Photo voter slips not to be valid as stand-alone identification document for voting
The Election Commission of India has directed that all electors in all constituencies who have been issued Electors Photo Identity Card have to produce the Electors Photo Identity Card for their identification at the polling station before casting their votes. Those electors who are not able to produce the EPIC shall produce one of the following alternative photo identity documents for establishing their identity.
The list of eleven documents is:
- Driving License
- Service Identity Cards with photograph issued to employees by Central/State Govt./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
- Aadhaar Card.
Overseas electors shall have to produce their original passport only for identification.
To assist the Voters, the Commission has further directed its officers that in the case of Electors Photo Identity Card, minor discrepancies in the entries therein should be ignored provided the identity of the elector can be established by the Electors Photo Identity Card. If an elector produces an Photo ID Card 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 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 photograph, etc. the elector shall have to produce one of the above mentioned alternative photo documents.
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 finalisation of the roll and distributed just close to the poll through Booth Level Officers. 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 in earlier years. Currently more than 99 per cent electors possess EPIC, and more than 99 per cent adults have been issued Aadhar Cards.
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.
All Returning Officers and all Presiding Officers are being informed of these instructions. A copy of the instructions translated in the vernacular language will be supplied to each of the Presiding Officers. The Order shall be got published in the State, Gazette, immediately and publicised through print/electronic media for information of the general public and electors immediately and at very regular intervals till the date of polling.