Election Commission Considering Compulsory Linking of Voter ID with Aadhaar
It is alleged that an Aadhaar-based software was to blame for deletion of 2.2 million voters’s names in Telangana.
The Election Commission of India (ECI) is reportedly seeking to propose amendments to the Representation of the People Act, 1951 to make linking of Voter ID cards and Aadhaar mandatory.
In its September 26 verdict, the Supreme Court had restricted linking of Aadhaar to a few services and also stipulated that such all such linking must have a legal backing. Pursuant to this, the ECI had approached Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to ascertain if Voter IDs could be linked to Aadhaar. Upon UIDAI’s advice that any such full-fledged linking needing to be backed legally, the ECI decided to propose the amendment to the Act, reported ET.
Reportedly, the ECI has deviated from its earlier stance where it had only advocated for voluntary linking. While the given reason to seek such linking is ‘ensuring credibility’ and avoiding duplication, the recent glitch in Telangana, where 2.2 million voters’ names were deleted from electoral rolls.
While the EC did not give an explanation for the deletion, data security researchers have alleged that linking of Aadhaar and Voter IDs was to blame, reported TOI.
In 2015, using an Aadhaar-based ‘error-proof’ software created by the UIDAI, the ECI had carried out the controversial National Electoral Roll Purification and Authentication Programme (NERPAP) to delete duplicate entries delete duplicate names and entries, repeated images and multiple voter ID numbers. It is alleged that genuine voters’ names were erroneously deleted during this process.