The upcoming elections are a great opportunity for first-time voters in the three states to exercise their franchise.
First time voters: Dates of Assembly elections in Maharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand are likely to be announced soon and like on previous occasions, the Election Commission and other concerned authorities have begun preparations to ensure maximum participation from voters. Special campaigns are already underway to help people resolve their problems regarding voter card, polling booth, name in voters list and others. The upcoming elections are a great opportunity for first-time voters in the three states to exercise their franchise. Not only will voting help decide the fate of your state over the next five years, you will also be exercising your duty as a citizen by exercising your democratic right.
While many of you millenials may be politically opinionated or have strong likes or dislikes for a party, you may choose to refrain from voting purely because of a perception that registering yourself to vote is a cumbersome process. However, there are several measures that the Election Commission has taken over the past few years to simplify the process and make it easier to enroll yourself to vote. So, if participating in the largest democratic exercise in the country allures you and you do not know how to go about it, we have some tips for you.
Things first time voters must know:
1) Voter ID Card: You must have a Voter ID card issued by the Election Commission of India. To get a Voter ID card, you must first register yourself as a voter.
Applying for a new Voter ID Card has now been made easy by the Election Commission. One can do it by filling FORM 6 available online on the commission’s website – eci.gov.in. First time voters and those who have shifted their constituency also need to fill the same form. For more information, one you can also go through the Voter Guide on https://ecisveep.nic.in/
2) Authenticate your details: In case you want to update/change the details given by you in the Voter ID Card, now is the time to do it as the Election Commission has launched a special drive for all such requirements. This applies to those who have already registered as a voter and have received their voter ID. The mega Electors Verification Programme, which will continue till October 15, 2019, is aimed at helping voters verify their existing details.
3) Documents you need: You can authenticate your details by providing scanned or DigiLocker copy of documents such as Passport, Driving License, Aadhaar Card, Ration Card, Govt ID Card, Bank Passbook, PAN Card and Electricity, Water, Telephone or Gas Bills.
4) Voter’s slip: Simply having a Voter ID is not enough. In order to be able to vote on election day, you need to have a voter’s slip which has the precise details of your booth location and booth number where you are supposed to vote. Note that there are several voting centres within a constituency and not knowing where your booth is may leave you confused. Once your authentication is done either through the NVSP website – nvsp.in ; Voter Helpline App or by personally visiting the voter facilitation centre in your locality set up by the Election Commission, you will get the voter slip on the registered mobile number or email ahead of voting day.
5) Check your details on electoral roll: The Election Commission keeps updating the electoral roll till the last day and you must make sure that you check your name on the electoral roll using the EPIC number printed on the Voter ID Card before you step out to vote. You can easily do that through the Voter Helpline App or by sending as SMS : ECI (space) EPIC number to 1950. Don’t be among those you see on TV news complaining that they have a voter ID but were unable to cast their vote as their names were missing from the voters’ list. Electoral roll updation is a continuous process and it is your job to ensure your details are correctly presented there.
For your convenience, the Election Commission has also established a tollfree HELPLINE number – 1950 – which the first time voters can utilise to clear all their doubts before heading to the polling booth.
In Maharashtra, nearly eight lakh new voters have been registered since the Lok Sabha elections held in April-May, 2019. According to the Election Commission of India, 7,69,165 new voters have enrolled themselves since the general elections.
The voter tally has gone from 8,86,77,046 at the time of the Lok Sabha elections in April-May to 8,94,46,211 now, news agency PTI quoted an Election Commission official, as saying.