Voter ID Cards may go digital by next year

The Election Commission of India (ECI) is mulling the idea to make Voter ID Cards digital, allowing voters to download their Electors Photo Identity Card (EPIC) or voter ID card. Quoting sources, the report said that digital Voter ID card is expected to become a reaity before assembly elections in five states next year (2021). The report also said that no decision has been taken by the EC yet in this regard.

The report, quoting sources further said that newly enrolled voters will get the facility automatically while existing voters will be required to complete a few formalities via the Voter Helpline app. Apart from the downloadable digital voter card, the existing EPIC facility will also be in place. The idea behind this plan is ease of delivery. The report added that new voters will get the facility after downloading the card on a registered mobile connection. On the digital format of the EPIC there will be two different QR codes –one QR code will have the voter’s name and other details, the second code will have the voter’s other specific information. Voting rights can be availed on the basis of the data stashed in the QR codes.

Once the EC plan rolls out, Service and Overseas Voters will also be able to download their EPIC. It can be on a mobile, website, through e-mail, the idea is to provide faster delivery and easy accessibility. The physical card takes time to print and time to reach the voter. In digital mode, the picture of the voter will also be clearer, making the identification easier. At present they are not provided physical voter ID cards. The facility will be also helpful for those voters who have shifted and need to enrol their names at new polling booths. Apart from this, voters who have lost their cards and applied for new ones will also be able to use this service after their applications for new cards are approved. Introduced in 1993 for the first time, the election photo identity cards are acceptable as proof of identity and address.