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Election Commission of India looks to blockchain to tackle lost votes

Fri, 14 Feb 2020, 07:36 am UTC

The Election Commission of India (EC) is seeking to leverage blockchain technology to address the issue of lost votes, the Times of India reported.

Almost a third of the country’s total voters (900 million) could not cast their vote in 2019 elections mostly because they were not in their hometown on the voting day. India has a massive number of migrants – over 450 million – who leave their hometowns in search of jobs, to study, or because of marriage. These migrants often prefer not to go through the hassles of becoming a registered voter in their new place of residence.

Thus, a considerable number of votes is simply lost due to this reason in every election process.

Speaking at the Times New Summit on Wednesday, chief election commissioner Sunil Arora revealed that they are close to solving this issue using blockchain technology.

He said that the EC has teamed up with the Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai, to develop a blockchain solution that would enable registered voters to cast their votes even after they move to other cities.

Arora hopes the solution to be rolled out during his tenure. He went on to say that a proposal to link voter IDs with Aadhaar – a unique identity number issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India to the residents, pending with the Ministry of Law, would be on the agenda during the EC’s deliberations with the ministry on electoral reforms scheduled on February 18.

Meanwhile, the National Institute for Smart Governance (NISG) has published a draft document on the "National Strategy on Blockchain." Among other things, the draft calls upon the government and the Reserve Bank of India, the country's central bank, to come up with a central bank digital currency (CBDC) which it called Central Bank Digital INR (CBDR) or a state-backed digital Rupee.

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