The 16-year-long exercise to issue photo identity cards to all voters in Tamil Nadu has been completed successfully. Though 100 per cent coverage in other districts was achieved months ago, in Chennai and Kancheepuram districts it was delayed due to some reasons and by May, complete Electors Photo Identity Cards (EPIC) coverage has been achieved.
Tamil Nadu is the ninth State where the EPIC coverage has reached 100 per cent. The other States which already have 100 per cent issuance of voter identity cards are: Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura and Puducherry.
According to the final electoral rolls released by the Election Commission (EC) after the Special Summary Revision this year, the number of voters stood at 5,04,31,322. Of this, 2,53,35,701 are men and 2,50,93,446 are women. A total of 2,175 voters fall under the ‘others’ category, which includes 21 NRIs and 612 transgenders. The EC had initiated the EPIC process in 1993 and in the State, it began in March 1996. After intensive campaigns, now the EC has achieved full coverage. The EPIC ensures that no impersonation takes place, while disallowing alternative documents to identify the voters.