Friday, January 21, 2022

Govt Plans New Voting Reforms

 Govt Plans New Voting Reforms ahead of polls, four Attempts for Registration, Aadhar Card as ID
Govt Plans New Voting Reforms
Govt Plans New Voting Reforms

The Centre on Wednesday said that it is bringing key amendments to reform the electoral process based on the Election Commission’s recommendations, ahead of the upcoming elections in 2022, including linking of Aadhaar with voter ID . In August this year, the government had reportedly, approached the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) with a proposal to permit the EC to use Aadhaar for registration of new voters 

Just like PAN-Aadhaar linking, seeding of the Aadhaar card with one’s voter ID or electoral card will now be allowed. However, unlike the former, this is being done on a voluntary basis, a ndtv.com report said. It will also allow more attempts to register in the electoral rolls. Starting January 1 next year, first-time voters turning 18 will have the chance to register four times a year with four different cut-off dates. They could do this only once a year till now.

This comes at a time when the EC plans to start mapping the population of migrant workers across the country to prepare a roadmap for the introduction of remote voting.

EC’s proposal to link Aadhaar with electoral roll

The Election Commission had in August 2019 proposed amendments to electoral laws to allow EC officials to seek Aadhaar numbers of existing voters as well as of those seeking to enroll themselves in the voters’ list. This was around the same time the ECI was collecting Aadhaar numbers as part of its National Electoral Roll Purification and Authentication Programme (NERPAP).

It was the Supreme Court that ultimately put the brakes on the EC’s project to link UIDAI (Aadhaar) numbers with the electoral data of voters to curb the “menace of multiple enrollments of the same person at different places”. The Apex court had made it clear in 2015 that Aadhaar can only be used for identifying beneficiaries of state-sponsored welfare schemes.

In a communication sent to law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on May 17, new chief election commissioner Sushil Chandra has identified a priority list of proposals. It includes: Aadhar-voter ID card linkage; voter ID card access to a citizen as soon as he or she turns 18; gender-neutral 'service voter' rules; and declaring paid news a corrupt practice, According to media reports. 

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