ECI introduces advance application for 17+ voter registration

AMARAVATI: Electoral rolls will henceforth be updated every quarter as the Election Commission of India decided to enable 17-plus years-old youngsters to apply in advance for voter registration.
Accordingly, three new qualifying dates – April 1, July 1 and October 1 – have been fixed, in addition to January 1, to facilitate advance application by youths, according to Andhra Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer Mukesh Kumar Meena.
“Henceforth, the electoral rolls will be updated every quarter and eligible youngsters can be registered in the next quarter of the year in which he or she has attained the qualifying age of 18 years. After getting registered, he or she will be issued an Electoral Photo Identity Card (EPIC),” Mukesh said in a release here on Thursday.
For the current round of annual revision of electoral roll, 2023, any citizen attaining the age of 18 years by April 1, July 1 and October 1 of 2023 could also submit an advance application for registration as a voter from the date of draft publication of electoral roll, the CEO said.
He said the Representation of People Act and the Registration of Electors Rules have been amended providing for the new qualifying dates.
Prior to the amendments, revision of electoral rolls was normally done with January 1 as the qualifying date and the final publication of rolls was done in the first week of January every year.
“This meant that a large number of young persons who completed 18 years of age after January 1 had to wait for Special Summary Revision of the next year for enrolment and, thus, were not able to participate in elections held in the intervening period. The new process will remove this anomaly,” Mukesh said.
The CEO said electoral registration forms were also made simpler and user-friendly. The new modified forms would come into force from August 1, 2022.
A provision has been made in the modified registration forms for linking of Aadhar number of electors. A new Form 6B is being introduced for collecting the Aadhar number of existing electors, according to the CEO.
“However, no application for inclusion of name in electoral rolls will be denied, nor will the existing entries deleted over non-furnishing of Aadhar number,” he said. A time-bound drive would be started from August 1 for collection of Aadhar number of the existing voters. “Furnishing of Aadhar number is purely voluntary. Objective of the programme is to establish the identity of electors and authentication of entries in the electoral roll,” Mukesh clarified.

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