The law ministry is finalising its note on Election Commission of India proposal to link Aadhaar with voters’ list, a move expected to weed out duplicate entries and help migrant voters exercise their franchise even when they live outside the constituency where they are registered as voters, people familiar with the development said.
The ministry communicated this to senior ECI officials during deliberations held on Tuesday with Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and election commissioners, Sushil Chandra and Ashok Lavasa.
At the meeting, the CEC Sunil Arora also stressed on the need to fast-track 40 proposals pending with the latter for electoral reforms, some date back to 2004-05.
On the proposal to link the electoral list with the 12-digit biometric number, the law secretary is said to have given a favourable opinion and assured the ECI that a cabinet note would soon be prepared to change the two laws – the Representation of People’s Act and Aadhaar law.
No time-frame was stated by the ministry officials.
“Once the legal process is over, ECI would then explore the technology to let people vote from a location, outside their registered constituency, under the guard of EC officials,” a senior EC officer, in know of the development, said.
ECI had proposed the changes in 2015 to save migrants from what amounts to disenfranchisement. At present, a migrant voter cannot vote if he or she is living outside the constituency where he or she is registered. This provision leaves out several voters who are forced to relocate to cities for work reasons.
The other electoral reforms for which the ECI has pushed include making paid news and filing of false affidavit electoral offences. ECI had also pressed to make electoral laws gender neutral.
At present, an army man’s wife can enrol as a service voter but a woman army officer’s husband cannot. A bill that proposes to replace the term wife with spouse, to make the provision gender-neutral had lapsed last year following the dissolution of the previous Lok Sabha.