Submissions

Examine the role of technology in elections

Call for evidence about risks and benefits of introducing blockchain in India's electoral systems

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This is an open call for evidence to receive a wide range of inputs and perspectives on the issue of implementing blockchain-based solutions for elections in India. The inputs will form the basis for public deliberations. A report will be produced - collated from the evidence - to provide guidance on the pros and cons resulting from the use of technology in elections and associated issues of enrollment, identification and citizens’ participation in national, state and local elections.

The following activities will take place under this project:

  1. Weekly master classes, conducted by academicians and practitioners to develop awareness about about the historicity of election systems, and why the current systems work the way they do from the point of view of access, equity and accountability.
  2. Public deliberations around the Call for Evidence - where submissions are grouped together to review the risks and benefits of implementing blockchain (or distributed ledger) based technologies in the electoral voting systems - from sociological, technical, legal and rights’ based perspectives.
  3. Creation of a collaborative report which lays out the pros and cons of implementing blockchain-based technologies in the electoral system.

Participation

You can participate in this project by:

  1. Attending the weekly master classes. RSVP to join.
  2. Suggest/connect with speakers who can teach master classes.
  3. Spread a good word about the Call for Evidence.
  4. Volunteer by contributing with skills - copy-editing, translations, organizing sessions.

Learn More

The One Vote Project has produced content around the topic of introduction of technology in elections. The list below provides links to our work.

  1. Introduction to the project
  2. Master class and webinar videos available here
  3. Playlist of webinars
  4. Technology, Trust and Elections - An Interim Report from the One Vote Project

About One Vote

One Vote is an initiative to examine a diverse set of inputs and perspectives regarding the introduction and evolution of technology as part of the elections. We use public discourse, deliberations and reports to raise awareness about this topic for a lay audience. One Vote is designed to enable creating a framework - a mental model by which aspects of responsible technology can be reviewed in terms of fairness, transparency, equity, inclusion and privacy among other rights.

This project started as part of Kaarana and is now a collective in its own right.

Find more about Kaarana at medium.com/karana and Twitter https://twitter.com/kaarana_

Contact details: If you have a question, post a comment. You can also post questions and join conversations in Kaarana’s Telegram group https://t.me/kaarana

Hosted by

One Vote is an initiative to examine a diverse set of inputs and perspectives regarding the introduction and evolution of technology as part of the elections. We use public discourse, deliberations and reports to raise awareness about this topic for a lay audience. One Vote is designed to enable cr… more

Supported by

Deep dives into privacy and security, and understanding needs of the Indian tech ecosystem through guides, research, collaboration, events and conferences. Sponsors: Privacy Mode’s programmes are sponsored by: more

Accepting submissions

Not accepting submissions

Call for evidence The call for evidence is open to civil society organizations, legal experts, political scientists, ethicists, interested citizens and public interest technologists on the following: History - what is the context of the electoral systems and the history of technology interventions … expand

Call for evidence

The call for evidence is open to civil society organizations, legal experts, political scientists, ethicists, interested citizens and public interest technologists on the following:

  • History - what is the context of the electoral systems and the history of technology interventions leading up to blockchain?

  • Design - what are the technical design decisions which SHOULD and MUST be made for security, authentication, identity binding, data processing and publication, redress and accessibility?

  • Law/regulations - what are the existing laws/regulations which apply to the implementation of a blockchain-based system for elections?

  • Ethics - what are the ethical trade-offs involved in adopting such an IT architecture?

  • Social impact - what are the potential societal impacts of implementing technical solutions with respect to discrimination, inequity and fairness?

  • State of the art - what are the existing approaches which are in the same field or similar domain?

  • Governance and democracy - will the concepts of governance and democracy change when such a system is adopted?

How to submit evidence

We ask all contributors to share a ‘view only’ link (URL) to the content. The content at this link is expected to be available for retrieval at least until the milestone of this project is achieved i.e., creation of a report based on the evidence.

What will we do with this evidence?

The public deliberations will be accompanied by a short report which summarizes the key points raised during the discussions. The evidence submitted will be used to inform the summaries. A report will be produced at the end of the project.

By participating in this Call for Evidence and submitting, unless otherwise stated, you are permitting us to publish the full text of your evidence alongside the reports with correct accreditation. Thus,

  • what you submit as evidence will be searchable and read by the audience/readership
  • your name and your organization’s name, will be published with your evidence, whereever referenced in the report

We do not commit to publishing everything that is submitted in response to this call for evidence. Any submissions which contain defamatory statements will not be published. If there are specific parts of the submission which should not be published, such parts should be specifically marked.

Srikanth Lakshmanan

Aadhaar biometric based ID verification - planned and unplanned outcomes

The 2021 Panchayat Elections in Bihar saw a rather unprecedented workflow - using Aadhaar based biometrics to identify and verify voters as a mandatory element. The slow crawl of technology in elections is now ubiquitous with each state election commission being generally enthusiastic about adopting FRT, biometrics etc. But sometimes such plans can have unintended consequences. What actually happ… more
  • 0 comments
  • Submitted
  • 05 Apr 2022
Commentary on elections - post-master class

Sankarshan Mukhopadhyay

Srikanth Lakshmanan

Srinivas Kodali

What really happened? Discussing the mock election conducted by TSEC

Following up on our first remarks on the e-voting announcement from the Telangana State Election Commission we present a discussion around the mock election which was recently conducted. more
  • 0 comments
  • Confirmed & scheduled
  • 21 Oct 2021
Master class

Subhashis Banerjee

On nuances of electronic voting

We will discuss various considerations for electronic voting and digital electoral rolls and their compliance with democracy principles. We will broadly cover some aspects of the recent reports of the Ctizens’ Commission on Elections (https://www.reclaimtherepublic.co/report) - mainly Volume I, but also some aspects from Volume II related to electoral rolls - and the references therein. In partic… more
  • 1 comments
  • Confirmed & scheduled
  • 09 May 2021
Master class

Tarangini Sriraman

Prints in the Sand of Time: The Construction of Uniqueness before Biometric Authentication

What is the story of constructing uniqueness in India prior to the arrival of biometric authentication, with all its hybrid predicates such as digital fingerprinting, iris, voice and facial recognition? Can this history be narrated merely by tracing sporadic moments spurred by new research and administrative interest in fingerprinting and anthropometry? Alongside these advances, it is critical th… more
  • 0 comments
  • Confirmed & scheduled
  • 17 May 2021
Master class

Kannan Gopinathan

Field Notes from Elections

What are the roles and processes in an Election? How is security maintained? What are the current set of issues which need to be considered to maintain the integrity of the electoral democracy? In the session we’ll discuss about these and other topics which have been the strength of the electoral process and how to examine any change in context of the citizen’s view of the elections. more
  • 1 comments
  • Confirmed & scheduled
  • 13 May 2021
Master class

Subhashis Banerjee

Publicly verifiable voting: a design sketch illustration

We will study the design sketch of a publicly verifiable and strongly software independent voting system as an illustrative example to better understand the issues involved in deploying such systems in large public elections (beyond academic computer science). We will discuss the pros and cons. more
  • 1 comments
  • Confirmed & scheduled
  • 13 May 2021
Master class

Ornit Shani

Voters Before Citizens: The Origins of India’s Electoral Democracy

How did a full electoral democracy based on universal adult franchise begin in India? Contrary to a common understanding, which has tended to see it as an inheritance of the British Raj, new archival materials reveal a different, and hitherto unknown story. The origin of India’s edifice of elections, through the preparation of the first electoral roll, was an ingeniously Indian enterprise. The tu… more
  • 1 comments
  • Confirmed & scheduled
  • 29 Apr 2021
Master class

Nanjala N.

Data, Elections and Public Trust: How The Changing Information Landscape is Impacting Elections

In many parts of the world, the concept of democracy has been flattened to solely refer to elections. This makes elections incredibly important to the political health and stability of the country, as the main way through which citizens can exercise power over their leaders and impact the decisions made in their name. Unfortunately, for those who are interested in deraling democratic participatio… more
  • 0 comments
  • Confirmed & scheduled
  • 08 Jun 2021
Master class

Sankarshan Mukhopadhyay

CHANTAL JANINE D'COSTA

Neeta Subbaiah

Additional reading material for project

List of reading materials (including links) relevant to the project more
  • 0 comments
  • Submitted
  • 18 May 2021
Reading list

Samir dayal singh

A truly democratic election process, fundamentals

everyone should be able to understand it everyone should agree to it more
  • 3 comments
  • Submitted
  • 22 May 2021
Panel discussion

Ashim Jain

A Bird's Eye View of Democracy

Exciting to know that you all are so caring for India that you are devoting so much time and resources! more
  • 11 comments
  • Submitted
  • 01 Jun 2021
Evidence submission

Amit Nambiar

A look a MakerDAO's decentralized governance system

MakerDAO is a decentralized governance community that enables the generation of Dai - a popular decentralized stablecoin. The community aims to keep the value of Dai as close to one United States dollar as possible through an automated system of smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain. The owners of its governance token, MKR, vote on changes to certain parameters in its smart contracts in orde… more
  • 2 comments
  • Submitted
  • 19 May 2021
Evidence submission

Sankarshan Mukhopadhyay

ElectionTech project at Kaarana - May 2021 update

Discussions around new technologies and changes are often normalized based on the ubiquitous presence of the set of technology in other instances. Blockchain is a good example of such normalization - there is a perception that since it is being widely used to meet the requirements for a set of workflows, the introduction and adoption is possibly a given in another set of workflows. more
  • 0 comments
  • Submitted
  • 14 Jun 2021
Evidence submission

Hina Binte Haq

Pakistan's Internet Voting Experiment

Pakistan recently conducted small-scale trials of a remote Internet voting system for overseas citizens. If this system is deployed in the next general elections —as seems likely —this development would constitute the largest enfranchised diaspora in the world. This contribution, reports on the experience: it documents the unique combination of socio-political, legal, and institutional factors mo… more
  • 0 comments
  • Submitted
  • 18 Jun 2021
Reading list

Tara Krishnaswamy

Women & the vote in India

How do women vote in a patriarchal society? Do they have access to necessary information to cast their vote? Why are women voting in greater percentages, even numbers than men? Is there a women’s vote? How do parties attract female voters? more
  • 0 comments
  • Submitted
  • 26 Jun 2021
Master class

Hosted by

One Vote is an initiative to examine a diverse set of inputs and perspectives regarding the introduction and evolution of technology as part of the elections. We use public discourse, deliberations and reports to raise awareness about this topic for a lay audience. One Vote is designed to enable cr… more

Supported by

Deep dives into privacy and security, and understanding needs of the Indian tech ecosystem through guides, research, collaboration, events and conferences. Sponsors: Privacy Mode’s programmes are sponsored by: more