17+ year old youngsters can now apply in advance for having their names enrolled in Voter’s list and not necessarily have to await the pre-requisite criterion of attaining age of 18 years on 1st January of a year. ECI led by Chief Election Commissioner Shri Rajiv Kumar and Election Commissioner Shri Anup Chandra Pandey have directed the CEOs/EROs/AEROs of all States to work out tech-enabled solutions such that the youth are facilitated to file their advance applications with reference to three subsequent qualifying dates i.e. 01st April, 01st July and 01st October and not just 1stJanuary. Henceforth, the Electoral Roll will be updated every quarter and eligible youngsters can be registered in the next quarter of the year in which he/she has attained the qualifying age of 18 years. After getting registered, he/she will be issued an Electoral Photo Identity Card (EPIC). For the current round of annual revision of electoral roll, 2023, any citizen attaining the age of 18 years by April 1, July 1 and October 1 of 2023 can also submit an advance application for registration as a voter from the date of draft publication of electoral roll.
The Election Commission of India, in pursuance of the legal amendments in the Section 14(b) of the RP Act 1950 and consequent modifications in Registration of Electors Rules, 1960, has initiated the process for bringing about necessary changes for preparation/revision of electoral roll of Assembly/Parliamentary Constituency. It may be recalled that on the recommendations of ECI, the Ministry of Law & Justice recently amended the RP Act to provide for four qualifying dates i.e., 01st January, 01st April, 01st July and 01st October as eligibility for youngsters to register in electoral rolls as opposed to the earlier single qualifying date of 1st January only.
As per existing policy, revision of electoral rolls with reference to 1st January of the coming year as the qualifying date was done normally in the later part of each year in all States/UTs (normally in the last quarter of a year) so that final publication of the electoral rolls is made in the first week of January of the succeeding year. This meant that a large number of young persons who completed 18 years after 1st January had to wait for Special Summary Revision of the next year for enrolment and were not able to participate in elections held in the intervening period.
The Commission has also made the registration Forms more user friendly and simpler. The newly modified Forms will come into force on 1st August, 2022. All applications (claims and objections), in old forms, received before 1st August, 2022 will be processed and disposed of and in such cases, there is no need to file application in new forms.