Country’s First Successful Dry Run Conducted in Khammam(Telangana):
- The dry run of the country’s first mobile e-voting platform conducted by the Telangana State Election Commission (TSEC) in Khammam municipal corporation elections was a success.
- The enrolment was made through the DLT-based e-Voting application.
- While 3,830 voters registered for the mobile e-voting, 2,128 cast votes. The voting was between 7 am and 5 pm. Of the total voters, 90% gave a good rating and 80% found the app to be user-friendly.
- About 60% of voters’ photos matched in the first attempt, while the rest took two to three attempts.
- Like VVPATs in EVMs, during e-voting, a voter can see to whom they voted for 10 seconds. But they cannot take a screenshot.
- The TSEC’s digital initiative is a collaborative effort involving the Emerging Technologies Wing of the State IT Department and the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) to create an e-voting facility for certain sections of the electors including differently-abled voters to make elections more inclusive and accessible.
Will it be Implemented Across the Country?
- In a bid to cope with technological advancement, the Telangana government is implementing a first-of-its-kind e-voting or electronic voting solution in the country. This is ideally meant for anyone unable to reach the polling booth or prefers to cast his or her vote remotely.
- The Election Commission of India, too, is exploring remote voting.
- The Election Commission of India is working with IIT-Madras on using Blockchain Technology for remote voting and considerable development in that direction is expected by 2024 General Elections.
- It is not clear how verification of voter identification, maintaining a free voting environment and secrecy of ballots would be maintained.
- Former CEC N. Gopalaswami was of the view that “security issues can be overcome”, but it would be “political hurdles” that would be difficult to cross. He said the EVM itself had had a long journey. “It took 10 years for the required law to be passed,”
- In the era of remote access riding on digital interventions – from transferring funds to tele teaching and telehealth – digital interfaces in the electoral cannot stay far behind, especially in a democracy.
- It cannot be done at random and every person keen on taking part in e-voting needs to pre-register with his or her voter ID and with yet another identification, which could be an Aadhaar card. They need to have this matched with their selfie.
- If any fake ID is created then the ‘hash’ value (a unique number generated by the algorithm) will not tally with the details process already stored in the system about the individual (voter).