EC gears up to launch digital voter ID cards
From two QR codes for additional security, to free duplicate copies, the Election Commission is gearing up to launch digital voter ID cards by January 25, marked as national voters’ day in India.
While digital voter ID cards will be optional, the commission has extended the provision to all electors and will also allow them to store the card on the government’s digital document safe — Digilocker.
“Delivery of election ID cards has been a cumbersome process,” said a person familiar with the matter. “Now, immediately on approval, EPIC (Electors Photo ID Card) will be downloadable. Elector can print the card or store it as per convenience.”
Voter ID card delivery through normal means will also continue, this person added, asking not to be named. Registered electors seeking a digital card will need to register with their mobile number or email ID on the voter helpline app. Once the verification is done with a one time password, the digital card will be downloadable. The same verification process will also apply for overseas electors.
To ensure security of the digital voter card, there will be two QR codes. The first code will contain the photo and demographic data of the individual, while the second will contain dynamic data. Ahead of the election, the second code will get updated with information regarding the date and time of the poll. It will serve the purpose of the photo voter slip, although the Commission will continue paper slip distribution as well.
“The code can be scanned and the voter will be provided real-time data about the ongoing election,” said a second person familiar with the matter who too asked not to be identified.
The digital voter IDs will be verified by the Commission and can only be downloaded on the registered mobile number. Not more than six digital voter ID cards can be downloaded on one phone.
The many benefits the Commission envisages for the e-EPIC include ease of carrying, downloading and self-print outs. Moreover, in case a voter migrates, the single card will suffice. Only the address associated with the QR code will change and a fresh copy can be immediately downloaded. At present, a payment of Rs 25 is made for a duplicate card. With the advent of the digital voter ID, duplicates will be provided free of cost.