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Even if an NRI is not residing in India, they still remain citizens of India. With this in mind, NRI voting in India was initiated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2010. NRIs can now cast their votes in Indian elections even if they have not resided in the country for 6 months. To make the NRI right to vote rules, and the NRI voting procedure in India clearer, we have gathered all the essential information you will need in one page, including whether e-voting for NRI is possible.
Here are the voting rights that have been guaranteed to citizens of India as per the constitution. This applies to NRI voters as well:
As an NRI, registering for the upcoming elections should not be very difficult. You can register online or offline through the postal system. However, there are certain important criteria you must meet as an NRI to be eligible to register for voting in India. These include:
Under this new scheme, proxy voting is allowed for NRI voters. The proxy ballot has been viewed as the most viable options for NRIs to cast their vote. Under this scheme, a relative or someone close to you who is residing in India and has a valid voter ID card can cast your vote on your behalf. However, ensure that you choose someone you trust as your proxy. Otherwise, they may try to take advantage of the vote and cast it as per their political agenda.
Alternatively, you can send your vote by means of the e-postal voting for NRIs. Under this, you have to register at least 6 months in advance. An official ballot will be sent to you. This is a confidential and safe way to cast your vote.
Until 2010, the prevailing rule was that NRIs could not vote or contest for election in India, if they have been staying abroad for six months or more. However, this rule was overturned in 2010 for NRIs who are staying abroad but have not applied for citizenship in any other country. The new rules that came into effect in 2010 do not specify directly, however, that an NRI can contest for election in India. However, when the new rules are read in accordance with the Representation of the People Act, it means that if you are eligible to vote in an election from a particular constituency, then you will also be eligible to stand for elections. Thus, The Registration of Electors (Amendment) Rules, 2011 make it clear to us that NRIs can both vote and also contest in elections in India, provided they meet certain criteria.
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