Poll panel to survey if overseas Indians vote, and how

New Delhi, Nov 4 (IANS) The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Friday launched an online survey of Indian citizens living overseas to assess if they vote, what is their preferred method of voting and what challenges they face in the process.

The objective is to assess the overseas voters’ level of awareness about the voting process in the country, and determine their registration and participation levels, a commission statement said.

“The survey will help in not only identifying the information gaps but also in finding the preferred methods of voting, which can subsequently be shared with the government and legislators,” the statement said.

“In our constitutional scheme of government by the people, every voice matters and every vote counts. We systematically want to address the challenges our overseas citizens might face,” said Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi in his message to overseas Indians.

“We believe that the citizens must create a dialogue of their own to foster a vibrant (Indian) democracy,” he added.

The survey has been launched in collaboration with Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) and shall run till the year-end.

Apart from the online survey, the ECI has launched an online competition to engage with the target population.

There are 11.4 million non-resident Indians across the world. Only around 16,000 of them are on the electoral rolls as Overseas Indian electors.