HYDERABAD: The Telangana government is taking forward its plan to introduce blockchain into the voting process. In the days to come, it may integrate the technology to enable remote voting, especially for senior citizens.
The IT Department is contemplating making the technology available for voting, for any election, provided it gets all the necessary clearances. "We are confident of getting the required approvals, permissions and amendments at some point of time in the future," a top official of the State government said.
In December 2020, the Telangana State Election Commission, in coordination with the Information Technology Electronics and Communications (ITEC) Department, had planned to test the blockchain-enabled remote voting method in the GHMC elections.
"The elections took place in the backdrop of the pandemic. It was precarious for the elderly to go out and vote. Yet we could not use the technology because for this to happen the Municipal Act needs to be amended. We had the greenlight from the State Election Commission. The IT Department had even constituted an expert committee to formulate a plan for using the technology, but we could not do it as there was no way the Act could be amended in the given circumstances. We lost that opportunity," the official said, adding that the concept of remote voting has to be popularised.
The official clarified that Aadhaar would not be used in blockchain-enabled remote voting. "One would need to use their existing voter identification which is authorised by the election authorities. Also, this method works on an OTP-based system. One has to pre-register themselves, after which the voter needs to get a photo clicked of themselves. This photo should match with their photo identity. They will get an OTP on their phone while voting," the official added.
Municipal Act couldn't be amended
In December 2020, the State Election Commission, in coordination with the ITEC Department, had planned to test the blockchain-enabled remote voting method in the GHMC polls. “We could not use the tech as for this to happen the Municipal Act needs to be amended,” said an official