IIT Madras, Election Commission of India to develop new voting technology

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New Delhi, Updated on Feb 18, 2020 14:38 IST

After a voter's individuality is confirmed by the system, a blockchain enabled personalised e-ballot paper (Smart Contract) will be created.

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras has joined hands with the Election Commission of India to work on an innovation that will allow voters to vote from distant locations without visiting the assigned polling station of their corresponding constituencies. Currently, the project is in the stage of research and development with an objective to design a prototype. The concept is said to be a two-way electronic voting system, in a controlled setting, on white-listed IP devices on dedicated internet lines, facilitated with biometric devices and a web camera.

Modus operandi of blockchain technology

However, voters will need to reach an entitled setting during a pre-decided period of time to be able to use this facility. It does not mean voting from home, this would need some more time and technological innovation. The two-way blockchain remote voting process would consist of voter identification and authorisation by the use of a multi-layered IT-supported system working on the EC's e-Governance award-winning Electoral Registration Officer Network (ERO Net) using biometrics and web cameras.

After a voter's individuality is confirmed by the system, a blockchain-enabled personalised e-ballot paper (Smart Contract) will be created. When the vote is cast (Smart Contract executed), the ballot would be safely encoded and a blockchain hashtag (#) will be created. This hashtag notification would be sent to several stakeholders, in this case--the candidates and political parties. The encoded remote votes so cast would once again be authenticated at the pre-counting stage to make sure that they have neither been decrypted, nor fiddled with or replaced.

However, IIT Madras has confirmed that it is too early to say anything about this. It would take time to provide the final prototype. 

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