Smart voter ID card will have a host of new features, barcodes and safety systems
Bengaluru: The era of black and white voter identity cards, which over the years had evolved with the democracy and became synonymous with the electoral process, has paved way for coloured and more authentic-looking Elector Photo Identity Cards, popularly known as EPIC.
The new-look EPIC will not only have the latest coloured photograph of the voter, but will also have a host of new features, which will lend a unique touch to it. It will have many safety features.
The Election Commission of India has decided to revamp the voter identity cards across the country to bring in uniformity and the exercise in Karnataka has commenced. Chief Electoral Officer for Karnataka Sanjiv Kumar said, “Citizens who have turned 18 and applied (to enrol themselves in the electoral list), will receive their cards on January 25, 2020.”
Bar codes for enhanced security
“The EPIC would be made using plastic material, and will be multi-layered. It will also have the hologram of the Election Commission embossed, and will also be having a distinct barcode for each Elector Photo Identity Card.”
The Election Commission plans to further link the bar-coded voter ID card with the list having the relevant details of the voters (ranging from their names, addresses, date of birth among others). These details of the voters could then be retrieved for future purpose using barcode readers (commonly used in shopping malls to list the price of items at the billing counter).
“The Election Commission of India has fixed the cost of this ID card at Rs. 30, but we are trying to make it as cheaper as possible,” he said and added that as soon as the Form-6, which pertains to registration of a new voter is approved, the digital signature of the electoral registration officer would soon appear on the EPIC.
He said, “Citizens who already have a black and white card and want to get a new voter ID card can expect to see the new card within a minimum of 15 days (statutory period). The time frame can also exceed that limit depending on the case.”
For example, if a citizen applies for the card through a Citizens’ Service Centre (CSC), the application will go to an Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) for processing, and once the booth-level officer completes a spot check, the application is approved. The CSC will then intimate the applicant when to collect the ID.
An Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) said, “If you want a colour photograph, you need to either upload your photo through the National Voter’s Service Portal and complete the other formalities or go to a CSC with a photograph and other documents. The representative at the CSC will scan the photograph and upload the application.”
Those who have applied through the CSC can collect their card from that centre and those who’ve applied online can collect it from the ERO’s office.
How to apply
To receive a new card, a verification and authentication process must be completed. Citizens can complete the formalities by applying through the following avenues: ‘Voter’ helpline mobile app, the National Voter’s Service Portal, by visiting the Citizens Service Centres, by visiting the voter facilitation centre at the Electoral Registration Officer’s Office or at Bapuji Seva Kendras located in Gram Panchayat Offices. To complete the formalities, documents prescribed by the Election Commission must be either uploaded online or brought to the relevant locations.