BENGALURU: Only 54.76 per cent showed up for voting in Bengaluru, despite its civic problems, and city-based experts are asking ‘can making Aadhaar card the voter ID make voting easier, and push up voting percentage’. What if Aadhaar could help people vote at any polling station in the city — like a bank customer can transact at any branch?
For example, a registered voter from Mangaluru who is living in the Chickpet constituency in Bengaluru can vote for the Mangaluru candidates right here in a Chickpet polling booths just by entering his/her Aadhaar details into the computerised EVMs. This would require a fool-proof mechanism and a computerised network of EVM system, which would accept feeds from the Aadhaar card and display voter details.
Kathyayini Chamraj, from the Citizens Voluntary Initiative for the City (CIVIC Bangalore), said the idea sounds great and that it may work in future. She said that it could be first tried by defence personnel and NRIs, and then the option could be extended to regular citizens who live away from their registered voting areas.
“This would help migrants who find it hard to obtain an address proof. The Aadhaar link-up would make it easier. We also know that the electoral rolls are full of errors and this Aadhaar link-up would reduce duplications. But a state-wise database must be created to ease the electoral process,” she added.
V Ravichandar, civic expert in the city, said, “Aadhaar should be linked to a particular constituency for such a system to work. The primary requirement is for Aadhaar details to be linked to the electoral rolls. If Aadhaar is to be used everywhere, then elections should be the start. I also feel the need to make it an entirely Aadhaar-based system in the elections instead of a double ID system (Aadhaar and Voter ID). Again, glitches in the Aadhaar have to be brought down for this to work.”He also added that the system could be drawn on the lines of the postal ballot system.
Senior advocate Uday Holla, while sounding agreeable to the idea, warned: “A possible drawback of such a method is that people would never stay in their own constituencies, but vote from their temporary residences. This undermines the constitutional provision which calls for people voting from their constituencies so that they know the background of the candidates and issues pertaining to that area. Constitutionally, changes would have to be made but in the longer run, anything is possible.”