India Election Commission working on remote voting with Aadhaar biometrics
The Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M) is building an electronic remote voting system based on Aadhaar biometrics for the Election Commission of India (ECI), officials told The Hindu.
The Commission is expected to review the model in development next month, and if it is approved a prototype could be ready by late 2020 or early 2021, according to Deputy Election Commissioner Sandeep Saxena. The ECI would approach the Law Ministry to prepare the election law changes that would be required to implement remote electronic voting in the country, if it decides to proceed.
The system would allow people to vote in their home state from elsewhere in India and around the world, after a two-phase rollout which would start with people casting votes at designated centers.
“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,” Saxena says.
The Indian government has been considering passing a new law to link Aadhaar with the country’s voter rolls, at the commission’s request, which would be necessary for any system using Aadhaar in the process. Facial recognition has also been piloted in recent local elections in Telangana state.
The ECI has previously experimented with a one-way electronic system during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections for service electors, The Hindu reports, with electronic ballot transmission leading to increased voter turnout.