Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021

Union government is likely to introduce ‘The Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021’ in Lok Sabha, in order to link Aadhaar with electoral roll.

About the bill

  • Election Laws (Amendment) Bill 2021 will allow electoral registration officers to ask for Aadhaar number of people who want to register as voters, once passed. They will ask for Aadhaar number to establish the identity.
  • Bill also seeks to allow electoral registration officers to ask for Aadhaar number from persons who have already included in the electoral roll. This will be done to authenticate the entries in electoral roll as well as to identify registration of name of same person in electoral roll of more than one constituency or to identify the registration of name more than once in same constituency.
  • Bill also makes it clear that, “no application will be denied for inclusion of name in the electoral roll and no entries will be deleted for inability of individuals in the electoral roll, to intimate Aadhaar number due to such sufficient cause.
  • Such people will be allowed to furnish other alternative documents as may be prescribed.

Which acts will be amended?

  • The bill will amend several sections of Representation of the People Act, 1950 and 1951.
  • Section 23 of 1950 act will be amended for allowing linking of electoral roll data with Aadhaar ecosystem. This amendment will help in curbing the menace of multiple enrolment of same person in different places.
  • Section 14 of 1950 act will be amended to have four “qualifying” dates for eligible people for registering as voters.
  • Section 20 of 1950 act and section 60 of 1951 act will allow the elections to become gender neutral for service voters. Amendment will replace the word “wife” with the word “spouse”.
  • As per existing electoral law, wife of an Army man was entitled to be enrolled as a service voter however, but a woman Army officer’s husband was not. This provision will change as the world wife will be replaced with world Spouse.

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