Government quizzes Election Commission over feasibility of enrolling voters throughout the year

Since the mid-seventies, the poll panel had been insisting that there should be multiple cut off dates for those turning 18 to get registered as voters.

Published: 11th March 2018 11:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th March 2018 11:23 AM   |  A+A-

Election Commission of India (File | PTI)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: In what may be good news for youths waiting to register themselves as voters, the Centre has asked the Election Commission whether it was feasible to allow the citizens enrol as voters throughout the year as soon as they turn 18 years of age.

As of now, an individual who has attained the age of 18 years, as on January 1 of that year, is eligible to be registered in the voters' list. People born thereafter can register as voters only the next year. In other words, a person turning 18 after January 1, 2018 cannot vote if an election takes place that year.

Since the mid-seventies, the poll panel had been insisting that there should be "multiple" cut off dates for those turning 18 to get registered as voters.

While the EC proposed January 1, April 1, July 1 and October 1 as four cut-off dates, the law ministry had in 2016 said two cut off dates of January 1 and July 1 would be fine.

A bill was also prepared to amend the electoral law.

However, the Centre has now decided to examine whether people turning 18 can be "automatically" registered as voters throughout the year, senior government and EC functionaries said.

The poll watchdog has been asked to reconfigure the software and flag the practical difficulties the move could throw up.

"EC has experts. Moreover, they register the voters. So they are the people to examine whether the proposal is feasible," a senior government functionary said.

The EC's proposal had earlier run into legal hurdles as the government was of the view that that it would need a constitutional amendment. But now, the EC and the law ministry have agreed that the Representation of the People Act would have be amended by a simple bill.

A proposal made in the early 1970s had suggested multiple cut off dates of January 1, April 1, July 1 and October 1 for those attaining the required age to register as voters. But the proposal could not take off.

Interestingly, when the EC had earlier mooted the idea, it had sent a copy of the same to the Jammu and Kashmir government. The state government had in fact implemented the idea that day. 
Therefore, the state has multiple cut-off dates for people to register as voters.

On an average, over one crore new voters in the age group of 18-19 years get registered annually in the country.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp