The Election Commission of India has decided to give a facelift to the voter ID cards. The new version of voter ID cards will have a colored face, similar to that of PAN cards. These new electors’ photo-identity cards will be tamper-proof and have a colored photograph.
As per the proposal this will be put in effect in the capital city of Uttar Pradesh and in Ghaziabad, which adjoins the national capital region. The proposal was sent to the Election Commission by the chief electoral office of Uttar Pradesh. As per Umesh Sinha, the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of U.P., the proposed voter id cards will be made available to the people at a very nominal fee and these cards will be put in force once the electoral rolls are revised.
Sinha added that the present Indian voter ID cards are of very poor quality and have several other flaws, like absence of colored photographs, making it difficult for authorities to identify the real voter. The proposed cards will be made through PVC sheets and have a size of 8.6 cm x 5.4 cm. Moreover, these voter identification cards will have a lamination coating.
The new IDs will add to an effort of moving to standardized modern IDs and will lend a trendy makeover to the cards. During pilot phase of the idea, no chips will be embedded in the IDs. But, such advancement will be taken into consideration in the later phases of the project. The state commission is also working out ways to speed up the process of issuing cards to the citizens. The Jan Suvidha Kendras will play a vital role in issuing cards ‘then and there’ only.
Efforts are being put in to eliminate the long waiting time between the application and delivery of cards. Sinha made it clear that the project will be taken up in various phases; the initial phase will see the application at the tehsil level and then moving to the blocks. Under the project, various voter registration centers will be set up at district, block and sub-district levels. This would enable the citizens to walk into the center and can get a voter id card issued by producing a copy of passport, driving license or PAN card.
The EC is putting in efforts to map and connect all the polling booths and so far around 75,000 polling booths have been mapped using the Geo-Information Systems. This would enable the voters to locate their nearest polling booth using internet. The project will try to cover around 130,000 booths before the next Lok Sabha elections.
There are 127.3 million registered voters in Uttar Pradesh and is country’s most populated state. There are projections that by 2014, the total voter count of the state will go up to 130 million.