No, non-resident Indians cannot vote online during general elections in India
Multiple social media posts claim that India’s Election Commission is allowing non-resident Indians – people who hold Indian citizenship but do not live in the country – to vote online during 2019 general elections. The claim is false; India does not allow online voting for any eligible voters.
The posts, for example this one, which was published on Facebook March 19, 2019, claims that non-resident Indians can vote online in the elections, which take place in April-May. The post’s caption says:
Those who hold Indian passport, can now vote online for 2019 elections.
Please register yourself on https://eci.gov.in
There is a link Enroll as NRI voter. Please spread the word in your different groups.”
The URL is a link to the official Election Commission of India website.
Below is a screenshot of the misleading post:
But according to the Election Commission (ECI), India does not allow online voting for any eligible voters.
The commission has posted a warning on its official website here that says overseas Indian voters will have to come to their designated polling station with their passport to identify themselves. It says:
“Beware of fake news in social media informing that ‘Those who hold Indian passport, can now vote online for 2019 elections.’ There is no online voting facility for any category of voter.
“Overseas Indians may submit application for enrolment in form 6A online at nvsp.in or by using Voter helpline mobile app. To Cast the vote on the date of poll, an overseas elector may come to his designated Polling station with his Passport as document for identification.”
Below is a screenshot of the warning on the ECI site:
ECI official spokesperson Sheyphali Saran published a series of tweets here on February 21, 2019, from her verified account saying that reports of online voting for non-resident Indians were false.
There is “no online voting facility for any category of voter”, she wrote, adding that overseas voters could apply to register to vote through this online portal.
One of her tweets is embedded below:
There is no online voting facility for any category of voter. Overseas Indians may submit application for enrolment in form 6A online at https://t.co/oC8Awgh6Pa or by using Voter helpline mobile app. pic.twitter.com/kLpPifVjWA— Sheyphali Sharan (@SpokespersonECI) February 22, 2019
The ECI has also sent a written complaint to Delhi police, she said in another tweet, embedded below:
As follow up action, written to DCP New Delhi District to lodge FIR & investigate the matter of fake news, relating to voting by NRIs using ECI logo, currently in circulation on WhatsApp pic.twitter.com/2JpvRcAbzQ— Sheyphali Sharan (@SpokespersonECI) February 22, 2019