Who is an ‘Overseas Elector’, and How Can They Register as a Voter?
According to Rule 8A of Registration of Electors Rules, 1960, applications for registration as Overseas Electors have to be made to the Electoral Registration Officer by filling up Form 6A.
(For a Guide on How to Fill Form 6A click here.)
1) The application can be made either in person to the Electoral Registration Officer or sent to him by Post
2) If the application is made in person, the applicant will bring his passport and other relevant documents and present it to the Electoral Registration Officer. The Electoral Registration Officer shall keep copies of relevant pages of the passport in the case file after due verification and attestation and return the passport to the applicant.
3) If the application is made by post it has to be accompanied by copies of all the documents mentioned in Form 6A duly self attested by the applicant concerned.
In order to facilitate the NRIs and improve their enrolment in the electoral rolls, Form 6A shall be distributed among the family members of overseas electors, residing in India, through the Booth Level Officer in the area assigned to him/her. Since Booth Level Officers are acquainted with the area assigned to them, they may be asked to prepare a list of such households in their area in which member(s) of the family reside(s) abroad.
The name of Assembly Constituency and the postal address of the Electoral Registration Officer should be filled up in Form 6A by the Booth Level Officer before its distribution. Booth Level Officer may be advised to request the member of such households before giving Form 6A to send the same to the member of his/her family living abroad for sending it back to the Electoral Registration Officer to the address already provided in the Form.
Booth Level Officer may be kept abreast of the rules and regulations for the registration of overseas electors properly so that they can give suitable reply to the queries/doubts raised by any person at the time of distribution of Form 6A.
The Procedure followed by the Electoral Registration Officer on receiving an application in form 6A:
1) Electoral Registration Officers have to keep a separate register for applications received in Form 6A. All applications received in Form 6A should be entered in this register
2) A list of all claims and objections with respect to overseas electors should be published by the Electoral Registration Officer in Format 9A on a weekly basis every Friday on the notice board of the Electoral Registration Officer and also in the official gazette of the State. A copy of the official gazette should be published immediately on the website of the Chief Electoral Officer.
3) The Electoral Registration Officer shall ask the Booth Level Officer concerned to visit the home address mentioned in the passport of the overseas electors. The Booth Level Officer shall ask relatives of the applicant, if any, to verify the self-attested copies of documents and give a declaration to this effect.
In those cases, where no relatives are available or relatives are not willing to give the declaration for verification of documents or the Electoral Registration Officer is not satisfied with verification of documents by relatives, documents will be sent for verification to the concerned Indian Mission in the foreign country where the applicant resides.
4) The decision of the Electoral Registration Officer should be communicated to the applicant by post on the address of the applicant in the country of his residence given by the applicant in his application in Form 6A and also be sending an SMS on the cell phone number given by the applicant in his application in Form 6A.
Procedure if a Personal Hearing becomes necessary:
If personal hearing is necessary in respect to any claim or objection to the inclusion of names in the rolls as overseas electors, the Electoral Registration Officer shall designate an officer form the Indian Mission concerned to hear the parties and give a report. The Commission has asked the Ministry of External Affairs to designate one officer in each Indian Mission abroad.
The names of such officers who can be so designated by the Electoral Registration Officer shall be sent to the Electoral Registration Officers through the Chief Electoral Officer by the Commission in consultation with the Ministry of External Affairs.
Inclusion of names of the Overseas Electors in the Roll:
Name of Overseas Electors is to be included in the relevant part of the assembly constituency in which the place of his residence in India as mentioned in his passport is located. A separate section named “Overseas Electors” shall be created those parts in which overseas electors are registered and names of Overseas Electors will be kept in this section. This will be the last section of the concerned part.
Monitoring of Registration of Overseas Electors:
Registration of Overseas Electors will be an ongoing activity as part of continuous updation of electoral rolls.
1) Electoral Registration Officers shall prepare a monthly report in format A and send it to the Chief Electoral Officer to reach them latest by the 5th of every month
2) Chief Electoral Officer s shall compile the monitoring report of all the Electoral Registration Officers for the state and send it to the Commission by the 8th of every month
3) Every Chief Electoral Officer and District Electoral Officer shall have a grievance redressal mechanism in place for overseas electors who find any difficulties in registration.
Identification of Overseas Elector at the polling station:
The identification of overseas electors at the time of casting of votes at polling station shall be done only on the basis of their original Passports. For this purpose, they shall be required to bring their original Passport to the polling station.
Source: This information is an extract from the ‘Hand Book for Electoral Registration Officers- Election Commission of India – 2012’
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