The EC is discussing with the MEA a proposal to allow overseas Indian voters to use e-postal ballots: Govt

The Rajya Sabha was informed on Thursday that an Election Commission proposal to permit the electronically-transmitted postal ballot method for overseas Indian voters is being discussed with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to “iron out” practical problems involved in its implementation.

Law Minister Kiren Rijiju stated in a letter response that the overall number of abroad electors as of January 1 this year is more than 1.15 lakh.

“The Election Commission of India has taken up a proposal to alter the Conduct of Elections Regulations, 1961 to permit electronically-transmitted postal ballot method for abroad electors. “The topic is being discussed with the Ministry of External Affairs to iron out the logistical challenges associated with the proposal’s execution,” Rijiju added.

According to the EC website, the overseas voter is not currently provided with a photo identity card, but they can vote in person at a polling place by presenting their original passport.

The EC has stated that it is difficult for overseas voters to travel to India to vote.

The minister recalled that, on the suggestion of the poll panel, the Lok Sabha enacted the Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill, 2018, in August 2018, allowing abroad electors to vote in person or by proxy.

The Bill was waiting in Rajya Sabha for discussion when the 16th Lok Parliament was dissolved.

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