Aadhaar card to be linked with voter ID; preparations underway

NEW DELHI: The Union law ministry has given a nod to the Election Commission’s suggestion of linking Voter ID card with the Aadhar card. However, the ministry has asked the authority to keep their security measures intact to prevent theft, interception and hijacking of data.

Link Aadhaar through SMS

To link your Aadhaar number with your Voter ID, send an SMS to 166 OR 51969 in the following format:

< Voter ID Number > < Aadhaar_Number >

Link Aadhaar through phone

Linking of Aadhar with Voter ID can also be done by calling the dedicated call centres set up for this purpose or you can simply call 1950 on weekdays between 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and provide your Voter ID and Aadhaar card information for the purpose of linking.

Link through booth-level officers

Aadhar can also be linked with Voter ID by submitting an application to your respective Booth Level Officer (BLO). The information provided will be verified by the BLO and after verification, it will be reflected in the records.

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The exercise to link Aadhaar card with Voter ID card began in 2015 when HS Brahma was the chief election commissioner. It was, however, suspended after the Supreme Court banned the use of Aadhaar in Public Distribution System (PDS), LPG and kerosene distribution.

EC seeks amendments to Act

Last August, in a letter addressed to the Law Secretary, the Election Commission had proposed amendments to the Representation of the People Act, 1950, and the Aadhaar Act, 2016, for powers to collect and use ‘Aadhaar data for cleaning voters’ list as a back-end exercise’

EC gathers poll control body’s support

In support of the proposal, the poll control body argued that the delivery of voter cards with Aadhaar would help eliminate duplicate entrances and false voters and, therefore, serve the national interest.

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EC gets response from Ministry

In September, according to reports, the Ministry of Legal Affairs responded that the EC’s justification would “pass the benchmark test laid down by the Honourable Supreme Court for collecting Aadhaar details for purposes other than getting benefits of state-sponsored schemes”.

Ministry asks authorities to protect citizens’ privacy

Also, given the emphasis of the Supreme Court on the need to “protecting the privacy of individuals,” the ministry requested the EC to list the safeguards integrated into the electoral census data platform.

On December 12, the poll control agency responded to the ministry that it had already taken “multiple measures” to protect voter list data, the report suggested.

The official said it is not yet decided by the law ministry when it will present the note before the Cabinet, but indicated that it can be put before or during the budget session — which will commence on January 31 and subject to the exigencies of government business, is likely to conclude on April 3 with a 19-day recess in between.

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