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Vikash Sharma

The youngsters will no more have to wait for pre-requisite condition of attaining the age of 18 years on January 1 to get enrolled in the voters’ list. Teens aged 17-year-old or above can now apply in advance for having their names enrolled in voters' list, the Election Commission of India (ECI) announced on Thursday.

The ECI has directed the CEOs/EROs/AEROs of all States to work out tech-enabled solutions such that the youth are facilitated to file their advance applications with reference to three subsequent qualifying dates i.e. 1st April, 1st July and 1st October and not just 1stJanuary.

Henceforth, the Electoral Roll will be updated every quarter and eligible youngsters can be registered in the next quarter of the year in which he/she has attained the qualifying age of 18 years, a PIB release read.

After getting registered, he/she will be issued an Electoral Photo Identity Card (EPIC). For the current round of annual revision of electoral roll, 2023, any citizen attaining the age of 18 years by April 1, July 1 and October 1 of 2023 can also submit an advance application for registration as a voter from the date of draft publication of electoral roll.

The Commission has also made the registration Forms more user friendly and simpler. The newly modified Forms will come into force on 1st August, 2022. All applications (claims and objections), in old forms, received before 1st August, 2022 will be processed and disposed of and in such cases, there is no need to file application in new forms.

EPIC-AADHAR linking

For linking of AADHAR number with Electoral Roll data, provision has been made in the modified registration forms to seek Aadhaar details of electors. A new Form-6B has also been introduced for collecting Aadhaar number of existing electors. However, no application for inclusion of name in electoral roll shall be denied and no entries in electoral roll shall be deleted for inability of an individual to furnish or intimate Aadhaar Number.

It has been emphasized that while handling Aadhaar number of the applicants, the provision under Section 37 of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 must be adhered to. Under no circumstances should it go public. If the electors’ information is required to put for public display, the Aadhaar details must be removed or masked.

A Time bound drive is being started w.e.f. 01.8.22 for collection of Aadhaar number of the existing electors. Furnishing of Aadhaar number is purely voluntary. Objective of the programme is to establish the identity of electors and authentication of entries in Electoral Roll, PIB release added.

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