Welcome to SNM IAS Academy for IAS Coaching in Chandigarh. Check out the Knowledge Center for latest Blogs, Articles and Current Affairs Tests

  • Call

  • Email



Four items on the Election Commission’s agenda, which could go a long way in increasing the voter base and facilitate higher turnout during polls, will likely come up before the government in January.

  • Linkage of the Aadhaar number with voter ID.
  • Allowing voter registration as soon as a person turns 18 years.
  • Ensuring gender-neutral voting rights to service voters.
  • Launching of the digital voter ID for new voters.

While the first three require amendments to the Representation to People’s Act, 1951, the fourth one — a digilocker-enabled version of the voter ID — is set to be launched on January 25 at a National Voter’s Day event.

All new voter cards issued from next month will be downloadable, like the e-Aadhar.

It is also expected that all or some of the required amendments to the RP Act may be brought in through the Budget session of Parliament.

A major item on the EC list is the Aadhaar-voter ID linkage which it wants to bring in to weed out duplications and misrepresentations from the electoral rolls.

Aadhaar linkage and voter authentication are also considered critical to the commission’s plans to work towards electronic/Internet-based voting and for giving ‘remote’ voting rights to domestic migrants.

The Aadhar linkage is pending an amendment to the Representation of People’s Act.

 In discussions held until December 2019, the EC had assured that privacy and data safety-related concerns would be protected.

One of these is a proposed amendment to Section 14(b) of the RP Act, which looks at registration for first time voters as they turn 18 years of age. Currently only those who turn 18 on January 1 can apply to register as a voter that year.

While the poll panel is expected to seek multiple registration dates, it is more likely that a twice-a-year format may come in to start with.

The third recommendation pertaining to voting rights involves amendments to Section 20(6) of the Act — to allow the husband of female service personnel to be registered as a service voter where she holds office.

As of now, the sub section (8) of Section 20 of the Representation of People Act only allows the wife of a male ‘service’ voter to cast her vote as a service voter. This facility is not available to the husband of a female service voter. The current rules also do not permit children of a service voter residing with him to be enrolled as service voters.

The EC has been arguing against these clauses pointing out that it amounted to denial of voting rights to many eligible voters. It has recommended to the law ministry that a more gender-neutral word, spouse, be used so that husbands residing with serving wives may also be able to vote.

Call Us