January 13th, 2015
NRIs have grown in number over the years. Currently, there are more than one crore NRIs, who are all registered Indian citizens from various constituencies. Although they were granted voting rights back in 2010, it was still mandatory for them to be physically present at the voting booths back home to cast a vote. However this solution did not prove to be an ideal one as most eligible voters couldn’t make it.
In order to tackle this limitation, and based on the suggestions of the Election Commission, the Supreme Court has issued orders to the central government to introduce the method of e-voting for eligible NRI voters within eight weeks. The court is pressing on this issue as there is a large amount of lost votes during elections because of the existing rules.
The method in question would work like this: A blank postal ballot paper is electronically mailed to the voter. Said voter then fills the paper and mails it by post, back to the constituency, as defined on their passport. There would of course be, background measures to ensure integrity of the votes.
As per the commission, there is very less chance of tampering or manipulation in the advised process. There are also plans to create a method of voting by proxy for NRIs. Overall, this is a positive step towards ensuring a better democracy. Utilizing modern means for such purposes is a welcome introduction to the system. It is also worth mentioning that India has witnessed a large spike in voter turn-out numbers last year, which indicates towards a more active and willing population.