Voting it the birthright of every citizen. It is a process in which a population chooses an individual as their leader in any field such as parliament, office, society, panchayat etc. It is a collective decision or opinion followed after discussions, debates for election campaigns.
All citizens regardless of their race, colour, gender, caste and religion have the right to vote under the ‘Citizenship Act’ which granted them protection under the 15th Amendment
India is the world’s largest democracy. India became a Democratic National post its independence in 1947. After which, the citizen was given the right to vote and elect their leaders. It has five democratic principles- sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic and republic
The word “democracy” comes from Greek word demos, “common people” and Kratos, strength. It was established in 508-507 BC by Athenians and it was led by Cleisthenes. Cleisthenes is also known as “father of Athenian democracy”. It implies one person, one vote, one value.
Democracy means a system of government in which citizens hold power directly to elect their representatives.
Indian Constitution is a part of democracy. The main motive of a democratic society is that all the members of the community must be equal. Every citizen is irrespective of their caste, colour, creed, religion and gender.
The rights and fundamental rights are sections of the constitution of India that provides people with their rights. This section is the vital element of the constitution, which was developed between 1947 and 1949 by the Constitution. Some of the rights are:
Right to equality- it ensures equal rights for all citizens.
Right to freedom- it provides us with various rights such as freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of movement throughout the territory of our country etc.
Right against exploitation- it condemns human trafficking, child labour etc.
Right to freedom of religion- it guarantees religious freedom.
Cultural and Educational right- enabling the public to conserve their heritage and protecting them against discrimination.
Right to Constitutional remedies- it ensures citizens to go to the supreme court of India to ask for enforcement or protection.
C. Criteria to become a voter
As per the Election Commission of India, citizens are eligible to become a voter under the following conditions:
Every citizen who is 18 years old on the qualifying date(January 1 of the year in case) unless disqualified, is eligible to be enrolled.
Enrollment only at the ordinary place of residence.
Enrollment only at one place.
Overseas Indian deemed to be ordinarily resident at the address given in passport.
Service voters deemed to be ordinarily resident at their home address.
D. Who is not eligible to vote?
Those citizens who have been declared by the lord that they are unstable to vote or barred due to corrupt practices or any illegal activities relating to the election are not entitled to be a voter.
A person who is not a citizen of India can be registered in the electoral rolls.
Once a citizen is eligible to vote and has enrolled as a voter, a 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 recognised by the election commission can act as a voter card. If the resident fails to get the voters to slip, they can check online or call the helpline to find out.
E. Identity proof
The ECI has made voter identification methods mandatory at the time of polls. In order to cast your vote, you have to show your voter ID card issued by the ECI or any other proof allowed by the ECI.
If a person doesn’t have a voter id card?
They can use other documents specified by the election commission. To register as a voter you need the following documents:
A filled voter registration form
Copy of proof of Residence
Copy of proof of age and identity
Two recent passport size photographs
F. Types of Elections:
Members of the Parliament in Lok Sabha,
Members of State Legislative Assemblies, (and also Assembly elections to some of the Union Territories like Delhi),
Members of the Parliament in Rajya Sabha,
Members of State Legislative Councils,
Members in village panchayats or city corporation councils.
By-election is held when a person of a particular constituent dies, resigns, or is disqualified.
G. Voting system:
Electoral voting is the standard means of conducting election using “Electronic Voting Machine” (EVMs).
They were introduced in Indian elections between 1998 and 2001, in a phased manner. The electronic voting machines have been used in all general and state assembly elections of India since 2004.
EVMs are easier to transport compared to ballot boxes as they are lighter, more portable, and come with polypropylene carrying cases. Vote counting is also faster. The unit can store the result in its memory before it is erased manually. The battery is required only to activate the EVMs at the time of polling and counting and as soon as the polling is over, the battery can be switched off. The shelf life of Indian EVMs is estimated at 15 years.
Thus, it is the duty of every citizen to vote for their representatives.