Representation of People Act Amendment 2021 – UPSC GS2

Key electoral reforms approved by the Cabinet:
  • Linking Aadhaar with electoral roll
    • Linking of the Aadhaar Card with the Voter ID will be allowed on a voluntary basis. This will help remove duplication and strengthen the sanctity of the electoral rolls.
  • Voting by Special Procedure Gender Neutral
    • Currently, an Army man’s wife is entitled to be enrolled as a service voter, but a woman Army officer’s husband is not allowed.
    • Section 60 of the Representation of the People Act refers to such a wife being ordinarily residing with that person for allowing enrolment as a service voter. The Act will now be amended to replace the word “wife” with “spouse”.
  • Increasing the attempts to register in the electoral rolls
    • From January 1, 2022, those voters turning 18 will have the opportunity to register at four different times of the year, each with different cut-off dates. Under the current law, they may only do this once a year.
  • Expanding Powers of EC during Elections
    • The Election Commission will have all the powers required to take over any premises for the conduct of elections. This will expand the EC’s powers beyond polling stations and the storage of ballot boxes.

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