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RIGHT TO VOTE IN INDIA

Updated: Feb 20, 2022

Written By - Moksha Samhita Bolla


INTRODUCTION

ARTICLE 326 OF THE INDIAN CONSTITUTION

IS THE RIGHT TO VOTE A HUMAN RIGHT?

CAN VOTING BE A CHOICE OF CITIZENS?

CONCLUSION



INTRODUCTION :

While some cast their vote, many people sit back and relax on election day, and others are cajoled into voting for specific candidates. The value of voting is often overlooked in the hustle and bustle of city life. While everyone sits and complains about everything and suggests that the government should change everything, elections come and go with about half of the population not paying attention. India has not have demonstrated control and order after 73 years of independence. Both the leaders and the people should be blamed. Religious beliefs drive people rather than what is best for the world. The way forward should be chosen while respecting the Indian tradition. Politics then is not bound up with frivolous issues, but rather with the advancement of the poor, assistance for the elderly, schooling, water, climate, agriculture, highways, urban growth, etc.


ARTICLE 326 OF THE INDIAN CONSTITUTION[1] :

Article 326 is embodied in the Indian Constitution in the procedure for election based on adult suffrage of members of 'the People's House and the Legislative Assemblies.' What it does mean is: '"The elections to the House of the People and the Legislature of each State shall get on the idea of adult suffrage; that is to say, every person who is a citizen of India and who is not less than [eighteen years] of age on such date as may be fixed in that behalf by or under any law made by the fitting Legislature and is not otherwise disqualified under this Constitution or any law made by the appropriate Legislature on the bottom of non-residence, unsoundness of mind, crime or corrupt or illegal practice, shall be entitled to be registered as a voter at any such election.”

How the 61st amendment of the Indian Constitution affects the eligibility requirements for votes. The government had previously established the minimum voting age of 21, as amended by the 61st amendment as 18 would be the minimum age for voting in India at which members of Lok Sabha and legislative assemblies would be elected.

The Sixty-First Amendment is additionally referred to as The Constitution (Sixty-first Amendment) Act 1988. [2]


IS THE RIGHT TO VOTE A HUMAN RIGHT?

The right is given by the democratic government, including the right to vote, to take part in public affairs is based on the will of the people. The legislative elections are therefore a vital and basic component of human rights protection and promote the environment.

[3]The right to vote and to be elected in real, regular elections is inherently connected with many other human rights that are important to a significant electoral process. These prerequisite rights include the right to free speech and freedom of expression, the right to freedom of association and peaceful assembly, and the right to freedom of movement.

Therefore, they are entitled to vote. Of course, It's a right, not a privilege. The right to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly is closely linked because it ensures respect for pluralism of opinion in a democratic society.

It means certain circumstances are required to restrict the outcome and conditions may be enforced as long as they achieve a valid goal, are proportionate, and do not impair the people's free expression in the election of the legislative term. The right to vote is not absolute.

The right to vote, such as minimum age requirements and, in some instances, the residence might also be assailed by conditions. These rules cannot, however, prevent the very essence of voting rights. Dismissal is, in particular, an issue of great seriousness and requires a discernible and adequate link between the sanction of a person's dismissal and, consequently, the person's conduct and circumstances of the person being disenfranchised.


CAN VOTING BE A CHOICE OF CITIZENS?

Voting should also be seen as a civic right rather than a city duty. Civil rights (free speech, attorney rights, etc.) are exercised because people are required of them, not because they are urged. Besides, the compulsory vote may violate other rights.

Many nations all over the world make voting compulsory for people. For example, Australia requires mandatory state voting. An explanation and a fine are included in the penalty for the violation of voting rights.

In Australia, since 1924, the percentage of electors has been 90% or more. Several South American nations, including Brazil, Argentina, and Bolivia, have compulsory voting arrangements. Some others have abolished these legal requirements after decades, as in the Netherlands in 1970 and Austria later. There is a system of voluntary voting in all democratic nations such as the United Kingdom, USA, Germany, Italy, and France.

It held an electoral turnout of over 80 percent in Italy in recent elections, while an electoral turnout of around 50 percent in the United States.

For those in favor of compulsory voting, what obligatory voting would mean is that a high turnout is crucial for a proper democratic mandate and the functioning of democracy. They also argued that voters take politics more seriously and begin to play a more active role. Moreover, people who live in a democratic State have a voters' right which, while being coerced to do so, is an integral part of that democracy though they cant be compelled for the same. However, some have argued that mandatory voting would violate the fundamental freedom and expression rights promised to people in a democratic state.

It has been argued in this context that everyone should be able to decide whether or not he or she wishes to vote. Whether constitutional voting rights can be constructed to include the right not to vote is uncertain. When questioned, the supreme court is asked to determine whether the mandatory vote is in breach of the Constitution.

In his capacity as a private Bill member in the Lok Sabha, Mr.Bachi Singh Rawat enacted Compulsory Voting Bill, 2004[4]. And the law was intended to introduce a new practice that required voting for all eligible voters and provided for exemption only in certain cases, such as illness, etc. A certain class of people may face arguments mooted against a proposal for a bill on difficulties, including the remoteness of polling stations, difficulties encountered by certain kinds of people such as daily wage earners, nomadic communities, disabled people, and pregnant women while voting.

But the Bill was not supported and was not adopted by the House. In the year 2009, Mr. JP Agarwal, Member of Parliament, submitted a further Private Member Bill on compulsory voting. In addition to making voting compulsory, this bill also imposes a duty on the State to ensure that many polling booths and special arrangements for senior citizens at convenient places; persons with a physical disability, and pregnant women. The then Law Minister, Mr. Moily, contended that the parliament will speed up, more correctly, the electorate's will for compulsory voting. He also asserted that active participation would be optional and not compulsory in a democratic establishment.


CONCLUSION :

[5]Adults can vote under the Constitution. This authority is encrypted and also referred to as the Representation of the People Act (India) under a separate law, which states:

62. Right to vote-

(1) “No one who is not, and except as expressly provided by this Act, every person who is, for the time being, entered in the electoral roll of any constituency shall be entitled to vote in that constituency”.

(2) “No person shall vote at an election in any constituency if he is, subject to any of the disqualifications referred to in section 16 of the Representation of the People Act, 1950 (43 of 1950)”.[6]

(3) “No person shall vote at a General Election in more than one constituency of the same class and if a person votes in more than one such constituency, his votes in all such constituencies shall be void".

(4)” No person shall at any election vote in the same constituency more than once, notwithstanding that his name may have been registered in the electoral roll for that constituency more than once, and if he does so vote, all his votes in that constituency shall be void”.

(5) “No person shall vote at any election if he is confined in prison whether under a sentence of imprisonment or transportation or otherwise or is in the lawful custody of the police.”

In short your 'voting right' is a power of preference that is lawfully recognized to you as a citizen of India. You can choose not to vote, but as a citizen, through this process, you can also contribute to the process of electing your representatives in this Parliament. It's an option. As a democratic part of it.


[1] The Constitution of India, arts. 326. [2] The Constitution (Sixty-first Amendment) Act, 1988. [3] The Constitution of India. [4] The compulsory voting bill, 2004. [5] The Constitution of India. [6] The Representation of the People Act, 1950 (43 of 1950), s. 16.

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