System to enable electors to cast votes from anywhere in the works: Report

IIT-M prepared model likely to be presented before EC next month: Official
The model of an Aadhaar-linked electronic voting system that would enable electors to cast their votes from any part of the country — irrespective of where they are registered to vote — or even abroad, is being prepared for the Election Commission of India by the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M), ECI officials said.

The model is likely to be presented before the Commission next month and if approved, a prototype could be readied by the end of the year or early next year, Deputy Election Commissioner Sandeep Saxena told The Hindu. If the project is given the go-ahead by the ECI, changes to the election laws would be required for which the Law Ministry would be approached.

The system would allow, for example, a Delhi-registered elector who happens to be in Hyderabad to cast his or her vote in elections in the Capital electronically, Mr. Saxena said. To start with, the proposal would be to enable voting at designated centres in different cities, but the second phase of the project, if approved, could be used to enable overseas electors to cast their votes, he said.

“The IIT-M is developing a system for two-way remote voting in controlled environment using blockchain technology. The system can’t work in isolation. It will have to be integrated with our ERO Net so if a person votes remotely, the electoral roll will reflect that,” he said.

With the proposed linking of the Aadhaar biometrics with voter IDs at an “advanced stage”, the official said the two-way electronic voting system would be possible only when the linking is complete.

The ECI had used a one-way electronic system for service electors for the first time in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The postal ballots were transmitted electronically to the service electors, which led to an increased turnout or 60.14%