Election Commission extends 'Every Indian Vote counts' deadline till Dec.31

| Updated: Dec 17, 2016 13:26 IST

New Delhi [India], Dec. 17 (ANI): In view of increasing participation by respondents to the Election Commission of India's online creative competition for Overseas Indian Citizens (OIC) on the topic 'Every Indian Vote Counts', the last date for submitting entries has now been extended to December 31. The winner of the competition shall get return air tickets for two to India sponsored by national carrier Air India. The Online Survey and Competition for Overseas Indian Citizens developed in collaboration with the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), was launched on October 20, 2016. The survey is aimed at assessing the level of awareness among overseas Indians about the registration and voting process and to also gather opinion about their voting preferences. The competition is a part of the initiative to engage with the target population and seek their contribution to the cause 'Every Indian Vote Counts'. Besides the grand prize, there are fortnightly prizes for those who take part in the survey and win democracy points through activities on the survey portal like selfie point, community action, inviting friends to take survey etc. The provisions of the Representation of the People Act, 1950 was amended with effect 10.02.2011 to insert a new Section 20A to make special provisions for citizens of India residing outside the country to get enrolled as an elector. Thus every Indian who has not acquired citizenship of any other country and is otherwise eligible to be registered as a voter and who is absenting from his/her place of ordinary residence in India owing to employment, education or otherwise eligible to be registered as voter in his/her constituency. Despite there being 11.4 million non-resident Indians across the world, at present around less than 0.2 percent of them are registered on the electoral roll as Overseas Indian electors. The Election Commission of India is taking initiatives to reach out to the overseas Indians so that they get enrolled and also vote in elections in their respective constituencies. While existing provisions of the law requires the overseas Indian elector to be physically present in his/her polling station to cast vote on the poll day, deliberations are underway to provide alternative voting methods to the overseas electors like postal ballot or facility of polling at the embassy or Indian Mission. (ANI)