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Aadhaar-Voter List Linkage: The Election Commission has warned of “stern” disciplinary action against voter registration officers in case any information is leaked from the forms filled by voters to share their Aadhaar data. The warning comes days after the Election Commission issued rules allowing linking of Aadhaar with electoral rolls to remove double entries. The commission has also emphasized that the sharing of Aadhaar data by voters is ‘voluntary’.

Voters will be able to voluntarily give their Aadhaar number
In a letter sent on July 4 to the Chief Electoral Officers of all states and union territories, the Election Commission has said that during the revision, special camps may be organized at the cluster level on dates coinciding with the special campaign dates, where Voters can be persuaded to voluntarily give their Aadhaar number in Form-6B in hard copy.

Whose name is included in the voter list
According to a notification of the Law Ministry, through the recently introduced Form-6B, voters can share their Aadhaar number with the returning officers. The notification said that in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (5) of section 23 of the Representation of the People Act, 1950, the Central Government shall notify the 1st day of April, 2023 as the date on or before that every The person, whose name is included in the voter list, can share his/her Aadhaar number as per the above section.

Aadhar card transfer can be done voluntarily
A senior official had recently said that the word ‘could’ have been used in the notification and not ‘shall’, making the decision to share details voluntary. The letter said the sharing of Aadhaar number is ‘purely voluntary’ and the Voter Registration Officer (ERO) ‘will clarify to the voters that the purpose of asking for Aadhaar number is to authenticate their entries in the electoral rolls and provide better facilities to them in future. Have to do

The letter reiterated that the Election Laws (Amendment) Act-2021 had mentioned that the ERO would not delete any entry from the electoral roll if any existing voter expressed his inability to provide Aadhaar number. Referring to the security measures taken to collect and handle the Aadhaar number, the letter said that under no circumstances should it go on a public platform. If it is necessary to publicly display the voter’s information, then the Aadhaar data should be removed from it or it should be hidden.

rules should be strictly followed
The letter said that the provisions of a regulation of the Aadhaar (Authentication and Offline Verification) Regulations-2022 will be strictly followed for the protection of hard copy of Form-6B equipped with Aadhaar number. This regulation states that the institution receiving the Aadhaar number of the people through physical form or photocopy of the Aadhaar card shall hide the first 8 digits of the Aadhaar number before storing its physical copies.

The Election Commission has warned that the Form-6B collected from voters will be kept in double lock secure custody by the ERO after digitization along with attachments. Serious disciplinary action will be initiated against the ERO in case the physical form is leaked on the public platform.

The Commission clarified that the 12 digit Aadhaar number digitized in ERONET through various input channels will not be stored in ERONET under any circumstances. The letter said that this number should be saved in an Aadhaar vault with a license hired by the Election Commission as per the relevant rules of UIDAI.

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