The Election Commission today clarified that furnishing of Aadhaar number by electors as proof of being a voter was optional.
The EC had launched its 'National Electoral Roll and Purification and Authentication Programme' in March 2015 to link and authenticate electoral photo identity card, or EPIC, data with Aadhaar data.
It had asked electors to feed their Aadhaar and voter identity card number on a portal, or send it through a text message/email to electoral registration officers and booth level officers.ALSO READ: Aadhaar, the paradox
Today, the EC said that "to avoid confusion" among electors and the electoral machinery it has asked chief electoral officers "specifying that furnishing of Aadhaar number by electors is not mandatory and only optional." The clarification is consistent with the Supreme Court orders on the subject, an EC press statement said.ALSO READ: Govt says no proposal to make Aadhaar enrollment mandatory
The EC said no electoral service will be denied to any elector on the ground of non-furnishing of Aadhaar number. "Non furnishing of Aadhaar number will not be a ground for rejection or objection of application for new enrolment or for deletion of name of an existing elector from Electoral Roll. The CEOs have been further clarified that collection of Aadhaar number is only for the purpose of authentication of details of elector and confidentiality and security of data so collected must be ensured during the process of feeding and seeding of the same in the electoral roll database," it said.