Anybody can go vote in Jammu & Kashmir? Here’s what election rules say

Anybody can go vote in Jammu & Kashmir? Here’s what election rules say

Jammu and Kashmir’s Chief Electoral Officer Hirdesh Kumar’s announcement about non-locals being able to vote in the union territory has led to several assumptions. Read on to find out the facts based on poll rules.

Jammu and Kashmir’s Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Hirdesh Kumar’s announcement about non-locals, including employees, students, labourers, or anyone from outside who is living ordinarily in Jammu and Kashmir, being able to register their names in the voting list and vote in the J&K elections has created a buzz across states.

CEO Hirdesh Kumar had said any Indian citizen, including non-locals living or working in Jammu and Kashmir, can enlist their names on the voting list and cast a vote in the assembly and local body elections in the union territory.

He said even armed forces personnel posted in peace stations of J&K can get their names added to the voters’ list.

The announcement prompted reactions from regional and national parties. J&K political parties slammed the Centre and cried foul. The declaration has also led to certain assumptions among people. Let us separate fiction from facts.

Fiction: Anyone can go and vote in J&K. Some have assumed that anyone can go, vote, and return from J&K. It also sounds like one citizen can vote in multiple states, multiple times.

Fact: Any Indian citizen (who resides in the country) can vote in any state election. But this doesn’t mean that one can vote in multiple elections. Election commission officers check all documents before adding names to the voters’ list, so if a resident of Delhi moves to Chennai and wants to vote in Chennai then he or she will have to get their name removed from Delhi’s electoral roll and then get their name added to Chennai’s electoral role (provided they have correct documents).

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