Roots for Healthy Democracy
Currently, India does not have an Absentee Ballot system for all the citizens.
What is Absentee Ballot system ?
An Abentee ballot is a vote cast by someone who is unable or unwilling to attend the official polling station to which the voter is normally allocated.
Numerous methods have been devised to facilitate this like there are postal and proxy voting system available for the government employees and NRIs.
Voting is difficult for those who migrate from one state to another. And internal migrants cannot vote unless they travel back to their home constituencies and on voting day, not many migrant workers can go to their native place to vote as their employers may not give them leave or they may not be able to afford the journey.
So, they end up not voting.
How can we make Absentee voting work in India ?
Remote voting is an important facility that should be available to voters. Technology has advanced enough to make that happen.
Though there are some countries, where a voter can participate in an Absentee ballot.
Like in Canada- eligible electors can apply vote by special ballot, an individual there can vote by mail from anywhere in the world.
In UK(United Kingdom) postal votes are available on demand and no reason must be given.
Talking about India- there are 400 million voters registered in India as migrants and 3 out of every 10 Indians have moved away from their homes usually in search of better job opportunities.
If the government can find a solution for NRIs then why can’t they examine the solution for Indian Residents as well?
Why is it necessary ?
To make our democracy work, we must be a nation of participants, not simply observers.
There are many migrants who can’t vote but any step by the government for migrants could change the directions of the race.
The government has to be clear about it and should take a closer look to this issue. They cannot just make special arrangements only for NRIs ‘’what about the hundreds of thousands of people who migrate within the country’’ ?
If they are Indian citizens they should be able to vote and get an opportunity to play their part in shaping the political discourse of the country and vote in 2019.