EC wants voter cards to have retina scans, fingerprints

  • Sanjib Baruah, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Feb 07, 2015 23:52 IST

The Election Commission of India (ECI) is quietly embarking on an ambitious project to embed biometric details like fingerprints and retina scans — as in the Aadhaar card — into the EC electoral database.

This is being done to ‘purify’ the electoral roll by weeding out multiple entries and detecting and preventing forgery of voter ID cards.

At present, only the National Voter Service Portal (NVSP) — launched on January 25 — is being used for the submission of Aadhaar number.

“Soon SMS-based feed, mobile applications-based feed and form-based feed through Electoral Registration Officers (ERO) will also be provided. EROs will feed that information into the database after due verification, if necessary,” VN Shukla, director, information technology, EC, told HT.

EC sources also told HT that the implications of the project are huge, especially while detecting and weeding out forged voter ID cards of which there are widespread allegations although no official figures were available.

A combination of Aadhaar biometric details and the electoral list will also help users identify multiplicity of their voter cards which might have been there because of their ignorance and which they may like to get it corrected.

“It is hoped that the tagging of Aadhaar data with Elector’s Photo Identity Card (EPIC) data will be possible for most voters by the end of 2015,” Shukla said.

“About 70 crore Indians have their Aadhaar number till now, of whom about 55 crore would be above 18 years of age. EC targets to link all of them with EPIC through various means and channels,” he added.

On the NVSP, more than 21,000 people have already submitted their Aadhaar numbers till Thursday.

EC’s expectation is that nearly 23 crore or 40-45% of the Indian electorate will feed their Aadhaar details into the voter card immediately.

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