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Home > Know Your Rights > Right to Vote
FAQ's | Landmark Judgements | Legal Frameworks


Q1.  What is Right to Vote?

A1.  Right to vote is a legal right provided by the Constitution of India to all its citizens. Every citizen of India above 18 years of age is eligible to vote in elections. Right to vote is above caste and religion, that is, any person belonging to any caste, religion, sex, can vote if he/she is above 18 years of age. However, persons who are of unsound of mind, and people convicted of certain criminal offences are not allowed to vote.


Q2.  Why should I vote?

A2. India is a democratic country, which means that in India people have been given the power to choose their government. It is through our Right to Vote that we exercise that ultimate power. If we don’t vote then it means that we are not contributing anything to our nation. Right to Vote is not only a right, but also a duty.


Q3.  Who can vote?

A3.  All citizens of India who are above 18 years of age can vote in the elections. However, persons who are of unsound of mind, and people convicted of certain criminal offences are not allowed to vote.


Q4.  What difference my single vote would make?

A4.  Each and every vote counts in a democratic procedure. If every person thinks that his vote is not going to make a difference and so he doesn’t bother about voting, then there would be no democracy left in India. Only a handful will vote who have ties with political party and the government formed after such elections will not represent the true sentiment of the nation. You are free not to cast your vote, but then you should also be ready to face the situation in which the candidate, you know is corrupt, wins.


Q5.  How do I vote?

A5.  To vote, firstly your name should be registered in the electoral roll that is prepared by Election Commission of India. It is a list of all people in the constituency who are registered to vote. The electoral roll is updated every year by government officials who visit all homes in the constituency to know if anybody eligible to vote is not registered. The updating of the Electoral Roll only stops during an election campaign, after the nominations by candidates have been filed.


Q6.  That means if my name appears in Electoral roll, then I can vote?

A6.  Yes, but you will also need a Voter’s Identity Card. It is an identity card issued by Election Commission to all the eligible voters. It contains your name, date of birth, your address and photograph.  It serves as an identity proof to tally the information available in electoral roll. However, if you don’t have a voter’s ID card, then also you can vote provided you carry with you any other proof of your identity. It is always better to get the Voter’s ID Card as it serves as a valid identity and address proof for other purposes also like, obtaining a passport, driver’s license or a sim card.


Q7.  How do I obtain my Voter’s Identity Card?

A7.  Election Commission of India organizes drives to issue voter ID cards to all registered voters at regular intervals through Designated Photographic Locations (DPL). The information about these drives is published in all major newspapers of the state. To get your voter’s ID card made, you simply have to go to your nearest Photographic location and fill a form and get your photograph clicked. A voter’s ID card will be issued to you in 15 to 20 minutes or it will be dispatched to your address later. It is a very simple procedure and is free of cost. However, do cross check the correctness of your name and other particulars before submitting the form because if your name and other particulars are wrongly reflected on your Voter’s ID Card, then it won’t serve as your ID proof.


Q8.  What if I lose my Voter’s ID Card?

A8.  If your Voter’s ID Card is lost, register an FIR in the area it was lost. Submit the copy of this FIR to your Electoral Registration Officer or Designated photography Location and fill a form provided by them asking for a replacement. A fee of Rs. 25 is charged for reissue of Voter’s ID Card. For any further information or in case of any grievance you can visit the website of the Election Commission of India (www.eci.nic.in).


Q9.  I now know why to vote and how to vote, but how do I know which candidate I should vote for?

A9.  Voting for a candidate depends on your discretion and choice. You can vote for anyone you like. However, you can choose the right candidate by knowing about their background. Election commission of India has made it mandatory for every candidate contesting elections to disclose his educational background, criminal antecedents and his assets and liabilities. Every voter has a right to seek this information and get it. Knowing your candidates before voting is the right way of electing them on merits. One should not be influenced with caste or community affiliations.


Q10.  What are EVMs?

A10.  EVMs are Electronic Voting Machines that are used to cast votes. They have replaced the old system of casting vote through Ballot Paper and Ballot Boxes. EVMs are much more easy to use, secure and cheap. When you go to a polling booth to cast your vote, you just need to press the button against the symbol of the party/candidate whom you wish to vote for. There is nothing to be scared about using an Electronic Voting Machine.

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