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India known for its vibrant democracy and massive population is gearing up for what promises to be a historic event– the General Elections of 2024. Scheduled to take place from 19 April to 1 June 2024, these elections will be spread across seven phases, making it the largest-ever election in the history of country, surpassing the 2019 general elections. 

The results are slated to be announced on 4 June 2024, marking the culmination of a 44-day democratic extravaganza, second only to the 1951-52 Indian General election in terms of duration.  

One of the key highlights of these elections is the staggering number of eligible voters. With approximately 970 million people out of a population of 1.44 billion deemed eligible to cast their votes, the democratic process in India is set to witness a massive turnout and active participation from citizens across the country.

Interestingly, these general elections coincide with legislative assembly elections in several states, namely Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha, and Sikkim. Simultaneously, by-elections for 35 seats spread across 16 states will also be conducted, adding further complexity and significance to this electoral process.


India’s multi-phase general elections are crucial for determining the country’s political trajectory over the next five years. This electoral process, known for its high turnout, is a logistical feat on a grand scale and is considered one of the largest peacetime exercises globally.

The country takes great pride in its long-standing democratic traditions since becoming a republic over 75 years ago, with elections considered as a free and fair process. Despite the challenges, election results are accepted by all parties, highlighting the country’s commitment to democratic values. 

India follows a parliamentary system of governance, where the party holding the majority of seats in the 543-member lower house of Parliament forms the government and appoints the prime minister from its elected candidates.

With a staggering 960 million eligible voters, of whom approximately 470 million are women, India boasts a significant electorate. Elections typically see a high turnout, such as the 2019 parliamentary elections which drew a 67 percent participation rate.

The voting process occurs electronically across over a million polling stations, necessitating around 15 million workers during the balloting period. Election officials go to great lengths to reach every voter, traversing diverse terrains from Himalayan villages to remote islands using various means like railroads, helicopters, horses, and boats.

India’s elections rank among the world’s costliest, as evidenced by the $7 billion spent by political parties during the 2019 parliamentary elections, a figure expected to double in the current cycle. 

In the first-past-the-post (FPTP) system, also known as simple majority, the candidate who receives the highest number of votes in each constituency wins the seat. Each voter casts a single vote for their preferred candidate in their constituency. The candidate with the most votes among all contestants in that constituency emerges victorious.


The right to vote is a fundamental pillar of any democratic society. It serves as the bedrock of our democracy, empowering citizens to influence governance and decision-making processes. Voting is not merely a privilege but a fundamental duty that ensures every citizen's voice is heard and their interests are represented in government.

This right to vote is not only recognized at a national level but is also enshrined as a basic human right in international documents such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966). 

Additionally, many countries safeguard this right within their own constitutions, emphasizing its critical importance in upholding democratic principles and ensuring citizen participation in shaping the course of their nation.


Article 326 of the Indian Constitution guarantees the right to vote to the people of India, emphasizing the principle of adult suffrage in elections to the House of the People and the Legislative Assemblies of states. 

This Article ensures that every citizen who is of at least 18 years old and meets the valid criteria such as not being disqualified due to non-residence, unsoundness of mind, criminal activities or corrupt practices has the right to be registered as a voter and participate in elections. 


To participate in voting, individuals must meet specific criteria: they must be Indian citizens aged 18 or older and must be "ordinarily resident" in the polling area of their desired constituency. Additionally, they need to be registered as voters and possess a valid voter ID card. On election day, voters visit a polling booth within their constituency to cast their votes using electronic voting machines.

According to the Election Commission of India (ECI), non-resident Indians (NRIs) can also participate in elections under certain conditions. NRIs are Indian citizens residing outside India who have not acquired citizenship in any other country and are eligible to be registered as voters at the address mentioned in their passport. They can register to vote by submitting the necessary documents and undergo a verification process. Once registered, NRIs can vote in person at a designated polling station in their registered constituency. Currently, there is no provision for NRIs to vote remotely.


The Indian Constitution outlines specific rules regarding the disqualification of voters from participating in the electoral process:

  1. Individuals convicted of offences under Section 171E (related to bribery) and Section 171F (related to personation or undue influence at an election) of the Indian Penal Code are disqualified from participating in elections.

  2. Those convicted of offences under Section 125 (covering various electoral offences), Section 135, and Section 136 of the Representation of People's Act also face disqualification from elections.

  3. Additionally, if an individual casts votes in more than one constituency during an election, their votes are disqualified


The Indian Constitution safeguards various rights of voters to ensure a fair and transparent electoral process:

  1. Right to Know: Under Section 19 of the Indian Constitution, voters have the right to access information about candidates contesting elections. This includes details such as candidates' election manifestos, financial assets, and criminal records.

  2. Right Not to Vote (NOTA): Voters have the right not to vote for any candidate by choosing the "None of the above" (NOTA) option. This choice is recorded in the electoral system, allowing voters to participate in the election while abstaining from selecting a specific candidate.

  3. Special Assistance for Infirm and Illiterate Voters: The Election Code provides guidelines for assisting voters with physical disabilities or literacy challenges. Electoral officers can help such voters cast their votes if they are unable to do so independently or through postal ballots.

  4. NRI and Prisoner Voting Rights: Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) gained voting rights through an amendment in 2010, allowing them to register and vote in elections irrespective of their residency status. However, prisoners are currently not permitted to vote under existing laws.

  5. Tendered Votes: In cases where a vote has already been cast in a voter's name, they can still cast their vote by providing proof of identity. The Election Commission records such votes separately on a designated ballot paper to maintain the integrity of the electoral process.


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