Chief Electoral Officer, J&K, Shailendra Kumar on Thursday said that as per the directions of the Election Commission of India (ECI) Photo Voter Slip shall henceforth not be accepted as a stand-alone identification document for voting. He said during Election-2019 all electors in all constituencies who have been issued Electors Photo Identity Card (EPIC) have to produce the same for their identification at the polling station before casting their votes.
However, he said, those electors who are not able to produce the EPIC shall produce one of the alternative photo identity documents including Passport, Driving License, Service Identity Cards with photograph issued to employees by Central, State Government, PSUs/Public Limited Companies, Passbooks with photograph issued by Bank/Post Office, PAN Card, Smart Card issued by RGI under NPR, MNREGA Job Card, Health Insurance Smart Card issued under the scheme of Ministry of Labour, Pension document with photograph, Official identity cards issued to MPs/MLAs/MLCs and Aadhaar Card.
Kumar said these directions have been reiterated by ECI in its order dated: 28 February 2019 regarding the conduct of General Election to the House of the People-2019 and General Elections and Bye-elections to State Legislative Assemblies.
He said as per ECI directive, minor discrepancies in the entries in EPIC should be ignored provided the identity of the elector can be established by the EPIC.
According to ECI order if an elector produces an EPIC which has been issued by the Electoral Registration Officer of another Assembly Constituency such card shall also be accepted for identification provided the name of that elector finds a place in the electoral roll pertaining to the polling station where the elector has turned up for voting. “If it is not possible to establish the identity of the elector on account of mismatch of the photograph, etc the elector shall have to produce one of the alternative photo documents,” it said adding that on earlier occasions, the Commission had allowed Photo Voter Slip as a document for identification. “However, there have been representations against its use as a stand-alone identification document on the grounds of misuse as these are printed after the finalization of the roll and distributed just close to the poll through Booth Level Officers,” the order said adding that the design of Photo Voter Slip does not incorporate any security feature. “In fact, Photo Voter Slip was started as an alternative document as the coverage of EPIC was not complete. As per available information, at present more than 99% electors possess EPIC and more than 99% of adults have been issued Aadhar Cards,” it said.
Taking all these facts in view Commission has now decided that Photo Voter Slip shall henceforth not be accepted as a Stand-alone identification document for voting. However, Photo Voter Slip will continue to be prepared and issued to electors as part of the awareness building exercise with clear instructions written on it that “This Slip will not be accepted for the purpose of identification if Polling Stations. You are requested to carry EPC or one of the 11 alternative documents specified by the ECI for voting.”
According to ECI order, overseas electors shall have to produce their original passport only for identification.