Much before the Aadhaar card came into vogue as the all-important identity card, Indians flashed their voters ID card whenever they were asked for documentary proof of their existence, age or address. On the eve of the Republic Day, the Electronic Electoral Photo Identity Card or e-EPIC is being launched.
All voters whose names figure in the electoral rolls for the Legislative Assembly and Lok Sabha elections can download their e-EPIC from the Election Commission of India's portal (https://voterportal.eci.gov.in).
The electronic voter ID card can also be downloaded through the ECI's mobile app "voter helpline." The printout of the downloaded card can be laminated and used like the Aadhaar card, the 12-digit identification number issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India or UIDAI.
One would be able to download the card only after registering with the website or mobile app after providing your mobile number. Those who have not registered their mobile number with electoral rolls should provide KYC (Know Your Customer) details online.
You may also store your e-EPIC safe in the DigiLocker, an online service provided by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology under the Digital India initiative.
Those who included their names in electoral rolls very recently will be provided voter ID cards after 11:30am on Monday and others will receive it from February 1.
The production of e-card or e-EPIC will be sufficient for casting votes. Apart from the routine information, the downloaded card will also have QR code.
Even though the online system has now come into being, the old practice of handing over the voter I-cards manually to newly registered voters would continue.
The Aadhaar card, Permanent Account Number (PAN) card and driving licence are available in digital mode.
Introduced in 1993, the elector photo identity cards are acceptable as proof of identity and address.
The e version of the voter card is being launched to mark the anniversary of the Election Commission.
The EC came into being on January 25, 1950, a day before India became a republic.
For the past few years, January 25 is also observed as National Voters' Day.