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Election Commission postpones e-Voter ID facility for general public until further notice

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has postponed its plan to allow citizens to download an e-Electoral Photo ID Card, or e-EPIC, starting on February 1, according to an announcement by the Chief Electoral Officer of Gujarat. It appears that the recently set-up Voter Portal of the ECI was supposed to let users download an e-EPIC, but the page now shows a message directing users to “Please download through nvsp.in”, referring to the pre-existing National Voters’ Services Portal (NSVP).

“Looking at the high demand, Commission has decided to give first priority to the newly enrolled voters and has therefore decided that e-EPIC download for voters who have been newly enrolled during SSR2021 will be continued till end of February 2021,” the Gujarat Chief Electoral Officer said on Twitter. “For other voters, wait for our announcement.” We have reached out to the Election Commission’s spokesperson for comment on the delay. Based on the CEO’s statement, it is possible that government systems may not have been prepared for the demand. The e-voter card was announced for all Indian adults registered to vote with a smartphone or computer.

As of now, only voters who were added during the year’s first Special Summary Revision (SSR) are eligible to download an e-EPIC. That doesn’t necessarily mean that people who successfully registered to vote this year are eligible; users will also have to have been included in the SSR this year, which may not be the case if their registrations were approved after that roll was prepared.

The e-KYC facility, which would have enabled Aadhaar-based authentication of electors, doesn’t appear on the Voter Portal or NVSP either. We have also asked ECI why this is the case.

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