In what situations can you be disqualified from voting?

You can be disqualified from voting if you have been convicted of the following offences:

  • Bribery
  • Voting on behalf of someone else
  • Trying to prevent someone from voting by threatening them
  • Inciting or promoting hatred and violence between people in connection with an election
  • Obstructing or destroying election processes/documents

Can a person who is not an Indian citizen of India become a voter?

No. A person who is not a citizen of India is not eligible for registration as a voter in the electoral rolls in India. Even those who have ceased to be citizens of India on acquiring the citizenship of another country are not eligible to be enrolled in the electoral rolls in India.

What do I do if I cannot vote via the Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballots as a service voter?

The Returning Officer of your home constituency will send you and your wife postal ballots via Indian Postal Service. You can even ask the Returning Officer to have the postal ballot delivered to you personally. If the postal ballot does not reach you and is returned to the Returning Officer as undelivered, he will send it to you again by post.1

  1. ETPBS & Service Voter, Election Commission of India, available at https://eci.gov.in/divisions-of-eci/it-applications-etpbs-servicevoter/[]

If I don’t live in my home-town, how can I vote? If I live in a rented house can I vote?

If you are living in a rented house, then get the following documents:

  • Owners Identity Card that has their Signature (Passport, Aadhar Card, Driving License)
  • Electricity Bill of the Rented House you are staying in which has the owners address.
  • Letter from the owner stating that you are residing in his/her house and that you wish to obtain a voter ID Card to vote in the place of residence.

Can I vote overseas or remotely if I am an NRI?

No, you must be present in India to vote. You can register yourself as an NRI voter but to cast your vote, you must be present in the constituency of the address mentioned in your passport. There is a Bill pending in the Parliament, that if passed, will allow an NRI to vote through a proxy.

Can I vote together with my friends?

No. You cannot vote together with your friends. Only one person is allowed inside the polling station at a time and there is a strict procedure followed so that secrecy is maintained throughout.

Can I tell people who I voted for?

When you cast your vote, it is a secret ballot. Which means that no one can force you to tell them who you voted for. However, you can tell people who you voted for if you wish to do so. You won’t be punished for the same.

What are opinion polls? Are they real time votes?

Opinion polls, also known as exit polls, are not real results of the elections. Various organisations and media agencies conduct opinion polls by different methods such as surveys to predict what the outcome of the elections might be. The Press Council of India has issued guidelines on how these surveys should be conducted.

Is there a punishment for not voting?

It is not compulsory for you to cast your vote, hence there won’t be any consequences if you don’t vote. But it is advisable to do so as voting is the exercise of your democratic duty in selecting the government.