Cabinet clears bill on electoral reforms: Linking Aadhaar to voter IDs; 1st time voters can register 4 times



  • The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a bill on electoral reforms, including allowing the Election Commission (EC) to link Aadhaar to voter ID cards. Another provision of the bill will allow first-time voters to enroll as voters on four different dates every year. As per the existing guidelines, those turning 18 on or before January 1 of every year are only allowed to register as voters.
  • The law ministry had recently told a parliamentary panel that “it is proposed to amend section 14(b) of the Representation of the People Act to insert four qualifying dates (or cut-off dates) January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1 of every year.
  • The Election Commission of India recently held discussions with Legislative Department on the pending electoral reforms.
  • The EC had earlier reportedly proposed to the government to amend the provisions of the Representation of the People Act to allow the commission to seek Aadhaar numbers of the first time voters and those who are already part of the electoral rolls.
  • The Election Commission has been pushing for key electoral reforms, including linking Aadhaar numbers to the electoral roll, making paid news an electoral offence, increasing the punishment for filing a false affidavit.
  • The EC had also pressed for making electoral law gender neutral for armed forces personnel.
  • The poll panel had also requested the government to put a cap on expenditure by election candidates in legislative council polls and also make bribery during poll period a cognisable offence.


  • In March 2021, the then law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had told the Lok Sabha that the EC wants to link  the electoral roll with Aadhaar with a “view to curb the menace of multiple enrolment of the same person at different places”.
  • “Electoral roll database system does not enter into the Aadhaar ecosystem and the system is used only for the authentication purpose keeping a tight air-gap between the two systems. These measures effectively prevent theft interception and hijacking of the voter system,” Prasad had said.


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