Voter ID (India)

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The Indian voter ID card is issued by the Election Commission of India. Its main purpose is as identity proof while casting votes. It also serves as general identity proof, address proof, and age proof for casting votes as well as for other purposes such as buying a mobile phone SIM or applying for a passport. It is also known as Electoral Photo ID Card (EPIC).[1][2]

Physical appearance[edit]

This card is a black & white or color laminated plain paper. Its size is almost that of the bank card. It is not a plastic card or smart card. It contains the face photo, date of birth, and address of the card holder. It also contains the serial number, a hologram sticker and stamped signature of the issuing authority.

This card does not contain the part number and serial number of the given constituency. Although part number and serial number are most important to reach the specific booth for vote cast, yet it keeps changing every year. Now people can find online their part number and serial number as the data has been put online by the Election Commission.[3]

Obtaining voter card[edit]

The voter card is issued to all Indian citizens who have attained the age of 18 years and qualify to be a voter. One has to apply on prescribed Form-6 of Election Commission attached with proof of ID, Indian nationality, age and residence.[4][5]

Bankrupt and mentally sick people over 18 years do not qualify to vote, therefore it is not issued to them.

Applicants have to submit paper Form-6 to their municipal corporation / cantonment board of the area.

Applicants can also apply online on the website of the chief electoral officer given for that State. For example, it is http://www.ceo.kar.nic.in for Karnataka, http://www.ceo.kerala.gov.in/ for Kerala.

Fake and defunct voter cards[edit]

There are millions of fake, defunct voter cards available in India. It has very low reliability. One cannot use it for vote cast. However, it is misused for other ID purposes fraudulently such as obtaining mobile SIM. [6][7][8][9]

Problem areas[edit]

Although people continue to hold their Voter ID cards issued earlier, yet their name does not appear subsequently in the voter list. Hence the card is not valid for vote cast in such cases. Therefore, the card does not guarantee one to be a valid voter.

If a person moves his/ her residence to another assembly constituency then he does not remain a valid voter of previous constituency. The person has to register afresh as voter in the new assembly constituency. Hence the new card is issued and old card becomes invalid.

Low acceptance of voter card as ID and address proof[edit]

It has very low acceptability and reliability as ID and address proof. Therefore, it is not considered the primary proof by various agencies. Because there is no mechanism to authenticate it online instantly at the point of service unlike digital Aadhaar. And there are millions of defunct, invalid, fake ration cards. Therefore, passport office and banks consider it only as secondary proof, not the primary.

The process comparison of voter card with other IDs clearly show the reasons of high versus low acceptability.

See also[edit]

References[edit]