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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Election commission lists 13 documents accepted as ID proof for voting

The ration card, once considered the most sought after document, has lost its significance at least for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. The reason: The Election Commission (EC) has refused to accept it as proof of identity or residential address.

"Apparently, the EC took the view that as there are no photographs on the ration card, it can't be accepted as a proof of identity. So, the ration card does not figure in EC's list of acceptable documents,'' a senior official told TOI on Thursday.

Ever since the EC started insisting on identity proof, besides the I-cards it provided, ration cards were also acceptable.

The Representation of People Act, 1951 empowers the EC to take all possible steps to prevent impersonation of electors. In a move to check bogus voting, the EC had taken up a massive programme to provide electoral identity card to voters. It was proposed that if a voter failed to produce the i-card issued by the EC, he should not be allowed to vote.

Subsequently, the EC found that despite all the efforts, all the voters across the country were not covered.

It was decided that besides the i-cards issued by the EC, any one proof of identity out of 13 documents would be accepted.

"The model code of conduct rules stipulate that where the electors have been provided with i-cards, they shall have to produce them at the polling station and failure or refusal to produce those cards may result in the denial of permission to vote. As we have not been able to provide the i-cards, we have no option but to permit them to produce other documents for voting,'' the official said.

* Passport
* Driving licence
* PAN card
* Service identity card
* Passbook
* Property documents
* SC/ST/OBC certificates
* Pension documents
* Freedom fighter ID card
* Arms licence
* Certificate of physical handicap
* Job card issued under NREGA
* Health insurance smart card

Source: and

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