With the Lok Sabha elections fast approaching, it is imperative to ensure that our names are in the voters’ registration list. After all, the fate of the Netas lie in our hands…
For the past week, the news dailies have been sharing statistical data of the registered voters of Pune district as released by the Pune Collectorate. Comprising of Pune, Baramati, Shirur and a part of Maval constituency, there are over 70 lakh voters. Importantly, voter registrations are still open, so ensure that you’re name figured in the list.
Practically every election sees hundreds of voters, disappointed, distressed and angry as they find their names missing from the list on the day of polling.
Allegations of deliberate removal of names of voters as part of an alleged political conspiracy apart, the fact is remains that each voter must make it a point to check if his or her name is still in the voters’ registration list as the elections approach. This is required irrespective of the fact, that he or she may have voted the last time round.
To ensure you are still in the voters list go to https://electoralsearch.in/ or www.ceo.maharashtra.gov.in – If you do not find your name there, despite you having registered, then contact your election office or call the helpline no 1800-22-1950.
Do take time off from your busy schedules to ensure you are on the voters list.
New registrations are generally done twice a year, the most recent being this January. The government’s National Voters Service Portal www.nvsp.in is still inviting voters for online registrations.
It states that: voter list is continuously updated till the last date of filing of Nominations by the candidate. This is approximately 3 weeks before the polling date.’’ It is important to freshly register your name in the voters’ list, in case you have not done so far.
For internet savvy Pune, the good news is that you can register your name online too.
It is simple. Go to the website www.eci.gov.in or www.nvsp.in and click on Form 6 if you are a first time voter; Form 8 is you want a correction and Form 8A if you have changed your place of residence.
There are also voter help centres to help you. Forthis, go to the link https://ceo.maharashtra.gov.in/Lists/VHCs.aspx and you will get the contact number of the official who can help you. You can also call up the toll free helpline no 1800-22-1950. You can also download `voter helpline.’ During the October 2018 voters registration drive, over 50,000 voters in Pune district, registered online.
What are the requirements for registering to vote you may ask- You need to be an Indian citizen; should have attained the age of 18 years on the qualifying date i.e. 1st of January of the year of revision of electoral roll and you are a resident of the part/polling area of the constituency where you wish to be enrolled in.
The government has made it very easy for young first time voters to register. For example, the election commission website states that in case `If none of the documents specified by the Commission is available with an applicant who is of 18-21 years of age, a declaration made by either of the parents of the applicant (or by guru in case of an elector in transsexual (‘others’) category) can be given. In those cases where parental declaration is given as proof of age, the applicant will have to present himself for verification before Booth Level Officer /Assistant Electoral Registration Officer / Electoral Registration Officer.
‘ Further, if none of the above documents is available and neither of the parents is alive, the applicant can attach a certificate of his age given by a Sarpanch of the concerned Gram Panchayat or by a member of the concerned Municipal Corporation / Municipal Committee/Legislative Assembly/Parliament.’’
Also, interestingly, any student can register for voting in his place of study. For example, if you are a student, studying in Pune, you can register yourself as a voter of the Pune constituency.
For that, you should have studied here for at least one year and you need to get a bonafide certificate from the Principal of your college.
As per the statistics, Pune district has over 54,115 voters who will exercise their right to vote for the first time. Surely, there are many more and they need to come forward and register themselves.
Voting is not only a right, it is a responsibility too!
Political Netas who come to power because of people who vote them are most wary of voters (particularly when elections are round the corner). Their fate is in YOUR hands.
Your vote matters a lot. Remember, if you are distressed at a political system which squanders tax payers’ money, you have the option to press the NOTA (None Of The Above) button.
It does not have enough teeth, yet, it is better than not casting your vote.
That's Vinita Deshmukh, Senior journalist and RTI activist who believes in journalism that reflects the views and needs of the common man.
Get Real And Stay Relevant says Vinita,