Keep it simple: On Aadhaar-voter ID linking

Source: The post is based on an article Keep it simple: On Aadhaar-voter ID linking published in The Hindu on 25th August 2022.

Syllabus: GS 2, Government policies for various sectors

News: Any mandatory linking of the Aadhaar to the voter ID is problematic.

The success of Indian democracy has been the regular conduct of elections and the relatively high participation of electors in the voting process compared to other countries.

How has India achieved this success?

The process of conducting elections is relatively simple with the use of the electronic voting machine.

High voter turnout has also been possible due to registration drives by the Election Commission of India (ECI).

The repeated cycles of elections have allowed for a united process, with voters allowed to register based on proof of their age and current place of residence.

There is an increase in the school-educated population and citizens living in houses whose addresses are mentioned in several identity documents. Thus, registering such citizens to vote is a relatively easy process.

What are the issues faced by the Election Commission of India (ECI)?

The ECI faces the issue of a cleaning up of electoral rolls due to an increase in migrant populations in urban areas, demographic changes due to the entry of more eligible voters, and deaths of older people.

What are the concerns with the linkage of Voter Ids with Aadhar cards?

The Aadhaar number is not proof of citizenship and is meant to be issued to residents, while only adult citizens who are residents in India are eligible to vote.

There is also evidence that Aadhaar-linkage with voter identity cards will lead to the arbitrary deletion of eligible voters on a large scale. It was seen in the Assembly elections in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh recently.

There is an absence of data protection law. It can possibly lead to misuse by agencies that can access the voter’s database, as Aadhar cards are now used at various places for different services.

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