To overcome the geographical barrier while casting votes, the Election Commission of India is exploring the potential of using blockchain technology to cast vote remotely.

Hoever, Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra expressed concerns over transparency and voter security with blockchain’s distributed consensus mechanism. He said that various industries have tested blockchain technology but there are divergent views on scalability.

Chandra said, “How can we set up special remote polling stations when suppose a person is in a different place than their voter registration? This is a departure from a conventional polling station… Can we think of a machine which can generate a dynamic ballot paper? …We can look at the distributed consensus mechanism. How transparent is this? Is my vote a secret?”

However, Principal Scientific Adviser to the government, K VijayRaghavan is optimistic about blockchain’s potential in remote voting. According to the Indian Express, he cited research from Northeastern University in the US, saying, "I don’t see major pitfalls in using this system in major locations. I would urge that the EC could try this out as a mock exercise in some locations on a small scale and keep having stress tests to ensure it is durable."

Voting using blockchain is a not new thing in India, but will be unique when it comes to voting within world's largest democracy with 911 million eligible voters (2019 stats). Elemential Labs, which is a Matrix Partners backed startup, has built a blockchain-based e-voting solution for National Stock Exchange of India Ltd (NSE), in September 2018.

To recall, in 2017 it was speculated that Election Commission was intended to use Blockchain technology in Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) to solve tampering of both EVM's software and hardwares.

Later in August 2018, Australian Blockchain organization, MiVote, which calls itself as an international direct democracy NGO, had signed a deal with Democratic Party of India (DPI), a registered political party with Election Commission of India, and with this DPI became the first Blockchain enabled Political Party in Asia.


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