The right to vote is enshrined in our Constitution, and Universal Adult Franchise is an inalienable right for all adult citizens of India, irrespective of income, gender, social status, race and so on. There are however some conditions laid down by the state that have to be fulfilled for the same.
For one, you can only vote if your name appears in the voter list or electoral roll. Citizens must go to their allotted polling booth to cast their votes after the first polling official checks their name against the voter list and scrutinises their ID proof.
But what happens if you do not have a voter ID card? Can any other identity proof be used?
The short answer is yes. The Election Commission of India allows for several alternative identity cards to be used to enter the polling booth if your name is already on the electoral roll. Note that a photo voter slip shall not be accepted as a stand-alone identification document for voting.
The list of alternative recognised identity cards for polling are as follows:
EPIC (Voter ID card)
Service Identity Cards with photograph issued to employees by Central/State Govt./PSUs/Public Limited Companies
Passbooks with photograph issued by Bank/Post Office
Smart Card issued by RGI under NPR
MNREGA Job Card (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee)
Health Insurance Smart Card issued under the scheme of Ministry of Labour
Pension document with photograph
Official identity cards issued to MPs/MLAs/MLCs
Now, while this article focuses on possible alternatives to a voter ID card, if you're still unsure as to whether your name is listed on the electoral roll, here's how you can check. You can use one of four ways to verify this:
Logging on to electoralsearch.in
Calling the Voter Helpline 1950 (please add your STD code before dialling)
SMS <ECI> space <EPIC No> to 1950 (EPIC stands for Electors Photo Identity Card also commonly known as Voter ID card). Example - If your EPIC is 12345678 then sms ECI 12345678 to 1950
Download the Voter Helpline App