Britain: Voting through photo ID for the first time in general elections… How did India become an example for the world?


UK General Election 2024: For the first time, 4.7 crore voters will use photo ID for voting in the general election to be held in Britain on July 4. Let us try to know in which developed countries photo ID is used and how India has become an example for the world in this matter.

4.7 crore voters of Britain will use photo ID in the general election to be held on July 4.

The great battle for democracy continues in India. Even in Britain, which once ruled here, elections have been announced. The reputation of Indian-origin Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is at stake. For the first time, 4.7 crore voters will use photo ID for general election voting to be held in Britain on July 4. Let us try to know in which developed countries photo ID is used and how India has become an example for the world in this matter.

Photo identity card was introduced in Britain during the tenure of Prime Minister Boris Johnson. He was the Prime Minister of Britain from 2019 to 2022. During the same time, Boris Johnson introduced the Election Act 2022. It was during this Act that for the first time, a photo identity card was made mandatory for voting. Through this, in the last local body elections in Britain, voters had to carry photo ID cards to cast their votes. Now the election to be held on July 4 will be the first general election when British voters will use it.

Boris Johnson himself was barred from voting

An interesting fact is that during the voting in that local body election, Boris Johnson himself had arrived without a photo ID card to cast his vote. On this, the election staff stopped him from casting his vote. Later he went to the polling station with a photo identity card, after which he was allowed to vote and he cast his vote in South Oxfordshire.

Currently, in Britain, 22 types of photo IDs can be used to vote. Although Rishi Sunak, after becoming the Prime Minister, had started the facility of issuing Voter ID cards for all voters on the lines of India, it will not be possible to do so till the elections are held on July 4.

India is an example of the matter of identity card

As far as India is concerned, voting has not become mandatory here, but voting through EVMs and the mandatory requirement of a Voter ID card with a photo or other photo identity card is an example for the whole world. Here, it was only after the elections of 1957 that it was advocated to give photo identity cards to the voters and a pilot project for this was started in May 1960. Then a scheme to provide photo identity cards to voters in the Calcutta South West parliamentary constituency was started. However, at that time photographs of only 213600 voters could be taken. After this, voter ID cards with photographs could be issued only to 210,000 voters.

Voter ID card work done during the TN Seshan era

In the year 1993, the Voter ID card was introduced on a large scale for the first time in India. The then Chief Election Commissioner was TN Seshan. This arrangement was made to establish coordination between the voter list and the voters and to prevent fake voting. Initially, voter identity cards were made with black and white photographs. After the year 2015, the government started giving colored voter ID cards made of plastic. It is approximately the size of an ATM card. Today almost every voter in India has the opportunity to get a photo identity card made. Even if you do not have a Voter ID card, you can still vote in India through any other identity card if your name is on the voter list.

Photo identity cards is mandatory in these countries too

Apart from India and Britain, a photo ID card is required to cast a vote in many other countries. These include Australia, Japan, Italy, South Africa and Brazil. Along with this, photo ID is also used in India's neighboring countries Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka for voting in elections.

Different rules for proving identity in America

In America, every state has different rules for proving identity while voting. If a youth is going to vote for the first time and has not registered in advance or has not shown any ID card at the time of registration, then he has to show the voting card during voting. For this, photo ID is not mandatory. Electricity or any other utility bill can also be used. Even if you don't have an ID, you can still vote in America. For this, a special form is filled in many states. If there is no ID, provisional voting is done in many American states.

Voting is mandatory in Australia

Not only this, voting is mandatory in many countries of the world including Australia. In Australia, both registering for voting and voting are included in the legal duties. The government can seek answers from any voter for not voting. If a satisfactory reason is not found, a fine of 20 Australian dollars can also be imposed on the voter. The voter may also have to make rounds of the court. Not only this, common citizens in Australia also take the necessity of voting seriously. Due to this, to date, less than 90 percent of voting has never been recorded there.

There is punishment for not voting in these countries

Similarly, voting is mandatory in Belgium, Switzerland, Singapore, Argentina, Austria, Cyprus, Peru, Greece and Bolivia. In Singapore, even voting rights are taken away if one does not vote. In Brazil, a passport is confiscated if you do not vote. In Bolivia, three months' salary is withheld if one does not vote. There has been a provision of a fine for not voting in Belgium since 1893.