The Election Commission of India will launch today (Monday, 25 January) the e-EPIC (Electronic Electoral Photo Identity Card) programme during the National Voters’ Day celebrations.
The e-elector photo identity card is a non-editable digital version of the elector photo identity card and it can be saved in facilities like digi locker and can be printed in the PDF format, Election Commission officials told news agency PTI.
“Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad will launch the e-EPIC programme and distribute e-EPICs and Elector Photo Identity Cards to five new voters,” PTI quoted from the commission statement.
The physical card takes time to print and reach the voter, and the idea is to provide faster delivery and easy accessibility to the document, the statement further stated.
According to a Hindustan Times report, new voters will also get hard copies of their voter ID cards.
— Election Commission of India #SVEEP (@ECISVEEP) January 24, 2021
After the launch of the programme, electors will be able to download an electronic version of the voter identity card on their mobile phones or personal computers.
Who will be able to download?
According to a News18 report, all general electors who have a valid EPIC number are eligible for e-EPIC. Between 25 and 31 January, all new electors who registered during November-December 2020 and who provided a unique mobile number while applying will be able to download the e-voter cards.
According to a LiveMint report, new voters will be able download the e-EPIC by simply authenticating their mobile number.
Other general voters will be able to download their e-voter cards from 1 February. All those who have given their mobile numbers (the ones linked) can also download their e-EPIC, the report further added.
As per the News18 report, those who don’t have their EPIC number or have lost it can obtain the same by searching their names in the electoral roll on http://voterportal.eci.gov.in/ or http://electoralsearch.in/ and then download the e-voter card.
Alternatively, electors may also use their form-6 reference number to download e-EPIC.
How to download e-voter card?
Steps to download:
Step 1: Register/Login on websites mentioned above
Step 2: Click on download E-EPIC option
Step 3: Enter the EPIC number or Form Reference Number
Step 4: Verify with OTP sent on registered mobile number and download e-EPIC
According to the Hindustan Times report, voters who do not have their phone numbers linked with the EC will have to reverify their details with the EC and get their mobile number linked to be able to download their e-EPIC.
Introduced in 1993, the elector photo identity cards are acceptable as proof of identity and address. The e version of the voter card is being launched to mark the anniversary of the Election Commission. The EC came into being on 25 January, 1950, a day before India became a republic. For the past few years, 25 January has been observed as National Voters’ Day.
The Aadhaar card, Permanent Account Number (PAN) card and driving licence are already available in digital mode.
The launch also comes ahead of the Assembly elections in five states — West Bengal, Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry — which are likely to be held in April-May.
According to the LiveMint report, President Ram Nath Kovind will virtually attend the function as the chief guest. The theme for this year’s National Voters’ Day is ‘Making Our Voters Empowered, Vigilant, Safe and Informed’.
It envisages active and participative voters during elections and focuses on the commission’s commitment towards conducting elections safely during the COVID-19 pandemic, the report further said.
With inputs from PTI