The 71.4 crore voters in India will have to carry a photo-identity card to exercise their franchise in general elections 2009, the Election Commission (EC) said on Monday.
The photo-identity card would be the voter’s card issued by the Election Commission. But for those who do not have the Election Commis-sion’s ID card, the poll panel has laid out a list of 13 documents, like the driving licence, PAN card and passport, that can be produced at the time of casting the vote.
“No voter will be allowed to cast vote without a photo-identity card even though the electoral rolls will have their photos,” said Deputy Election Commissioner J.P. Prakash. All states except Jammu and Kashmir, Assam and Nagaland have photo electoral rolls.
“This has been done to make the right of genuine electors more effective and to ensure there is no impersonation,” an order issued under Conduct of Election Rules, said.
But only a few states, like Delhi, have close to 100 per cent coverage.
Voters with valid identity documents will not have to depend on representatives of political parties to find their electoral roll number, necessary to vote.
The EC has directed all returning officers to set up voter assistance booths in each polling station to assist voters in finding their voter number. “This is to provide additional assistance to voters especially in urban areas where there are several polling booths in the same government building,” Prakash said.