During the programme, Electors Photo Identity Card (EPIC) data of electors will be linked with the Aadhaar data, for the purpose of authentication … As per ECI claims, the program is effective from 03 March 2015.
Claim: Electors have been provided with the facility to feed their respective Aadhaar number using web services through the Election Commission website (www.eci.gov.in).
Reality: ECI website does not have such a link from its home page. After about 6 hours’ effort, I could get in touch with Dy. CEO, Karnataka at 4:00 p.m. today. He told that the facility does not work and CEO-KA has reported this matter to ECI.
Claim: Electors can also feed Aadhaar number by making a call at 1950 to the State call centres…
Reality: This number does not work. I tried a dozen times today. Dy CEO, Karnataka told me that it was not working a few days ago, but would check if it is still not working.
Claim: Booth Level Officers (BLOs) will also collect the details of electors during the door-to-door surveys.
Reality: CEO-KA site has fake information about BLOs. See my post of March 11, 2014. Non-existent BLOs cannot visit homes of voters.
Claim: facility has also been provided for voluntarily disclosure of multiple entries by voters. Electors with multiple registrations in electoral roll(s) can fill Form-7 for deletion of their names from the places except where they ordinarily reside.
Reality: As an example, Pradeep has been trying for the past one year to get his duplicate entries deleted under the current provisions. He has also filed an RTI, which is being pushed around without action.
Reality: Even to find your voter record – try your luck at the ECI page. After several attempts, I could not find my record. Dy. CEO, Karnataka agreed that it won’t work for Karnataka voters because of some mismatch in data formats.
ECI’s announced intensions do not match with actions.
- Employees of ECI and various CEOs are also voters. Before announcing a feature or service to other citizens, it would be good for them all to use it so that the feature is tested.
- When a newspaper reports a story using precious 5 column centimeters on page 4, it would be more responsible of them to test it. Their employees also are voters.
- When the ECI and CEOs know an announced feature is not functional (as accepted by Dy. CEO, Karnataka), it is their responsibility to state so at their website so that people do not waste their time trying to use a facility that does not exist. Also, when their press statements are published, if the facts differ, they should give a statement of facts.
Because the feature does not work, and if ECI and various CEOs did not get complaints from the citizens, we know how seriously the citizens take the words of these authorities. We can’t blame the citizens, because very often the stated intentions were not matched with actions by these authorities.