Polity & Governance
11th Apr, 2019
The first vote for the upcoming LokSabha elections (2019) was casted in Arunachal Pradesh by service voters from Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) unit located in the eastern tip of the state of Arunachal Pradesh.
There are voters who aren't residing in their constituency due to certain constraints and can vote in the elections via proxy voting or postal ballot voting, they are known as Service voters.
Who are ServiceVoters?
Service voters are those who have service qualification and include members of Armed Forces of the Union of India, members of Armed Police forces of the States serving outside that state and persons employed Government of India on posts outside India.
- They are provided with an option to cast the votes through postal ballots and send them to the returning officer of the constituency.
- A service voter can also cast his vote through a proxy. The proxy can cast the vote on behalf of the service personnel at the polling station.The proxy should be a registered voter of that constituency. The provision for voting through proxy is valid till the person making the appointment is a service voter.
- No person can be enrolled simultaneously as a service voter at his native place as well as a general voter at the place of posting.
Prerequisites for Service Voter:
Service voter is a voter having service qualification. According to the provisions of sub – section (8) of Section 20 of Representation of People Act, 1950, service qualification means:
- Being a member of the armed Forces of the Union
- Being a member of a force to which provisions of the Army Act, 1950 (46 of 1950), have been made applicable whether with or without modification.
- Being a member of an Armed Police Force of a State, and serving outside that state.
- Being a person who is employed under the Government of India, in a post outside India.
- As per the existing arrangements, members of Indian Army, Navy and Air Force and personnel of General Reserve Engineer Force (Border Road Organization), Border Security Force, Indo Tibetan Border Police, Assam Rifles, National Security Guards, Central Reserve Police Force, Central Industrial Security Force and SashastraSeemaBal are eligible to be registered as service voters.
Is wife or son/daughter of a service voter also enrolled as a service voter?
- The wife of a service voter shall, if she is ordinarily residing with him, be also deemed to be a service voter in the constituency specified by that person. The wife will be enrolled as a service voter on the basis of declaration made by her husband in the application form itself submitted by him and no separate declaration is required to be made by the wife.
- A son/daughter/relative/servant etc. residing ordinarily with a service voter cannot be enrolled as service voter.
How is a service voter different from an ordinary elector?
While an ordinary elector is registered in the electoral roll of the constituency in which his place of ordinary residence is located, person having service qualification can get enrolled as ‘service voter’ at his native place even though he actually may be residing at a different place (of posting). He has, however, an option to get himself enrolled as general elector at the place of his posting where he factually, at the point of time, is residing ordinarily with his family for a sufficient span of time.