Government Awareness

Good To Know: How To Apply For Voter Id Online?

From our friends at

October 10th, 2017


On April 7, 2014 when India went into poll mode to elect the 16th Lok Sabha, an amazed world watched. The statistics were staggering – the largest election in history, the longest election in national history, the highest turnout in Indian history, the biggest exercise in electoral history, 81.4 crore eligible voters: it created history just by its sheer magnitude. But close to 28.5 crore eligible voters did not vote in the elections.

It is the duty of the citizens of any country to vote in the elections. One of the reasons for low turn out of voters is lack of proper voter id cards.





Who is eligible to be registered as a voter?

Here are the conditions for you to be a voter in an election:

  • You have to be an Indian citizen
  • You have to be 18 years old on 1st January of the year in which the electoral roll is prepared. For example,. if you are 18 years or above on 1st January 2017, you will be eligible for registration as a voter in the electoral roll published anytime in 2017 or afterwards.

The electoral roll gets updated continuously. Thus, you can submit your particulars in the month of January (or anytime after) immediately following your 18th birthday.

If you fulfill these two conditions, you can be registered as a voter in the constituency where you are ‘ordinarily resident’.

However, you can be disqualified from voting if you are in prison, or if you are convicted under any law listed here.


How can I register/enroll myself as a voter?

You have to file the application (form is given here – Form 6,along with the supporting documents for proof of address, date of birth etc.) before the Electoral Registration Officer / Assistant Electoral Registration Officer of the constituency within which your place of ordinary residence falls. Normally, you need not appear in person. You can also apply online here.

Once this is done, your name will appear on the ‘electoral rolls’ for the constituency, which is mandatory for you to vote in an election. You may search your name on the rolls and find other details relating to your constituency here.

You will need to submit documents showing proof of age only if you are between 18 and 21 years of age. In all other cases, your declaration will be taken as proof of age.



How do I obtain the Voter ID Card? What is its significance in casting my vote?

The ECI issues the Voter ID card to citizens after their names have successfully been included in the electoral rolls of their constituency. The ECI has made voter identification mandatory at the time of poll – you have to show your Voter ID Card issued by the ECI or any other documentary proof allowed by the ECI in order to be able to vote.

However, also keep in mind that just because you have your Voter ID Card does not mean that you will definitely be allowed to vote – because it is mandatory that your name should appear in the electoral roll. Once you have found out that your name is present on the electoral roll and you also possess an identification document prescribed by the ECI (the Voter ID card or any other acceptable document), you are entitled to vote.


How do I pursue any complaints or objections?

If you have any grievance in regard to electoral roll, Voter ID or any other election related matter you may approach the following officers:

(i) Chief Electoral Officer – At the State Level

(ii) District Election Officer – At the District Level

(iii) Returning Officer – At the Constituency Level

(iv) Assistant Returning Officer – At Taluka/Tahsil Level

(v) Electoral Registration Officer – At the Constituency Level

(vi) Presiding Officer – At Polling Station

(vii) Zonal Officer – For a group of Polling stations

During every election, the ECI also appoints ‘Observers’ who are senior civil service officers from outside the state. You can also approach them if you have any grievances or problems. You may find details for some of these officers in your area here.

Common issues faced 

  • My name has been spelled wrongly in the roll! How can I correct mistakes like this?

For correction of mistakes in electoral rolls, you can submit an application (form is given here – Form 8 )to the concerned Electoral Registration Officer. You may apply for rectification online here.

  • My name is on the rolls, now how do I find out which polling booth I have to go to?

You can find out this information from the Electoral Registration Officer of your area. Electoral rolls in all major cities have now been displayed on official websites also. You may find this information here.

Once your name is on the rolls, you also need an identity document to be able to cast your vote – this ID is typically issued by the Election Commission of India (“ECI”) and is known as the Electors’ Photo Identity Card (EPIC, more commonly as the Voter ID card.)

  • I was registered to vote in my home state, but now I have moved for my job. Can I enroll in more than one place? If not, how can I transfer my vote?

You cannot be enrolled as a voter at more than one place. While applying for fresh enrolment, you have to make a statement or declaration stating that your name is not already included in the electoral roll of any other constituency. (If you make a false statement or declaration, you can be punished with jail time of upto one year, or fine, or both)

If you have shifted your home, and y our new home is in the same constituency, you need to fill Form 8A and submit the same to the Electoral Registration Officer / Assistant Electoral Registration Officer (you can also apply online here). If your new home is in a different constituency, you need to fill up Form 6 again(same as in the case of a fresh application).

  • I went to the polling booth, but someone has already voted in my name! What can I do?

If the Polling Officer tells you after you have reached the polling station that your vote has already been cast, you should immediately bring this to the attention of the Presiding Officer. In such a case, the Presiding Officer may ask you questions to confirm your identity. Once he/she is convinced that your identity is genuine, he or she will give you a tendered ballot paper and you will be allowed to cast a ‘Tendered Vote’ (according to Rule 42 of The Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961). A tendered ballot paper is the same as the ballot paper displayed on the balloting unit, except that it will be endorsed (either stamped or written) with the words ‘Tendered Ballot Paper’ on the back.

After marking your choice of candidate, you should hand over the tendered ballot paper to the Presiding Officer, who will keep it in a separate cover. In such a case, you will not cast your vote on the Electronic Voting Machine. Courts have said that tendered votes should be taken into account only when they are likely to affect the outcome of the election, i.e. when the margin of victory is less than the number of tendered votes.

“For more information check out this explainer on voting and elections. This was written by Nyaaya. Nyaaya is a legal- tech initiative explaining India’s Laws. Ideated by Rohini Nilekani and created by the Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy.” 


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