e-Voting on smartphone: Telangana to try in Khammam district on Oct 20

The Telangana government will conduct a dry run of its e-voting app, ‘TSEC eVote’, a first of its kind in the country that enables people to vote from their smartphones from any location through internet, in Khammam district on October 20 | PTI File Photo

The Telangana government will conduct a dry run of its e-voting app, ‘TSEC eVote’ — a first of its kind in the country that enables people to vote from their smartphones from anywhere through internet — in Khammam district on October 20.

The election will be a dummy one, wherein the application is being tested for issues in its operation.

All citizens of the district are eligible for the dry run. They can register on the app, available for Android phone users, between October 8 and 18.

The app, which comes in three languages, English, Hindi and Telugu, enables citizen to register seamlessly using an uncluttered interface using their Aadhaar card and Electoral Photo Identity Card (EPIC) number.

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However, the app is security-hardened to prevent tampering, which has been alleged in the case of Electoral Voting Machines (EVM).

The ‘TSEC eVote’ app binds a mobile device, through its ID, and a phone number to a specific citizen during the registration process so that only the same device can be used by that person during voting. For instance, a person who registers through a particular phone would have to also enter their phone number in addition to their Aadhaar and EPIC nos. After their registration is approved, they cannot use another mobile phone or phone number to vote.

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The entire process will be monitored and controlled by an administrator using a web portal, which also registers the results.

But again, the generation/access of results is protected with the requirement of a physical security token based decryption. The entire data is stored in State Date Centres as an added security consideration, the statement said.

The app has been developed by the Emerging Technologies Wing of the state’s IT Department, and the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC), and will be managed by the Telangana State Election Commission (TSEC).

The technical development has also been guided by an expert committee, comprising Professor Rajat Moona, Director of IIT Bhilai and Technical advisor to Election Commission of India, and professors from IIT Bombay and IIT Delhi, a statement by the government said.

The initiative originated from the State Election Commission’s plan to enable an ‘e-voting’ facility to certain section of voters such as Persons with Disabilities (PWD), Senior Citizens, citizens employed in notified essential services, sick people, polling personnel and IT Professional, besides others.

The app leverages emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain (Distributed Ledger) technology, it added.

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