Legal Provision-Electoral Roll

In Electoral System and procedure it is essential to know the different meanings of the people, the citizen and the voters. All the people residing in the State can be called people. Out of these people the persons who are entitled for citizenship under related laws are the citizens of nation and out of these citizens who have right to cast their vote under the election laws are called the electors or voters.

In a democratic system the voter is of greater importance. In 1950 our country has become republican and simultaneously we have accepted in our constitution the adult franchise. In the beginning we considered the citizens of an age of 21 years and above as the adults and gave franchise to them. Thereafter in 1988 the age of voter was reduced to 18 years from 21 years by 62nd constitutional amendment. In our constitution, we have made provision for adult''s franchise. We have conducted 15 General Elections to Parliament beginning with the first election in 1952 on the basis of adult''s franchise. The citizens, whose names are registered as electors in the electoral rolls have the right to vote and those can cast their vote in elections. Thus the right to vote can be exercised by a person only if his name is registered in the electoral roll. In view of this the electoral roll is an important document for the purpose of elections. It is important that such document is prepared with utmost care so that no body is abstained from his franchise and he can exercise it for the State administration.

Constitutional Provisions Pertaining to Electoral Rolls:

  • As specified under Article 324(1) of the constitution the Election Commission of India shall superwise conduct and control the activities of preparation of electoral rolls for the elections to Parliament and State Assemblies.
  • Under Article 325 of the constitution a provision is made to retain common electoral rolls for Parliamentary as well as State Assembly Constituencies. It is also provided in the said article that no body will be abstained from his right of voting on the ground of religion caste race, sex etc.
  • Under article 326 provision is made for adult franchise for the purpose of Parliamentary as well as Assembly elections. Accordingly all the people who are citizens of India, have attained the age of 18 years on the qualified date, and have not been disqualified under any constitutional provisions can cast their vote in the Parliamentary / Assembly elections.
  • Under Article 327 of the constitution the Parliament is empowered to make rule provisions under law in connection with the preparation of electoral rolls for Parliamentary as well as Assembly constituencies. By exercising the powers given under Article 327 the Parliament has passed the R.P. Act, 1950 and thereby detailed provisions are made relating to preparation of electoral rolls as well as to make amendments from time to time. The Government of India has framed the Electors Registration Rules, 1960 to work out procedure for preparation of electoral rolls. Thus the electoral rolls are prepared according to the constitutional provisions and rules framed under law relating to franchise.