Voter’s Corner

Why should you include your name in the electoral rolls?

India is a parliamentary democracy. Regular elections are the means by which any parliamentary democracy works. From the highest policy-making body to the local administrative bodies, elections take place for all government bodies to determine the people’s representatives who would rule the country.

Elections for most representational bodies take place every five years – Lok Sabha, State Assembly, Corporation, Municipality, Panchayat – except unforeseen circumstances, like the dissolution of a government before the term ends, or when an elected representative dies or resigns.

Elections are conducted according to provisions in the Constitution of India, supplemented by laws made by Parliament. The major laws are the Representation of the People Act, 1950, which mainly deals with the preparation and revision of electoral rolls, and the Representation of the People Act, 1951, which deals with all aspects of conduct of elections and post-election disputes.

What is EPIC?

Registration of voters enables the Election Commission to create electoral rolls for each constituency. It is a huge and time-consuming process, considering the millions of voters or electors.

To improve the accuracy of the electoral rolls and prevent fraud, ECI has mandated the creation of photo-identity cards, called electors’ photo-identity card (EPIC), commonly called voters’ identity cards. This has not only become compulsory for any person wanting to vote in any election, but is also legally recognised as a general identity for anyone proclaiming to be a citizen of India.

Registration of Voters

For voting, India follows the system of universal adult suffrage. That means, according to ECI, ‘any citizen over the age of 18 can vote in an election (before 1989 the age limit was 21). The right to vote is irrespective of caste, creed, religion or gender. Those who are deemed unsound of mind, and people convicted of certain criminal offences are not allowed to vote. Only those whose names are on the electoral roll are allowed to vote.’

The electoral roll is normally revised every year to

  • Add those who have turned 18 on the 1st of January of that year
  • Remove those who have moved out of a constituency
  • Add those who have moved into a constituency
  • Remove those who have died

If a person is eligible to vote and yet their name does not appear on the electoral roll, he/she can apply to the Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) of the constituency, who will update the register. The operation of registering names for inclusion in electoral rolls is an intensive process which involves the following steps

  • Official enumerators of the Election Commission conduct a house-to-house operation to collect information about electors (names, address, gender, age, etc.)
  • In between, summary revisions are done to include the names of those who have been left out for some reason
  • Now, the Election Commission allows online registration through Form 6, which can be downloaded here
  • This is done by the Election Commission, after submission of the request to the local Commission office
  • During the five-yearly revision of electoral rolls, a draft roll is prepared after the house-to-house enumeration and published at every polling booth location for inviting claims and objections, for which fifteen types of forms are available as mentioned below
  • After due enquiry by the Commission, all the claims and objections are decided and a supplementary electoral roll is prepared and published
  • As per the law, to enable the Electoral Registration Officer to take action on your application, you must apply at least ten days before the last date of filing of nominations by candidates standing for election, as has been notified by the Election Commission. This is required as the ERO has to mandatorily invite objections by giving a seven-day notice before including your name in the roll
  • These intensive revisions are done every five years
  • To be a part of these summary revisions, during the specified periods, those who are not on the roll should submit their details through Form 6, available at the local office of the Election Commission or online
  • Those who have shifted residence to a new constituency should also submit their details through Form 6. They also need not delete their names from the electoral roll of their earlier constituency
  • If a person has died, ideally, a family member should inform the local office of the Election Commission that the name has to be deleted
  • Similarly, during the yearly summary revisions of electoral rolls, the existing electoral rolls are published at each polling booth, and claims and objections invited to include, delete, modify or transpose details
  • Even after the final publication of electoral rolls, the process of continuous updating of electoral rolls goes on and citizens are free to file any application for the addition, deletion, modification and transposition with the Electoral Registration Officer
  • If one applies later than ten clear days before the last date for nominations, the name may not be included for the purposes of that particular election
  • The updating of the Electoral Roll only stops during an election campaign, after the nominations for candidates have closed

The types of voter registration forms are given below, along with the website links where you can download them from

Purpose Form No. Link for downloading forms
For inclusion of names Form 6
For inclusion of names for overseas electors Form 6A
For any objection on inclusion of names Form 7
For correction of entries in the Electoral Rolls Form 8
For transposition of entry in electoral roll Form 8A
For registration of service electors (for a member of the armed forces) Form 2
For registration of service electors (for a member of the armed police force of a state, serving outside the state) Form 2A
For registration of service electors (for a person employed by the govt. of India, posted outside India) Form 3
For registration of service electors (declaration by service personnel, to be attached with form 2 or 2A) Declaration
Appointment of proxy by classified service voter to give vote Form 13F
Revocation of appointment of proxy or Appointment of substitute proxy by classified service voter to give vote Form 13G
For inclusion of names for graduates’ constituency Form 18 (English)
For inclusion of names for graduates’ constituency Form 18 (Hindi)
For inclusion of names for teachers’ constituency Form 19 (English)
For inclusion of names for teachers’ constituency Form 19 (Hindi)