Updated January 25th, 2024 at 17:17 IST

National Voters Day 2024: Know The Rights of an Indian Voter in Details

Understanding the rights of Indian voters is crucial in upholding the democratic principles that form the bedrock of the Constitution of India, know more

Reported by: Rishi Shukla
National Voters Day 2024: Rights Of Indian Voters | Image:ANI
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New Delhi, January 25, 2024

National Voters’ Day serves as an annual commemoration of the establishment of the Election Commission of India on January 25th, 1950.

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Understanding the rights of Indian voters is crucial in upholding the democratic principles that form the bedrock of the Constitution of India.

1. Right To Know: Voters possess the right to access comprehensive information about candidates contesting in elections. This includes scrutinizing candidates' past records, including criminal history and financial standing. Informed voting is pivotal to making choices aligned with one's values and beliefs.

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2. Postal Ballot: While not applicable to everyone, members of the armed forces, paramilitary forces, electoral officers, or those away from their home constituency due to work, illness, or disability have the right to cast their ballots by mail. This ensures the democratic participation of individuals unable to physically visit a polling station.

3. Right To Not To Vote (NOTA): If a voter deems none of the contesting candidates suitable for their vote, they have the option to choose "None Of The Above" (NOTA). This signifies that their vote is not allocated to any specific candidate, a crucial expression of dissatisfaction with the available choices.

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4. Tendered Vote: In cases of mistaken or fraudulent voting, individuals can provide proof of identity to cast a tendered vote. This separate ballot paper allows those affected to exercise their right without compromising the integrity of the electoral process.

5. Voting Rights of Prisoners: As outlined in section 62(5) of the Indian Constitution, individuals confined in prison, whether under a sentence or otherwise, are ineligible to vote. Upholding the democratic ethos, this provision ensures that only eligible citizens participate in the electoral process.

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6. Voting Rights for NRIs: Introduced in 2011 through an amendment to the Representation of People Act 1950, Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) can exercise their voting rights. They can cast their votes at their original polling station or opt for the convenience of a postal ballot, contributing to the democratic process from their place of residence as indicated in their passport.

7. Voting Rights of Specially-abled and Illiterates: Recognizing the challenges faced by specially-abled and illiterate voters, electoral officers are available to provide assistance. These voters, unable to cast their votes independently, can seek support to ensure their voices are heard without any impediments.

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On this National Voters’ Day, understanding and asserting these rights are pivotal in ensuring the sanctity of the democratic process. As citizens, it is our responsibility to exercise these rights judiciously, contributing to the vibrant and robust functioning of the world's largest democracy.

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Published January 25th, 2024 at 17:17 IST