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Technological Disruption in Indian Elections – Part 1

The robust electoral machinery and the processes in India have ably been aided and strengthened by technology. The use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) was a major push to use of technology in the Indian elections, entirely disrupting the way the elections were conducted. It was not just the replacement of sturdy ballot boxes and ballot papers but a paradigm shift for everyone including the political parties, candidates and the voters. Tech1-kXnD--621x414@LiveMint

The brouhaha over the EVMs from time to time fizzles out after the spirited defence of its invincibility by the Election Commission. The Supreme Court dismissed a PIL on 22nd November 2018 seeking use of ballot papers in instead of EVMs during Assembly & Lok Sabha polls stating that “Every system and machine is capable to be used & misused. Doubts will be everywhere”. To instil the confidence among the stakeholders, an additional technical device called VVPAT (Voter-verified Paper Audit Trail) machine has been introduced using which the voter can view the symbol of the candidate of his choice on the screen after casting his vote by pressing the button of the EVM.

Another technological intervention to achieve the goal of fair elections has been the use of Election Photo Identity Cards for voters at the time of voting. It’s a different thing that other proofs of identity are also allowed on the day of the poll to absolutely ensure that no one is deprived of exercising his franchise.

De-duplication software has helped clean the electoral roll across the constituencies. Earlier having the same name at multiple polling booths in the same/multiple constituency/ies resulted in the electoral malpractices. But with the use of suitable software, the elector’s image can be cropped on the electoral roll, ensuring prohibition of forged voting on the day of the poll. Furthermore, linking of electoral roll with Aadhar database would buttress the integrity of the roll and thus purity of the election process.

Keep watching this space for more.

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