In a move that will provide digital voter cards or e-EPIC to voters, the Election Commission of India (ECI) will launch the Digital Voter Card on January 25 on the occasion of National Voters Day.
News 18 was first to report on this decision, on Decemeber 10, that voter id cards were set to go digital. Voters can avail the facility of Digital Voters Card in five upcoming state assembly elections as well.
On National Voters Day, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad will launch the e-EPIC programme and distribute e-EPICs and Elector Photo Identity Cards to five new voters. The e-EPIC, a digital version of the Elector Photo Identity Card, can be accessed through the Voter Helpline App and websites.
The e-EPIC will be a non-editable secure PDF version of the EPIC that can be downloaded on mobile phones or in a self-printable form on the computer. Voters can store the card on their mobile and upload it on DigiLocker or print it and self-laminate it. This is in addition to PCV EPIC that will be issued for fresh registration.
All new electors registered during 2021 and whose mobile numbers were provided while applying will get an SMS and can download the e-EPIC between January 25 and 31, 2021. All other general electors will be able to download their e-EPIC w.e.f February 1, 2021 if they have a unique mobile number in the E-Roll. Otherwise they have to go through a KYC process first, before downloading the e-EPIC.
The e-EPIC will have many advantages. While the delivery of election ID card has been a cumbersome process, this digital version is downloadable immediately on approval. Voters can print the card or store it digitally as per convenience. In case of migration, a single card would suffice, with only changed address in QR code, which can be downloaded afresh.
According to the plan, on the digital format of the EPIC there will be two different QR codes consisting of information about the voter. One QR code will have the voter's name and other specific details while the second code will have the voter's other information. On the basis of the data stashed in the QR codes in the downloaded version of the EPIC, voting rights can be availed.
The initiative would be launched in two phases. In the first phase from January 25 to 31, all those new voters who have applied for the voter-ID and registered their mobile numbers in Form-6 will be able to download the e-EPIC by authenticating their mobile number.
Sources said that the digital EPIC service will become available to voters across the country before assembly elections in five states.