the armed forces, police (serving outside the state), government employees posted outside India and their/their spouses; people placed under preventive detention; Includes special voters like President of India, Vice President Etc.

Source – The Hindu

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