Linking Voter ID to Aadhaar

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    In News

    • Over 60% of India’s 94.5 crore voters in India have linked their Aadhaar number to their voter IDs, the Election Commission (EC) disclosed in a Right to Information.
      • Recently, the Election Laws (Amendment) Act, 2021 was passed to deduplicate electoral rolls by allowing election authorities to collect the 12-digit Aadhaar from voters.

    Key Findings:

    • Gujarat, Delhi have the lowest Aadhaar linking for voters while Tripura topped the list with over 92% of voters having linked their Aadhaar.
    • The total number of voters with Aadhaar linked is 56,90,83,090.
    • Lakshadweep and Madhya Pradesh occupy the second and third spots, with over 91% and 86% of voters respectively.
    • Gujarat has the lowest Aadhaar registration by voters, with only 31.5% of voters having linked their Aadhaar to their voter ID.
    • Less than 34% of voters in the national capital, Delhi, have linked their Aadhaar.
    • Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka both fell short of 71%, while Tamil Nadu and Kerala were at around 63% and 61% respectively.

    Need to Link Voter ID with Aadhaar

    • Inflated Voter Count: Duplicate voter entries can result in inflated voter counts, leading to inaccurate election results and defeating the very purpose of democratic elections.
    • Voter Fraud: Voting entries can be exploited by fraudsters to cast multiple votes or impersonate legitimate voters, leading to election fraud and compromising the integrity of the electoral process.
    • Resource Drain: Duplicate entries require additional resources to maintain, update, and deduplicate electoral rolls. 
    • Disenfranchisement: Duplicate entries can also result in legitimate voters being disenfranchised, as their names may be wrongly deleted or marked as duplicate entries, leading to a denial of their right to vote.
    • Lack of Trust: Duplicate voter entries can erode public trust in the electoral process and lead to doubts about the fairness and transparency of the election.
    • Legal Challenges: Inaccurate electoral rolls can also lead to legal challenges and disputes, leading to delays in the announcement of election results and uncertainty about the outcome of the election.

    Issues Related to Linking Aadhaar with Voter ID

    • Attack on Right to Privacy:  As the  Election Laws (Amendment) Act, 2021 proposed by the government chalks out exemptions for the government from the purview of the same, it is now enabled to misuse the critical information that it gets from the Aadhar – Voter ID linkage. Such a linkage will give the demographic information which has been linked to Aadhaar, being linked to the voter database to the government.
    • Aadhar not Proof of Citizenship: The right to vote is one of the “most sacred rights” and cannot be denied if a person lacks an Aadhaar card. The preference for Aadhaar for the purposes of determining voters is puzzling as Aadhaar is only proof of residence and not proof of citizenship.

    What more can be done?

    • Aadhaar Linking: Aadhaar is a unique identification number issued by the Indian government that can help eliminate duplicate entries and ensure that each voter has a unique identity.
    • Data Analytics: The use of data analytics can help election authorities identify duplicate entries by comparing voter lists with other databases such as PAN, driving license, and passport can help identify and eliminate duplicate entries more efficiently.
    • Voter Education: It can play a significant role in eliminating duplicate entries by creating awareness among voters about the importance of maintaining accurate voter lists and the consequences of having duplicate entries.
    • Regular Updation: Regular updation of voter lists is critical to ensure that the lists remain accurate and up-to-date. 
    • Technological Solutions: The use of technology such as biometric verification, facial recognition, and machine learning can help automate the process of identifying and eliminating duplicate entries, making the process more efficient and accurate.
    • Legal Action: The election authorities can take legal action against individuals found to have created or facilitated duplicate entries, which can act as a deterrent to such activities.

    Source: TH