Lately, the world’s largest democracy in the world, India has been sceptical about the electronic voting machines (EVMs) that are being used — and with good reason.
In 2017, an EVM hackathon was organised by the Election Commission of India (ECI), and it ended with allegations of EVM tampering by political parties. This incident has certainly planted seeds of mistrust among the people. Also, EVMs have hardware and software vulnerabilities that can be exploited to compromise the machines to carry out election malpractices.
Now, in order to overcome this challenge, technology enthusiasts across the nation are suggesting to leverage emerging technologies for EVMs. And among all the suggested technologies, blockchain seems to be most sought after and its believed that it can solve the EVM tampering debates all at once.
Why Blockchain The Most Favorable Technology For EVMs
Blockchain has all kinds of potential for improving human systems and by switching voting systems over to the blockchain, it can enhance the level of transparency during the polls. Furthermore, having attributes such as transparency, immutability and trust, blockchain can also put an end to issues like EVM manipulation/tampering in Indian elections.
India without a doubt is a talent factory when it comes to tech — the nation has some of the best tech firms and currently, it has also several blockchain firms. The infrastructure of the nation is also appropriate, which makes the implementation of the blockchain technology in EVMs most favourable.
Over the years, blockchain technology has become the backbone of a new type of internet. Simply put, it is basically an anonymous online ledger that makes use of a data structure to make the process of transaction easier and simpler. The major benefit of this technology is that it provides the user with the power to manipulate a ledger in a safe and secure way sans the help of a third party. Usually, a bank’s ledger has connections to a centralised network and in this, blockchain helps in protecting the identities of the users. This is what makes blockchain technology stand out among the other technologies — it provides a secure way to carry out transactions. With so many advantages, blockchain has the true potential to completely disrupt the financial ecosystem in the years to come.
Also, it has the potential to be a significant part of a nation’s election process. Talking about the use of blockchain in polling, every vote will be considered similar to a transaction and by using multiple blockchains along with public key encryption, this sought after technology can make the entire voting process secure and can also protect the anonymity of voters. Furthermore, in a blockchain voting process, in the digital ballot box, the votes can be randomised over three times to make sure that the identity of the voters stays anonymous.
Once the voting is done, a separate blockchain application is created for vote counting in the digital ballot box. So, when this blockchain matches the blockchain at the public bulletin board, it proves that the system has operated correctly. Blockchain solves the auditability issue by combining public key encryption with the audit trail of the transactions.
According to reports, some countries have already started implementing blockchain technology in their polling systems. Also, in 2014, Denmark’s Liberal Alliance political party used a blockchain-based voting system for its internal elections.
Technology over the years has evolved into something really great, and time and again, it has proved that it is doing wonders when it comes to making human lives easier. Now, with the rise of such a sought after tech like blockchain, it is high time that India make use of it — whether it is for election or any other vertical.
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