government has sought permission from the Unique Identification Authority of
India (UIDAI), the Aadhaar authority of the country, to permit the Election
Commission to use Aadhaar for registration of new voters.
The Law Ministry
said that Aadhaar verification could be used for faster delivery of services
such as changes in address.
further said that downloading e-EPICS (electronic Elector’s Photo Identity
Card) or voter slips could be allowed under Rule 3 of The Aadhaar
Authentication for Good Governance (Social Welfare, Innovation and Knowledge)
The rules were notified
on August 5, 2020 by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
They provided for the use of Aadhaar authentication “in the interest of good
governance, preventing leakage of public funds, promoting ease of living of
residents and enabling better access to services for them”.
If UIDAI and the
government agree, it will be possible to freely seed voter cards with Aadhaar
without amending The Representation of the People Act, 1950 and The Aadhaar Act
Commission too seeks to use Aadhaar for voter registration. The EC had said
earlier that Aadhaar seeding will allow the commission to weed out duplicate
entries and bogus voters on its voter lists.
“This step will
also pave the way for exploring use of technology for voting and verification
of voter identity in the future,” the commission had said.
The EC has
suggested an amendment to the Representation of People Act and has sought that
the electoral registration officer be empowered to ask a person to furnish
their Aadhaar number to establish their identity and their enrollment as
proposed amendment maintains that no one would be denied enrolment in voters’
list for being unable to furnish an Aadhaar card.