Cabinet Clears Bill On Electoral Reforms. Aadhaar-Linked Voter IDs, 1st Time Voters Can Register 4 Times

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The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a bill on electoral reforms, including seeding of Aadhaar with voter ID cards, news agency PTI reported. Additionally, another provision of the bill passed by the Cabinet will allow first-time voters to enroll as voters on four different dates every year.

As of now, those turning 18 on or before January 1 of every year are only allowed to register as voters.

The much-awaited announcement comes after the Election Commission of India (ECI) wrote to the government seeking electoral reforms in the country.

According to the bill cleared by the cabinet, the electoral law will be made gender-neutral for service voters.

EC had reportedly proposed to the government to amend provisions of the Representation of the People Act to allow the poll body to ask for Aadhaar numbers of the first-time voters and those who are already part of the electoral rolls.

The decision comes at a time when Assembly elections are due in several states next year, including Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur.

(This is a developing story. More details awaited.)

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