Has the time come for the EVMs to pack-up?
Hyderabad, February 07, 2018……Once there was a time to cast vote by showing hand. Then, came secret balloting by way of ballot paper. This was then followed by Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs). But, now the talk is Digital Voting with the help of BlockChain Technologies informed Caterina Ferrara, Blockchain Evangelist and Founder Blockchain Ladies from Italy while addressing a 250 gathering of Blockchain Gurus, Technology Experts and Enthusiasts here in Hyderabad at HICC on Monday. She was addressing on “Improving governance through the Blockchain —Peace & Stability come from Technology”. Blockchain Ladies is an international community born to connect all women involved in the blockchain field. With each passing election, the number of questions raised on the authenticity of its results arising day by day. Not only in countries like India, but also elsewhere like Italy, African countries etc. Using BlockChain Technology Voting will bring in openness and transparency to the election process. Especially African countries need this technology more, as no election is passed without controversy, Caterina added I am from Italy. My country is going to polls this March. I will raise this issue in my country, Caterina informed. “Innovative, real open governments have to decide and say “yes” to Blockchain Voting”, Caterina told very firmly. Caterina gave lot of innovative ideas and examples used in improving governance all over the World.
It is time to block and chain the EVMs in ourcountry said another Blockchain expert at “World Blockchain Opportunities Summit 2018”.Lot of technologies changesare sweeping in all spheres of life across the world. But,technology is not yet used in electioneering, particularly in voting process.Many lethargic urban voters in our country do not go to vote, because oflethargy and long waiting in the queues. With the help oftechnology, we can find a solution.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we can votesitting at hime, using a secure online voting platforms which can providesecurity, transparency into edlections results and in the process increasesvoting percentage also. “Blockchain might change the way we vote in future”,opined, Venkatesh Kollipara, ChiefTechnology Officer of BlockC60, the company which organised “World Blockchain Opportunities Summit2018”. Given the robust Aadhar Infrastructure, huge populationowning smartphones, Blockchain Technology can be easily adopted to fight fraud,rigging, he observed.The regular allegations of EVM tampering by politicalparties has given rise to the suspicion and mistrust among the people about EVMmachines, added Narsima, another participant at the Summit.
In the recent U.S. presidentialelection also an accusative finger was raised on voter fraud and electronicvoting security.Studies allege that EVMs have hardware and softwarevulnerabilities. Political parties can go to any extent to exploit to commitelection malpractices.Because of these and many reasons, the emerging new waveof technologies, experts have been constantly striving hard to find outalternative fool-proof solutions. Blockchain Technology comes a whiff offresh air to add ammunition to opposition political parties to pressurizegovernment machineries to explore the potential of the newtechnology, Blockchain Technology is termed by many as theInnovation as big as Internet.
That is why techbuffs are exploringsolution to this problem and addressing it with the help of the BlockchainTechynology. New York University students made a presentation in a conteston the possibilities of Blockchain Technology voting and won prize also. Their proposal earned a prize money of $10,000 in the Cybersecurity Case StudyCompetition. It was sponsored by The Economist and KasperskyLab. The contest was open to collegiate students and it tasked them with usingblockchain technology and applying it to the security of digital votingsystems.
Voatz, a US based Blockchain basedvoting startup raised $ 2.2 million to test the idea. How does it work?Blockchain is a technology platform. Something similar to anothertechnology platform Java, based on which Web Programs are developed. Similarlybased on Block Chain Technology, many bye products such as Bitcoins etc aredeveloped. People shouldn’t get confused between Blockchain andBitcoins. Both are different. Blockchain is a securedtechnology7. It is a decentralized, distributed, public digitalledger that is used to record transactions across manycomputers. Same information is available to multiple users. So itensures trust, transparency. Blockchain is perceived to be for eliteonly. It is for everyone informedVenkateshKollipara.
The voter downloads and installs thevoting booth. Submits his identity for verification. Registers forthe election. Then votes. It is as simple as this. Thencomes the question, India being a country with many illiterate people, will itwork. Similar doubts are expressed when ecommerce was introduced. Itis the rural people who use ecommerce shopping portals than urban Indian to buygoods online. It is the same rural Indian, now use DigitalCurrently, electronic wallets suchs PayTM to pay money. It may bedifficult initailly, but, slowly and studily people get accustomed observed aBlockchain expert. Blockchain Technology no doubt has the potential tobring online voting a reality. But, some experts worry security concernsoutweigh its potential benefits.
It is just a matter time that willdecide the future course of voting in the world.