EC prepares to launch digital voter identification cards
From two QR codes for added security, to free duplicate copies, the Election Commission is preparing to launch digital voter identification cards by January 25, marked as India’s national voter day.
While digital voter identification cards will be optional, the commission has extended the provision to all voters and will also allow them to store the card in the government’s digital document safe: Digilocker.
“Delivering voter identification cards has been a cumbersome process,” said a person familiar with the matter. “Now, immediately after approval, you can download EPIC (Voter Photo Identification Card). Voter can print the card or store it at his convenience. “
The delivery of the voter identification card by normal means will also continue, added this person, asking not to be identified. Registered voters looking for a digital card will need to register with their mobile phone number or email ID in the Voter Help Line app. Once verified with a one-time password, the digital card can be downloaded. The same verification process will also apply to voters abroad.
To ensure the security of the digital voter card, there will be two QR codes. The first code will contain the individual’s photo and demographics, while the second will contain dynamic data. Before the election, the second code will be updated with information about the date and time of the poll. It will serve the purpose of the photo ballot, although the Commission will also continue to distribute the paper ballot.
“The code can be scanned and the voter will receive real-time data on the elections in progress,” said a second person familiar with the matter who also asked not to be identified.
Voter IDs will be verified by the Commission and can only be downloaded to the registered mobile phone number. No more than six digital voter identification cards can be downloaded to one phone.
The many benefits that the Commission envisions for e-EPIC include ease of transport, download, and self-printing. Furthermore, in the event that a voter emigrates, the single card will suffice. Only the address associated with the QR code will change and a fresh copy can be downloaded immediately. Currently, a 25 rupee payment is made for a duplicate card. With the advent of digital voter identification, duplicates will be provided at no cost.