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( 01 Aug 2022)
ECI launches drive to collect voters' Aadhar number in AP

The Election Commission of India launched a time-bound drive on Monday for collection of Aadhar numbers of the existing electors in Andhra Pradesh.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer Mukesh Kumar Meena said the drive would end in March 2023.

"Furnishing of Aadhar number is purely voluntary. Objective of the programme is to establish the identity of electors and authentication of entries in the electoral roll," Meena clarified.

As per the amended Representation of People Act, even new voters would be required to furnish their Aadhar number.

The CEO said electoral registration forms were made simpler and user-friendly. The new modified forms came into force from Monday.

A provision has been made in the modified registration forms for linking of Aadhar number of electors. A new Form 6B has been introduced for collecting the Aadhar number of existing electors, according to the CEO.

"However, no application for inclusion of name in electoral rolls will be denied, nor will the existing entries deleted over non-furnishing of Aadhar number," he said.

The provision under Section 37 of the Aadhar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 would be adhered to while handling Aadhar number of the applicants. "Under no circumstances, it (Aadhar number) will be made public," the CEO said.

The official said polling stations having more than 1,500 electors would be rationalised as part of the annual summary revision (of electoral rolls), in accordance with the Manual on Polling Stations, 2020.

A new polling station would be created only after rationalising the sections adjacent to the polling stations to the extent possible.

"Another objective of rationalisation of polling stations is to group all the family members and neighbours in a section," Meena added.