India’s Electoral Commission seeks mandatory seeding of voter ID with Aadhaar number

India’s Electoral Commission has filed a request with the Supreme Court to make linking Aadhaar numbers with voter ID cards mandatory in order to prevent voter fraud, the Financial Express reports.

Efforts to link Aadhaar to the Electors Photo Identity Card (EPIC) go back as far as February 2015, according to the Express, but were halted under a subsequent chief electoral commissioner. The attempt has since resumed, and India’s new chief election commissioner said in January that the identity documents should be linked, but the previous indications were that the measure would be voluntary, the Express says.

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has insisted that essential services cannot legally be denied for a lack of Aadhaar authentication, and it recently declined to renew a contract allowing enrollment through common service centers in rural areas.

Meanwhile, the legality of the Aadhaar program and its various provisions is facing an ongoing Supreme Court challenge.

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