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PDF version of India’s digital voter ID has low availability, lower uptake

A total of 98 million Indian voters are eligible to download the legal PDF version of their digital voter ID dubbed the electronic Electoral Photo ID Card (E-EPIC). Just 6.8 percent of this number has actually done so, however, as of 23 December, 2022.

According to The Hindu, citing a Right to Information message from the Election Commission of India (ECI), the 6.8 percent represents just around one percent of the total number of registered voters in the country.

Although launched in January 2021, the e-EPIC was not as available as expected throughout 2021 and 2022, and eligibility criteria for obtaining the ID also changed over time, according to the RTI from the ECI.

The Hindu mentions that for registered voters to be eligible to download the PDF digital voter ID, they have to add their mobile numbers to the voter rolls through the National Voters’ Service Portal and the Voter Helpline application. They can then download the ID credential once their application to do so has been approved by the ECI.

The e-EPIC is the digital version of the voter ID which contains a unique identification number and can be printed in digital format. It can be used as a proof of ID for various purposes, according to ECI officials.

Meanwhile, in an explainer by Go Digit, the e-EPIC can be used by a potential voter during elections to show proof of their address and age. The publication also explains how a registered elector can find their e-EPIC number online and how to download one’s voter ID using the EPIC number.

With the EPIC number, which is unique, and individual’s identity can be authenticated. It can be used for banking and other financial operations, the buying and registering of a new SIM card as well as the completion of other transactions that require ID verification, notes Go Digit. A total of 98 million Indian voters are eligible to download the legal PDF version of their digital voter ID dubbed the electronic Electoral Photo ID Card (E-EPIC). Just 6.8 percent of this number has actually done so, however, as of 23 December, 2022.

According to The Hindu, citing a Right to Information message from the Election Commission of India (ECI), the 6.8 percent represents just around one percent of the total number of registered voters in the country.

Although launched in January 2021, the e-EPIC was not as available as expected throughout 2021 and 2022, and eligibility criteria for obtaining the ID also changed over time, according to the RTI from the ECI.

The Hindu mentions that for registered voters to be eligible to download the PDF digital voter ID, they have to add their mobile numbers to the voter rolls through the National Voters’ Service Portal and the Voter Helpline application. They can then download the ID credential once their application to do so has been approved by the ECI.

The e-EPIC is the digital version of the voter ID which contains a unique identification number and can be printed in digital format. It can be used as a proof of ID for various purposes, according to ECI officials.

Meanwhile, in an explainer by Go Digit, the e-EPIC can be used by a potential voter during elections to show proof of their address and age. The publication also explains how a registered elector can find their e-EPIC number online and how to download one’s voter ID using the EPIC number.

With the EPIC number, which is unique, and individual’s identity can be authenticated. It can be used for banking and other financial operations, the buying and registering of a new SIM card as well as the completion of other transactions that require ID verification, notes Go Digit.  Read More   

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