New Delhi: Election Commission of India (ECI) has initiated an online survey for Overseas Indian Citizens in order to assess level of awareness about the registration and voting process.The objective of the survey is to study and determine the registration and participation rates among overseas electors.
The unique survey, launched by ECI in collaboration with Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) will help in gathering opinions and voting preferences of Overseas Indians.The survey shall help in not only identifying information gaps but also in finding the preferred methods of voting which can subsequently be shared with the Government and Legislators. The link may be seen at www.everyvotecounts.in.
Apart from the survey, ECI has also launched an online competition, as a part of the initiative, to engage with the target population and seek their contribution to the cause - `Every Indian Vote counts`. Under the competition, participants can upload their original entries in categories like slogans, songs, posters, photographs, essays and short film and audio visual formats.
The winning entries will get round trip to India and a lifetime chance to be honoured by the Election Commission of India on National Voters` Day, January 25 next year in New Delhi.The survey shall run through the month of November-December while the online competition will run through this month.
"I invite you to join this historic initiative of the Election Commission of India (ECI) for expanding the frontiers of electoral participation. In our constitutional scheme of government by the people, `every voice matters`, `every Indian vote counts` ," said Chief Election Commissioner Dr Nasim Zaidi in his message to Overseas Indians.
"We systematically want to address additional challenges that our overseas citizens might face for which we, in partnership with Tata Institute of Social Sciences, are conducting an online survey to first understand these challenges so as to design our interventions accordingly. We invite you to enrich the process of our communication with the overseas citizens of this country. We would be delighted to feature your ideas in our Overseas Voters Campaign," he added.
The provisions of the Representation of the People Act, 1950, was amended with effect from February 10, 2011, to make special provisions for citizens of India residing outside the country to get enrolled as an elector in the constituency in which his/her place of residence in India as mentioned in his passport is located.
Despite there being 11.4 million non-resident Indians across the world, at present only around 16000 of them are registered on the electoral roll as Overseas Indian electors.The Election Commission of India is now taking up steps to reach out to the overseas Indians so that they get enrolled and also vote in elections in their respective constituencies.