India to Start Testing Blockchain-backed Voting Technology

India, the world’s fifth-largest economy, has expressed interest in using blockchain technology to improve its democratic process and will start mock trials soon according to the country’s Chief Election Commissioner.

In a message to commemorate the 11th national voter’s day, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora announced that testing will be soon conducted for the country’s new remote voting program.

India’s move to tap blockchain technology for voting comes at a time when many people around the world are looking for more transparency in voting systems.

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The Indian Election Commission partnered with the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, one of the most prestigious educational institutions in the country, to develop a solution to allow citizens to vote from remote locations without the need of going to their designated polling station.

Mr. Arora said that “There has been a good progress in this regard and mock trials would begin soon”, which would get the country a step closer to allowing overseas Indian citizens to participate in the next elections.

While the voter turnout in the 2019 Indian elections was the highest ever with a turnout of 67%, the country’s government believes participation can be improved by facilitating the process.

The concept being worked on by the Indian government was describe by former Senior Deputy Election Commissioner Sandeep Saxena as a, “two-way electronic voting system in a controlled environment on white-listed IP devices on dedicated Internet lines enabled with biometric devices and a web camera”.

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While this new approach will still require voters to visit a designated voting venue, voters would be able to vote from different polling stations without having to worry about being in their hometown or designated station when the elections take place.

Mr. Saxena further elaborated on how the new system would…

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