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Indian expats can soon vote by E-postal ballot
January 12, 2015, 10:06 am

The Government of India has accepted a proposal to give voting rights for Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) by E-postal ballot.  The government accepted the proposal made by the Election Commission of India in this regard after a Supreme Court of India ruling on Monday.

E-voting system for non-resident Indians must be implemented within 8 weeks, Indian Supreme Court told federal government. The ruling came in a legal proceeding initiated by an Abu Dhabi-based doctor.

The court asked the government to expedite the process, Dr Shamsheer Vayalil, the petitioner who was present at the court, told Gulf News on phone from New Delhi.  "This is a victory for NRIs," he said.

As Gulf News reported on Monday, Vayalil was arguing for  E-postal ballot as it could  be implemented immediately.  The E-postal ballot, one of the two systems proposed by the Election Commission of India, requires election officials to send postal ballot paper by email to registered NRI voters abroad who can access the ballot paper through a password already allotted to him during the registration process.

The voter has to download the ballot paper, cast the vote and send it back to election officials by post or courier after getting a declaration attested. Self-attestation of the declaration or attestation by Indian diplomatic missions is under consideration.

This  can be implemented in the local body elections in the southern Indian state of Kerala in September 2015, said Dr Vayalil, 37, who is also from Kerala. Vayalil is the managing director of VPS Healthcare that runs a chain of hospitals and clinics in the Gulf, India and Europe.


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