As voters gear up to exercise their franchise across seven different phases in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, a message claiming that one can vote even if their name does not appear on the list voter list has been circulated on social media.
The claim is viral on Facebook, Twitter and on WhatsApp. The Quint received a WhatsApp forward claiming the same.
The message claimed that if one carries two photos, a photo ID proof and fills ‘form 7’ at the polling booth on the day of voting, they can then cast their vote.
The post, predominantly shared in Hindi, translates to “Urgent Announcement: People who don't have a voter ID card or whose names are missing from the voter list, need not panic. Carry two photos and a photo ID proof on the day of voting and fill form number 7 which will be available at the polling booth and vote. Kindly share, time is less, do as much as you can. I'll inform some people, you inform some.”
The message is false. One cannot vote if their name is not on the voter list even if they have a photo ID proof with them.
The Quint reached out to the Election Commission of India to clarify the claims.
“No one can vote if their name is not on the voter list and form 7 has nothing to do with it.”Padma Angmo, Director, ECI
She also said that ECI has been trying to respond to such claims on their Twitter handle @ecisveep.
A voter ID card is issued to every citizen after their names are included in electoral rolls of their constituency. However, having Voter ID card does not ensure one will be able to vote. It is mandatory for the person’s name to appear in the electoral roll for him or her to vote.
Same Claims in 2014 Lok Sabha Polls
The same claim went viral in previous general elections in 2014. Even BJP's official Odisha Twitter and Facebook page had shared the same message.
Many people in 2014 had shared the same message and it has resurfaced during the current Lok Sabha polls too.
Other Misleading Claims
With Lok Sabha elections underway, a lot of misleading information regarding the voting process is being shared on social media.
Another message making similar claims had gone viral: “When you reach poling booth and find that your name is not in voter list, just show your Aadhar card or voter ID and ask for " challenge vote" under section 49A and cast your vote.”
This again is false as one’s name has to be on the voter list in order for them to cast their vote.