The 2019 general election is to be held in seven phases, starting on 11 April.
But just 71,735 NRIs have registered to cast a ballot. Of this group, 93.21% are male and 6.75% are female; while 20 individuals categorised themselves as ‘other’ gender, reports media website News 18.
That’s not to say that there hasn’t been an improvement. In the 2014 election, there were just 13,039 registered overseas voters. The proportion of men (93.8%) and women (6.1%) was very similar.
But, clearly, there is still a long way to go.
Registering to vote
According to the Ministry of External Affairs; citizens of India, who are absent from the country due to employment, education etc, and have not acquired citizenship of any other country, are known as overseas voters and are eligible to be registered as a voter in the address mentioned in their Indian passport.
To register, NRIs need to fill in form 6A from the national voters’ service portal website and provide the requisite proofs.
Overseas voters are not issued with an elector’s photo identity card (Epic) but they can vote in person at a polling station using their original passport.