Now, voter IDs will be linked with Aadhaar cards as the Union Cabinet nods to approve a bill on electoral reforms that underlines a key proposal to allow linking of Aadhaar to voter ID cards.
The bill, pushed by the Election Commission of India (ECI), will also enable those exercising their franchise for the first time to get as many as four turns to register in a year. On the contrary, currently, those turning 18 on or before January 1 are only allowed to register as voters once. Besides, the electoral reforms will also bring in changes to the electoral law making them gender-neutral for service voters.
Earlier, the Election Commission of India has reached out to the Centre for several electoral reforms including making paid news an offence and increasing the punishment for filing a false affidavit to two years of imprisonment.
However, ECI, in June 2021, had written to the law ministry urging it to urgently take up the pending electoral reforms which also included allowing first-time voters to have multiple registration attempts in a year. As per reports, as many as 40 electoral proposals are pending with the government.
The electoral reforms are passed a year ahead of assembly elections due to be held in several states including Uttar Pradesh and Punjab.
Earlier in 2019, the ECI had proposed wide-ranging electoral reforms which included remote voting for NRIs and migrant workers, and eliminating duplication of voters. However, in the initial months of 2021, the poll panel commenced a research project for enabling remote voting in consultation with IIT Madras and eminent technologists from IITs and other leading institutions.