Telangana Election Commission to hold trial run of App-based e-voting solution in Khammam district

Published : October 08, 2021 12:56 IST

The website of the Telangana State Election Commission.

The Telangana State Election Commission (TSCE) is all set to hold the trial run of a smartphone-based e-voting solution using an Android App called TSEC e-Vote. It is partnering with the Emerging Technologies wing of the Telangana Information Technology (IT) Department and receiving technical support from the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC) for the project to be undertaken in Khammam district.

The App allows the entire election process to be monitored and controlled by an administrator using a web portal, wherein the generation/access of results is further protected with the requirement of a physical security token-based decryption.

An official statement from the State IT department said: “The solution has been developed and tested. Its dry run in the form of a dummy election will be conducted in Khammam district with the registration on the application open from October 8 to 18, and dummy voting will be held on October 20. Though the initial scope was limited to a subset of citizens, the dry run is open for all citizens of the district.”

The e-voting solution will help voters who cannot physically arrive at a polling booth, including senior citizens, persons with disabilities.

The app is equipped with a security-hardened application software which prevents tampering, besides compulsorily binding a device ID and phone number to a specific voter registration process. The vote would have to use the very same device during voting. Professors from IIT Bombay, IIT Bhilai and IIT Delhi, and an expert committee that includes Professor Rajat Moona, director IIT Bhilai, have guided the development of the App. Moona is also the technical adviser to the Election Commission.

Officials from the IT department said that the software behind the TSEC e-Vote solution leverages artificial intelligence for a three-factor authentication of valid voters. These include matching the voter’s name with the Aadhaar, undertaking a liveness detection of the individual (to keep automation or bots out), and image matching with the EPIC (electoral photo identity card) database (with up to 15 to 20-year-old records).

According to an official, blockchain (distributed ledger) technology has been used to secure the de-identified and encrypted votes so that they are maintained as immutable records. The App supports both the English and Telugu languages and has a help section with tutorial videos and a helpline number to aid voters.

Said Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary of the Industries and Commerce and Information Technology Departments of the Telangana government: “Artificial intelligence and blockchain are two of the most versatile emerging technologies that already empower many of our GovTech projects. We are glad to have supported TSEC in this initiative of building an e-voting solution for our citizens, and especially those who may face challenges with physical voting with or without COVID-19 pandemic.”

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