NRIs to be allowed to Vote for first time in Bihar Polls : Election Commission

Many Indian citizens have been for different countries for their lively hood, some of them go for research work, and some of them would like to do their further studies. Most of us were in other countries. While in the time of elections the citizens who are staying out of the country are going to miss their right to elect their leader.

NRIs allowed to vote for first time:

Their right to elect will be of no use. So the Election Commission (EC) has given a golden opportunity for the citizens of India who are staying out of the country. The ‘one-way electronic postal ballot system’ is ready for being implemented. This would be first implemented in Bihar elections this winter.

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The Bihar elections which are going to be happened in this winter could be the first poll in which NRIs cast their votes semi-electronically from foreign shores, if the Representation of People’s Act (RPA), 1951 is amended in time. The Election Commission (EC) is keen that the process start at the earliest.

Highly-placed Election Commission sources said a system for NRIs casting their votes without physically being present at polling stations had been finalized and could be used for the Bihar polls. Chief election commissioner Nasim Zaidi was in the process of further improving it for subsequent election, sources said.

All the arrangements have been made. The one-way electronic postal ballot system is ready for being implemented. In this process, a password will be e-mailed to the particular NRI voter. Using that particular password they will unlock and download the ballot paper and envelope from the website. The voter will put a cross on his or her choice candidate. And then that paper will be physically sent by mail to the returning officer.

The Zaidi-led poll panel working on improving it further to make it easier for NRIs to vote. The EC wants to make it two-way electronic voting by which the voters can both receive and send their ballot paper electronically to the returning officer instead of posting physically. They are examining this process. The next step will be e-voting.

By this amendment several NRIs who are out of country can take part in elections. For the first time one-way electronic postal ballot system would be used in the upcoming Bihar polls by the NRIs if the amendment to RPA is cleared in time.