According to the Indian Express report, the Indian Election Commission is exploring the potential of blockchain technology for remote voting amid a pandemic. Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra mentioned the issue of voter privacy and expressed his concerns over geographical issues in voting. He stressed that an alternative voting system must be “transparent, live, auditable, and develop a perception of being very clear in the voters’ minds.” He also clarified that the commission does not envision internet-based voting from home. There have been several successful startup stories India has seen over the last year or so in the blockchain sector.
“There may be pitfalls, but it’s possible to address them,”
Election Commissioner further noted that remote voting project aspires to enable voters to reside in remote locations, away from their designated polling stations, to cast a ballot in a secured fashion. A key official and an adviser to the government, Vijay Raghavan, seemed optimistic in bringing blockchain into the voting mechanism. He did not see any “major pitfalls” and urged the commission to try blockchain as a mock exercise in some locations. He said that there might be pitfalls, but it’s possible to address those pitfalls.
The southern state of India Telangana expresses interest in using blockchain for voting.
As reported earlier, Telangana might soon develop and test a blockchain-based electronic voting system to facilitate remote voting. Speaking at a webinar conducted by the Election Commission of India and Tamil Nadu E-Governance Agency, the Principal Secretary of Information Technology Jayesh Ranjan revealed that the southern state might initially experiment with blockchain e-voting on a small scale and later widen the implementation.
The members of the Election Commission of India, Ministry of Electronics and IT, India’s citizen engagement platform MyGov and blockchain industry leaders were also a part of the webinar. The adoption of blockchain tech has increased worldwide amid the ongoing pandemic.