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HomeEditorialLinking Voter ID to Aadhaar will help cut out fake votes

Linking Voter ID to Aadhaar will help cut out fake votes

The Election Commission (EC) has approached the Law Ministry, seeking legal powers to recommence linking of voter cards with the 12-digit Aadhaar number. The EC had first initiated the exercise of linking Aadhaar with the Electors Photo Identity Cards (or EPIC) in February 2015, when H S Brahma was the Chief Election Commissioner. It was suspended later that year in August, after the Supreme Court restricted the use of Aadhaar to only the Public Distribution System (PDS), LPG and kerosene distribution. The poll panel had already linked 38 crore-voter cards to Aadhaar by then. Voting is the right of the citizens. Aadhaar card is the identification issued to residents. Cell phone facility is available to almost every citizen. Bank accounts can be opened; ration card subsidy and gas cylinder subsidy are available to citizen by Aadhaar card. When everything is linked to Aadhaar why not link voter ID to Aadhaar card? There is no biometric proof in Voter ID, PAN card, Ration card, etc.

Aadhaar is the only authentic ID proof of a person, where tampering has not been successful. Therefore Aadhaar is being considered as of highest order ID. A day will come when PAN, Voter ID, Ration card, etc will be scrapped and Aadhaar will prevail. The whole idea is to remove the problem or issue of multiple entries, bogus or duplicate voting. Also it becomes easy for the government on various levels. Then there is linking of Aadhaar to bank accounts that is going on for quite sometime now. I think the whole idea is to simplify the identity of individuals and to have one common instrument as identity. Which in a way is a good idea, but I don’t know why government has not gone aggressive on establishing the link. The good thing though is that the process of linking Aadhaar to anything, is very simple and doesn’t take more than 5 minutes. For instance to link Aadhaar card to voter ID card all you need is either an internet connection or a simple SMS can do it for you.

Aadhaar and voter ID linking has already started (Aadhar Linking). Note that we have two constitutional bodies EC and Supreme Court that have protected people right even when politicians didn’t wanted. It’s not mandatory yet, but soon it should be made mandatory as Aadhaar penetration is increasing. While a lot of people are criticising the government’s move of linking Aadhaar to technically everything, I personally believe that it’s helping us in a lot of ways. I do agree that there are better ways that Aadhaar can be used without the privacy concerns, but that’s a matter for another day. Linking of Aadhaar to PAN did something amazing, it brought down a lot of tax payers. Making it mandatory to link Aadhaar to Bank accounts seeded bank accounts where PAN wasn’t added. Linking Aadhaar to mobile numbers will help easing the process of tax filing, OTP authentication (which is more or authorization, but I digress again), etc. Linking voter ID to Aadhaar will help cut out fake & illegal votes, it will help understand which demographic isn’t voting, etc.

Aadhaar has truly made a lot of things easy for the citizens. Such as, at GalaxyCard, we are now able to get an e-KYC done right from the comfort of your home for giving our users a credit card instantly, which used to take about 3 weeks earlier. By linking Aadhaar to voter ID it’s easy to keep the account of population and the number of voters in the country, there won’t be any duplication or fake voters ID’s, the reason is biometric. . Yes, someone might be able to even trace where the Aadhaar was used and by whom, but there are a thousand better ways of knowing that. According to the amendment to the Representation of the People Act proposed by EC, the Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) for the purpose of establishing identity may ask a person to furnish her Aadhaar number and even ask those already enrolled as voters to furnish the same to check for duplicate entries. However, the same amendment also states that no one will be neither denied enrolment nor deleted from the voters’ list for inability to furnish Aadhaar or for not having an Aadhaar number. The poll panel has also asked Law Ministry to amend the voter enrollment forms to introduce a column for applicants to provide their Aadhaar number. If law ministry really take the suggestion of EC seriously and brings in compulsory linkage between Aadhaar and voters card, then all cats will be out of the bag. Corrupt parties will stop getting false votes and all those manipulating votes and abusing democracy can be clutched. Since all political parties are aware of discomfort, no one is raising the issue as it’s mutually beneficial for them.

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Dr Vaidehi Taman
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond The News (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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