Let us come together for the RoPA (2017) bill that allows proxy voting by overseas voters

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In the recently held assembly elections in Karnataka on May 12, only 6 NRI voters registered to vote [1]. The margin of victory was as low as 700 votes for some of the seats [2]. There are nearly 16 million NRIs who may be eligible to vote - imagine the impact they could have made on the election results if allowed to vote [3] - agreed not NRIs are from Karnataka but even if a small percentage is, it could have still made a significant difference.

It is not that Government of India (GoI) is not aware of the problem. The Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill, 2017 was introduced in Lok Sabha by the Minister of Law and Justice, Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad on December 18, 2017 [4]. The Bill seeks to amend the Representation of People Act, 1950 and the Representation of People Act, 1951 to allow for proxy voting for overseas voters. My petition simply intends to convey to GoI that it needs to show urgency to pass the bill in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha at the earliest so that ample time is provided to Election Commision to prepare for the logistics of proxy voting in time for the general elections in 2019.

It is time my friends that we - NRIs - come together to make our voice and vote count!

[1] https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/pravasi-peeve-despite-election-commission-drive-only-6-nris-registered-to-vote/articleshow/63890252.cms

[2] https://www.financialexpress.com/elections/karnataka-assembly-elections-2018/karnataka-election-results-2018-full-list-of-winners-in-2013-bjp-congress-jds/1165392/

[3] https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/cabinet-clears-proxy-voting-for-nris/articleshow/59887036.cms

[4] http://www.prsindia.org/uploads/media/Representation%20of%20the%20People%20Bill,%202017/Bill%20Summary%20-%20RoPA.pdf


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