Hoping to put an end to the rampant practice of bogus voting, the Election Commission (EC) has rolled out a drive to link the Electronic Photo Identity Card (EPIC), better known as the voter ID card, with the Aadhaar card. However, the response to the drive, launched on April 1 in Mumbai, has been lukewarm so far.
Till Sunday morning, the island city and its suburbs saw just eight and 62 voters registering their Aadhaar numbers respectively. Across the state, 12,473 voters have registered their Aadhaar numbers. Kolhapur district leads the list with 1,850 registrations, followed by Thane district with 1,847 voters.
The EC feels the voter ID-Aadhaar link will help it make the election process fair, and free of bogus voting, because of scientific validation. “Also, if the EC decides to opt for online voting in future, validation through Aadhaar will be a major tool available to facilitate it,” said Anil Valvi, joint chief electoral officer of Maharashtra.
According to another officer, by linking Aadhaar with voter ID cards, the EC will easily be able to delete the names that comes under the ASD (absent, shifted or dead) category. The number of such voters on the electoral roll is about 31 lakh, including more than 14 lakh in Mumbai and Thane. “If the percentage of Aadhaar registration goes up in the near future, we could de-duplicate the electoral roll after verification of details,” the officer said. At present, 80% of the state’s 11.98 crore residents have Aadhaar cards, while 91.85% of the 8.35 crore voters on electoral rolls have EPIC numbers.