Indian Election Commission Allows Migrants to Cast their Votes through Blockchain-based System
The Chief Election Commissioner of India Sunil Arora announced that they will now approve the casting of votes remotely from other cities through the blockchain-based system.
Commissioner Sunil Arora revealed that in the last elections of 2019, Out of 900 million voters in India, one-third voters i.e. 300 million voters could not cast their vote because they were either not politically engaged or were not present in the towns where their names have been registered for voting.
Local media reports reveal that 450 million migrants that move out of their hometowns due to education, jobs, and marriages or for other temporary reasons have not registered their names at their new destinations.
The blockchain-based voting system in collaboration with Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Chennai
Commissioner Arora said that the new blockchain-based system will be developed in technical collaboration with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Chennai.
Arora further informed that he will ensure that the system should be functional before the end of his tenure in April 2021. He added that a proposal has been pending with the ministry of law to link voter IDs with citizen IDs i.e. Aadhar card.
The Commission believes that the blockchain system will not only allow the voters to cast their votes remotely but it will also curb casting multiple votes by a single person.
Telangana State exploring Blockchain in relevant arena
Telangana Policy report published in May last year stated that it is exploring blockchain technology in various areas including, voting, tamper-proof voting records, land registry, tax filing, vehicle registration, digital identities of refugees who don’t possess identity document proofs.
Blockchain Solution for voting is fraud Proof?
Experts, however, differ in their opinion on whether the system is hack-proof or not. Most of them believe in the ballot paper system and resist the idea of digitized voting.
Reports from the Massachusetts Institute Technology’s (MIT), which used security analysis by an app called Voatz, claimed that during the United States federal elections, the first internet voting application system was vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
The researchers claimed that the hacking is quite possible through aside channel attack and the vote can be altered, freeze, or exposed to the hacker.
Techno experts are concerned that blockchain ensures only the security of a cast ballot but it neither does authenticate the voter nor does it ensure the security of the voter's equipment used for casting vote. Several others are skeptical that the digitized voting systems cannot be audited with the same degree of confidence as that of physical voting.
Still, some technical experts are assertive that blockchains can make the casting system hack-proof.
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CBW - External Analyst