The government said today that it is making key amendments to reform the electoral process on the basis of the recommendations of the electoral commission. Four major reforms are being introduced to strengthen the electoral rolls, make the voting process more inclusive, empower the EC and eliminate duplication.
Just like the PAN-Aadhaar link, the seeding of the Aadhaar card with its voter card or electoral card will now be authorized. However, unlike the first, this is done on a voluntary basis, in accordance with the Supreme Court’s decision on the right to privacy and a proportionality test.
According to the EC, the pilot projects carried out by it have been very positive and successful, and this step will eliminate duplication and strengthen the electoral rolls.
Another proposal is to allow more attempts at voter registration. Starting January 1 of next year, new voters turning 18 will have the option to register four times a year with four different deadlines. They could only do it once a year until now.
The EC also decided to make the law gender neutral for duty officers, allowing the duty officer’s husband to vote as well. Under the current law, this possibility is only available to the wife of a male military voter and is not available to the husband of a military female voter.
He also gave the EC all the powers necessary to seize any premises for the conduct of the elections. There were some objections to the takeover of schools and other important institutions during the election period.
The government will introduce these key electoral reforms during this winter session of parliament.