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e-EPIC to be launched on January 25

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Shillong, Jan 19: The Election Commission of India will introduce the e-Elector’s Photo Identity Card or e-EPIC on January 25.

Informing this, State’s Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Fedrick Roy Kharkongor said, “The ECI, which has been in the forefront of technological innovations, will be announcing the introduction of the e-EPIC on the National Voters’ Day.”

He said the e-EPIC is a very innovative measure whereby each and every elector can download on his/her mobile phone through the voter App, which is known as a virtual EPIC.

“So far, we have seen when it comes to the EPIC its only in the form of a hard copy card and sometimes, we tend to misplace or we tend to lose it but now the e-EPIC will be available at a click of a button from your voter App,” Kharkongor said.

“It will be safe and secure as it will be placed in a DigiLocker, which is a virtual locker so you’ll have your pincode to open the DigiLocker so that from the point of view of safety and security also, it will be safe and only you will be able to access that through a pin which was kept in the DigiLocker. There will also be a QR code which will be part of the system, to make the system more secure and also free from data breach or any kind of manipulation. This is one of the very innovative steps which the ECI is taking and it will be announced on January 25,” he added.

The introduction of the e-EPIC is also in line with this year’s theme of the National Voters’ Day which is to make voters empowered, vigilant, safe and informed.

The CEO further said that the introduction of the e-EPIC will not only offers technical solutions to lakhs and lakhs of voters but it will also be a convenient tool as part of voters’ welfare.

Kharkongor also informed that awareness will be generated in the rural areas through the common service centres (CSCs) to make the rural voters aware about this new initiative of the commission.

“Nowadays even banking also in the rural areas happen through the internet so now mobile technology, banking facility, gas, more and more of the important utilities are coming under umbrella of technology now. So I think the rural people will also not find it a problem to cope up with this, infact they will find it more convenient, they will not have to travel long distances to get their EPIC card as now it will be in the palm of their hands and at the click of a button,” he said.

Females outnumbered Male voters

The number of females’ voters in Meghalaya outnumbered their male counterparts by over 24,593 in the final electoral roll of the state published by the Election Commission on January 15.

The names of 20,16,566 voters were included, of which 10,20,579 are female voters while male enrolment is at 9,95,986, state’s chief electoral officer (CEO), Fredrick Roy Kharkongor said.

It is also for the first time that third gender figures in the state electoral roll.

“One third gender is also there among the voters (whose names were added in the new list) this time,” Kharkongor said.

The CEO further informed that net addition of the last electoral roll was less than 3 percent.

“Of course, the gross addition was 3.59 percent or something but the net means because there has been deletion due to death of some people or some people have shifted, so the net was a little less than 3 percent,” he said.

Asked, Kharkongor asserted that the question of dual voters is becoming increasingly addressed by the Election Commission because there is de-duplication software and also a common system where the names are on a common data based.

“So, the system of dual voting will be coming down drastically because of that,” he added.

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