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India’s Election Commission to link biometric ID with electoral rolls


India’s Election Commission said that it will now use a voter’s 12-digit biometric-based Aadhaar number while updating electoral rolls across the country in an effort to curb fraudulent voting, according to a report by the Hindustan Times.

The EC has held meetings with the Unique Identification Authority of India about using the Aadhaar database to check fraudulent voting. The process in Delhi will likely begin following the Delhi assembly elections.

Once the Aadhaar numbers are linked to electoral rolls, the EC will install biometric scanning machines at polling booths which will be connected to the Aadhaar database.

As a result, all individuals will have to enter in their biometric-based Aadhaar number for online authentication before they are allowed to vote.

The government previously announced it will enroll all eligible Indian citizens above the age of five for Aadhaar by March 2015.

This ensures that all voters will have an Aadhaar number by March 2015, which the EC will ask for when it updates the electoral rolls.

The government continues to receive complaints regarding fake and duplicate votes, said Vijay Dev, Delhi’s chief electoral officer.

“One of the best ways to ensure that a person votes only once in the country is to link electoral rolls with Aadhaar numbers,” said Dev. “It will be a very tedious and time-consuming exercise and we can start it only when elections are over. We will organize special camps for people to first enroll for Aadhaar and then for the electoral rolls, especially in areas where the enrollment for both Aadhaar and voter card is extremely low. We will tie up with the district administration for this.”

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