10 years back I participated in election when I became eligible to cast my vote at 18. My first experience of any election related activity was getting myself registered in the voter list. I had to stand in a long queue. My photograph had been taken; as asked by official I submitted my age and permanent address proofs. After few days I received my Voter Id card.
Though I went to cast my vote early in the morning, I had to stand in a long queue and after 1 hour I got chance to cast my vote. I was excited about Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) as that was going to be my first encounter with EVM, I had to only press a button corresponding to the election symbol of the party I want to choose, which was very convenient and the whole process of voting looked systematic because of EVM.
In the last 10 years, I couldn’t cast my vote for 2 times because I was working in Mumbai which was far away from my hometown and my name is registered in the voter list of my hometown. Though there is a system of sending vote through post to hometown’s election booth, due to the lack of awareness and knowledge I couldn’t do it. And there are millions of people in India who are living far away from their hometowns for their career/job/earnings and in spite of the available provisions to send votes they are not casting their votes. The system is not successful because it’s a time consuming and painful process, so most of the people don’t bother only for their contribution as votes. It’s a big loss to election system and election commission which spends lots of money in organizing the elections and it’s a loss to whole nation also as those voters can surely be deciding factor for Nation’s leadership.
As a result of communication revolution, mobile phones and internet have been reached everywhere even in rural areas. The whole election system can be restructured with the use of internet and mobile phones so that elections can be accessible from anywhere anytime. A system can be implemented where all the people who are eligible for voting can register their computer IP addresses/ mobile numbers during registering process so that all those computer devices and mobile phones of that particular area can be connected through a single election server. And number of those election servers will be connected to a main server of the city/district/state. And people, who don’t have computers/internet connections/mobile phones can cast their votes from voting booths, which will also be connected to the same main server.
By doing this we would be able to reduce the long queues for registering process/casting the vote in all most populous countries as most of the people will be able to cast their vote from anywhere anytime. They will also start taking interest in the process wholeheartedly and won’t be losing enthusiasm and excitement for elections.
There are pros and cons of everything, so the whole system will also have its loop holes like illegal casting of votes and system hacking by unsocial elements. The system will need very tight cyber security. Security of the system, cyber crime and right functioning of whole network system will be main areas of concern.
I also came across to the web page of a voting technology solution provider agency. The link is given below which explains the whole idea I talked about.