Want to vote in the upcoming BMC elections? Here’s how you get your voter ID

BMC elections 2022

Voter ID card and slip for voting in elections
Photo: Nilanjan Chowdhury/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

The next election for Mumbai’s civic body will be held in February 2022. The Brihanmumbai Mumbai Corporation (BMC) plans to conduct special drives to encourage registration in every ward, particularly targetting first time voters, women and sex workers between 13th and 28th November. The final list of voters will be published on 5 January, 2020.

The local elections are to appoint corporators of the 24 wards in Mumbai, amounting to 236 seats. The corporator is the closest elected official to the citizen, responsible for overseeing the essential services in their area, allocating budgets and answering citizens’ grievances.

In 2019, voter turnout in Mumbai was just 50%. Among the country’s metrocities, it is infamous for its lack of political participation from citizens. A study by the Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics found that a combination of disinterest, bad perception of political leaders, and low political literacy contributes to this.

Improving electoral participation starts from registering to vote.

Voter portal website
The internet has made it possible to vote without needing to step out of the house. Photo: Voter Portal

Electoral Roll

Having a physical voter ID, also called Electoral Photo Identity Card (EPIC), does not guarantee that you will be able to vote. It is crucial that your name appears in the electoral roll of your constituency, which you can check on the National Voters’ Service Portal, on Voter Search, or by calling up 1950.

If your name is present, you can vote at the Polling Station mentioned along with your voter ID card or any government-issued photo identity card. If your name is not present, you will need to register or make changes to your voter ID.

The voter ID is the same for all elections – whether general, state or local. Each ward has a Voter Help Centre (VHC), in charge of registrations and modifications.

The procedure of getting your name added to the voter list will differ depending on whether you choose to do it offline or online.

Everything Needed

voter portal website
Logging in to the Voter Portal will save your progress while filling the forms. Photo: Voter Portal

Based on your voting history, you will need the correct form to get your name inputted with the right details into the electoral roll. The form for a first time voter will be different from that of a voter changing their address. Below are the options of forms available, their purpose, and the documents required when submitting them:

Form 6 – For first time voters of any election – general, state or municipal – in India, and first time voters in a new assembly constituency. Mumbai is divided into 2 districts, which are further divided into 6 parliamentary constituencies and 36 assembly constituencies, amassing 236 seats.

Documents needed: a recent passport-size colour photograph, proof of residence, proof of age for those between 18 and 21. First time voters past the age of 21 need to submit a declaration in the format of annexure III (present in Form 6). Service Personnel must attach a declaration as per annexure 1 and students living away from home must choose between voting at their place of residence or native place per annexure 4.

The documents valid as proof of residence are: passport, driving license, latest rent agreement, water/telephone/electricity/gas bill (in the applicants’ or their immediate relations’ name), ration card, pass book, Income Tax Assessment Order, or a letter delivered through the Indian Postal Department. Sex workers and the homeless do not need to furnish this proof.

The options for proof of age are: birth certificate, aadhaar card, passport, PAN card, driving license, baptism certificate or a Class 10/8/5 marksheet. In the absence of all of those documents, a parental declaration per annexure 2 and in person verification will suffice.

Form 6A – For NRI voters. The documents, if sent by post, should be self attested. The original passport is required for verification if submitted in person. NRI citizens do not receive a voter ID and must instead use their passport as their photo ID at the time of voting.

Documents needed: a recent passport-size colour photograph, relevant pages of the passport (including visa), proof of address in India.

Voter portal website for filling forms
The Voter Portal website will guide you through filling the forms. Photo: Voter Portal

Form 7 – For any objection or deletion to a name in the electoral roll (due to demise, shifting, duplicate, etc).

Form 8 – To change any detail in your voter card; spanning name, photo, age, EPIC number, address, date of birth, name of relative, type of relation and gender. You can correct a maximum of 3 aspects in one form.

Documents needed: Proof of the detail you desire to change. This is needed for change in name, address, date of birth or age.

Form 8A – For a change in residence within the same assembly constituency.

Documents needed: Photograph and proof of residence.

Form 001 – To request replacement of a voter ID, due to loss, updation or any other reason.
Those who have filled Form 7, 8, 8A will not receive a new voter ID without this form. A fee of Rs 25-30 will be levied.

Online

Filing forms on the voter helpline mobile app
You can register to vote through the Voter Helpline mobile app. Photo: Voter Helpline

You can register to vote online through the NVSP website, the Voter Portal website or the Voter Helpline android or iOS app.

  1. Register or login into your account with your mobile number. If you have a voter ID, use the number when asked for the ‘EPIC Number’.
  2. Choose and fill the form corresponding to your need, attaching documents at the places you are asked to do so.
  3. Verify the details you have filled in the Preview stage.
  4. Submit your application. You will be given a Reference ID to track the status of your application.
  5. On the acceptance of your application, you will be sent a SMS and/or email with your EPIC number. Your new voter ID will be delivered by post, typically in 30 days.
    If the status of your application stays pending for long or your voter ID doesn’t get delivered, take a screenshot and log a complaint through either the websites, app or by calling 1950. In case your application gets rejected with reason, you can apply again, correcting the error. If no reason is given, a complaint should be logged.

Read More: How Mumbai’s wards slice up the city will determine who you get to vote for


Registering to vote form online through voter portal
The interactive online forms ensure you won’t make mistake while filling them. Photo: Voter Portal

Offline:

If you’d rather skip the hassle of online registrations and technology, you can just as easily apply for a voter ID card offline.

  1. Fill out two copies of the form of your need.
    You can get the forms free of charge from any Election Registration Officer (ERO), Assistant Election Registration Officer (AERO), Booth Level Officer (BLO) or Election Registration Office (a list of which is available on the CEO Maharashtra website). Alternatively, they are available to print in English or Hindi on the ECI, Voter Portal and CEO Maharashtra website (no registration required).
  2. Attach copies of the required documents along.
  3. Submit the form and documents at any ERO. You will be given a Reference ID through which you can track the status of your application online or by calling 1950.
  4. You will receive a SMS and/or email on the acceptance of your application, and your new voter ID will reach you through post.
    In case of non-acceptance or non-delivery, reach out to 1950 and if necessary, and log a complaint.

Voting Day

Once you have registered, your name should be present in the updated electoral roll and you will be ready to vote.

There are around 8000 polling booths in the city, which the BMC plans to increase to 11,500 to maintain social distancing. The complete list is available on the CEO Maharashtra website. You can find out your polling station through the Part Number on your voter ID or by your EPIC number or name through NVSP or Voter Search.

voter helpline app
You can log complaints, find your polling booth, view information about candidates and do a lot more through the mobile app. Photo: Voter Helpline

Additional information you may need:

  • The toll free number 1800-22-1950 or 1950.
  • Website of the CEO Maharashtra
  • SVEEP – Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation website
  • Website of the Electoral Commission of India – ECI
  • PwD app on the Play Store and iOS app store– Voter identification and registration app for people with disabilities.
  • Voter Helpline app, on the Play Store and iOS app store
  • FAQ on Voter Portal
  • NVSP – National Voter’s Service Portal

This explainer is part of a series on ‘Explainers and Information Resources for Mumbaikars’ supported by a grant from the A.T.E. Chandra Foundation.

Also Read:

About Sabah Virani 14 Articles
Sabah is a Reporter at Citizen Matters, Mumbai.

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