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According to government sources, linking Aadhaar with the electoral roll will clean voters’ lists of multiple enrolment

Despite opposition to a bill linking Aadhaar to electoral rolls, government sources said on Tuesday that the move would solve the “major problem” of multiple enrolment of the same person at different locations and help “clean up” the voter list to a large extent.

Despite opposition to a bill linking Aadhaar to electoral rolls, government sources said on Tuesday that the move would solve the “major problem” of multiple enrolment of the same person at different locations and help “clean up” the voter list to a large extent.

The claim comes a day after the Lok Sabha passed the ‘Election Laws (Amendment) Bill 2021,’ which links electoral roll data with the Aadhaar ecosystem and introduces other poll reforms after a brief debate and despite the Opposition’s demand that it be referred to a standing committee.

The bill, according to government sources, incorporates a number of long-debated electoral reforms, and they shared a 2018 statement from the Election Commission following a meeting of all recognised national and regional parties on various electoral reforms.

The EC had previously stated that “political parties urged the commission to link Aadhaar numbers with electors’ details for better electoral roll management.”

The new applicant may voluntarily provide the Aadhaar number along with the application for the purpose of identity, according to government sources. Registration in the electoral roll is done based on an application by a person who is eligible to be registered as a voter, and this bill has a provision whereby the new applicant may voluntarily provide the Aadhaar number along with the application for the purpose of identity.

Aadhaar
Aadhaar

According to the sources, no application will be rejected because an Aadhaar number has not been provided.

They claim that linking Aadhaar to the electoral roll will solve “one of the major problems” in electoral database management: multiple enrolment of the same person in different places.

This could be due to electors frequently changing residences and enrolling in the new location without deleting the previous enrolment, according to the sources.

As a result, they said, electors whose names appear on more than one electoral roll, or even more than once in the same electoral roll, can be removed.

The electoral roll data system will instantly alert the existence of previous registration(s) when a person applies for new registration once Aadhaar linkage is achieved, according to the sources.

According to the sources, this will greatly assist in “cleaning” the electoral roll and facilitating voter registration in the location where they are “ordinarily resident.”

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In addition to linking the electoral roll to Aadhaar, the bill aims to make the statutes gender-neutral by replacing the term “wife” with “spouse,” allowing service voters’ husbands to vote from the same location as their wives. It also aims to provide four qualifying dates for voter registration in a year, rather than a single qualifying date, on January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1.

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