India is a democratic country that has a well-defined electoral system. The parliamentary system holds elections that allow citizens to choose their representatives and thus contribute to the composition of the government.
Elections are regularly conducted in a fair and free manner as per the guidance of the constitutional provisions along with the laws made by Parliament. The major laws are the Representation of the People Act, 1950 and 1951.
These laws deal with the preparation, and revision of electoral rolls, all aspects of the conduct of elections, and post-election disputes. The Supreme Court of India has formed Election Commission to deal with a situation in which the enacted laws remain silent.
Voting is done by secret ballot still at some places whereas by Electronic Voting Machines in others. To maximize the participation of voters polling stations are set up in public institutions within 2km of every voter.
Election Commission of India
The election commission is an independent constitutional authority of India formed in 1950. The body guides and controls the preparation of electoral rolls for elections to Parliament and State Legislatures, for the offices of the President and the Vice-President of India.
Only Chief Election Commissioner can remove Election Commissioners from office. The Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners are appointed for six years from the date he/she assumes office or till the day he/she attains the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
Election Commission of India
Address: Nirvachan Sadan, Ashoka Road, New Delhi 110001
EPABX: 23052205 - 10, 23052212 - 18, 23052146, 23052148, 23052150
Faxline: 23052219, 23052162/63/19
Control Room: 23052220, 23052221Chief Election Commissioner of India
Any Indian citizen who is registered as a voter and is over 25 years of age is allowed to contest elections to the Lok Sabha whereas he must attain the age of 30 years for contesting in Rajya Sabha elections. The very person who wishes to contest an election has to fill out a 'nomination form' and give some money as a 'security deposit'.
All the 5,435 candidates for 543 Lok Sabha seats and 4,504 candidates for 697 seats in State Legislative Assemblies the candidates were required to declare their assets and liabilities, educational qualifications, Government dues, and criminal cases pending against them if any.
The conditions that a candidate has to fulfill for fight election are-
It is mandatory for general candidates to deposit a security of Rs.25,000 in the case of Parliamentary constituency and Rs. 10,000 to fight the election in Assembly Constituency. This deposit is refundable only if the candidate gets more than one-sixth of the votes cast in the constituency.
At least one registered elector of the constituency must support the Nomination of a party-sponsored candidate.
Electors’ Photo Identity Card (EPIC)
Electors’ photo Identity Card is issued by the Election Commission of India
to improve the accuracy of the electoral roll and prevent electoral fraud.
The photo identity cards are made mandatory for all voters of the country from Aug 1993 and are seen as strong identity proof. Almost 450 million identity cards have been circulated so far and the number is increasing.
It also serves as general identity, address, and age proof for other purposes such as buying a mobile phone SIM card or applying for a passport. It also serves as a Travel Document to travel to Nepal and Bhutan by Land or Air.
Who can apply for Voter Id card ?
The voter card is issued to all Indian citizens who have attained the age of 18 years and qualify to be a voter. One has to apply on the prescribed Form-6 of the Election Commission attached with proof of ID, Indian nationality, age, and residence.
Those of "unsound mind", convicted of "corrupt practices", or offenses related to elections are ineligible to vote. Applicants have to submit paper Form-6 to their Booth Level Officer (BLO) of the area.
Applicants can also apply online on the website of the chief electoral officer given for that State or can directly apply to the website named National Voter Service Portal (NVSP).
Click here to apply for the voter Card - https://www.nvsp.in/
Who can vote in India?
- All citizens, regardless of their race, color, or previous condition of subjugation have the right to vote under the Citizenship Act which grants them protection under the 15th Amendment.
- Every citizen who is 18 years old is eligible to be enrolled.
- Enrollment is only at one place.
- Overseas Indians are deemed to be ordinarily resident at the address given in their passport.
- Service voters are deemed to be ordinarily resident at their home address.
Once a citizen is eligible to vote and has enrolled as a voter, a voter slip from the election commission will be issued which confirms the citizen's name on the voter list.
This slip, along with a photo ID proof recognized by the Election Commission, can act as a voter card. If the resident fails to get the voter slip, they can check online or call the helpline to find out.