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Online Voting System - An outline

Please consider the following innovative sketchy module for adoption so that a debated final product props up from Prajegalu: 

ONLINE VOTING/Electoral Rolls IT enabled/Issue of National Security-cum-multipurpose ID Card instead of EPIC :

Technology will be the futuristic ambience for foolproof election process – preparation of near perfect electoral rolls with the help of citizens feedback from grassroots level – creation of data bank – paves the way for issuance of national security card system (this is the standard ID card of citizens in many cities in the world and readily available for indianisation – helps the poor for getting benefits from governmental initiatives/projects/schemes – cannot be misused – cards to be chip based and on a complaint of misplacement or loss – can be deactivated centrally – helps urbans to have a national security card cum ID- valid throughout the world with bilateral or reciprocatory agreements with like minded countries - multipurpose use.  

Security/Secrecy:    these aspects can be ensured by adoption of bio-metric - Iris contact identification log in system or Left Hand Thumb based ID log-in system or credit card number based log in system but quoting of of proposed Indian National Security card number will be compulsory for proper  test check . ATM cards etc., insertion alone will only enable a person to get into a national grid that has a software enabled programme that is activiated only during Election time and controlled by nominated authority.  thus security and secrecy of voting is enabled.

Data Base :   Inf.Technology based – Cost – no factor – 2009 elections – expected expenditure Rs.10,000 crores for 741 million voters - to get only about 55-60 per cent votes – back end operations / data storage – we have super computers - earlier we had kilobytes, then came megabytes, terrabytes, gigabytes and my presumption in the next sphere of technology will be spectra bytes – meaning – data base spread over different spectrums of storage –

(1) land based (mother load containing sensitive information can be in India and back ups can be kept in safe custody anywhere else in the world in friendly countries with shell based safety firewalls, iris-enabled log in systems, facilities for Angels etc.– (remember 9/11? when WTO fell, the back up in California came to the rescure and WTO trading was up and working within the shortest time). 

(2) Satellite based storage: uploading of valuable data to underutilised Indian satellites launched by India and contains enough payloads for various users but being used mostly by India’s defense, doordarshan and a few private players like Dish TVs but majority capacity is idle - data can be retrieved with a mouse click – modalities/modulations/software creation for data base is not a big deal for our Indian techies – Infosys/wipro/CISCO etc., are stalwarts and can back such an important responsible task by contributing their might for the sake of democracy.

Online voting : This is the futuristic IT enabled service that can be provided to citizens to make their life that much responsive to the call of democracy with minimum effort unlike those pains associated with obtaining EPICs. As discussed above, the present day EPICs can undergo one time conversion into Indian Nationals Security Card (INSCs). ATMs/ITeS Kiosks/ Cyber Cafes with internet facilities, Gas Stations, Malls, etc., can be enabled during election time so that citizens can use their INSCs and vote and the security enabled voting systems connected to a central gride can prevent any kind of fraud. Hacking may not be a problem since shells based security cordons/grid locks/firewalls etc.,will take care of these aspects from the central grid system. Without making voting compulsory, majority voters rule can be expected because voting is made easy and instantaneous projections will keep flashing within the given hours of voting. Once the process of voting is successfully completed, the central control system will automatically disable the voting permits from such facilities.    NRIs will also be happy to take part in their country’s election process.

Through this CIVIL with GIS (Citizens Initiative for Voters Innovative List) Online voting system can be enabled and many purposes will be served :

(1)    Near perfect voters data

(2)    Indian nationals will have an international type of ID cards

(3)    Data fed by grassroots level CIVIL base will enable the authorities to plan and initiate action for renumbering of house numbers that in a most hapazard manner at present

(4)    Information about properties will enable authorities to collect rents, rates and taxes in a scientific manner and to increase their revenue earning

(5)     While collecting data from citizens committees, information about the demands and grievances and statistics about physically disabled or mentally affected citizens/childrens can also be collected since no scientific data exists at present

- feedback welcome

-Vasanthkumar Mysoremath

psaram42's picture

Online voting system (OVS) some thoughts

 VKM sir,

That is a comprehensive document put up by you. No doubt your interest and involvement in an online voting project for cities like Mysore and Bangalore for that matter for whole of India is phenomenal. The requirement of the project is enabling online voting by a secure web application. The project can start as a dummy pilot project, at a typical ward level.

Do you have any knowledge about the existing web software technology relevant to the above requirement? I am thinking of the technology like what SB and others are using for developing the Praja site. What we require is a facility for people to become members of the ward site to which they belong, and enter their residential status. We would like people in your locality to login to your ward election site for example.

Can we make a survey of what is the availability of this kind of technology, in the country? Can we contact companies like Infosys, TCS and Wipro regarding developing this software? We could perhaps meet people like Narayan Murthy who for instance may be thinking of donating good chunk of money for a cause.

In fact there is enough expertise available in house with Praja! Is any body interested, I wonder?


thampan's picture


1) the need for electoral officers and observers who come and sit at the electoral booths will continue till our nation becomes advanced in all respects - where political parties are free of corruption at all ranks and booth capturing etc is never heard of and citizens have collective moral responsibility for the welfare of the nation at conscious and unconsciuos levels .. ( sorry if this sounded like a rant ) 

  at a more practical level - an automated system without manual presence cannot completely ensure that individuals are able to exercise their choice at free will and free of coercion, till there are huge systemic improvements.

2) Satellites are not data storage mechanisms - they are communication intermediaries which transmit information. 

3) there are huge amounts of population who still are living in circumstances which do not enable them to keep an id card secure for months - forget years. ( one of the major factors which needs to be resolved in the national id card scheme ) 

( Vasanth sir, there already exists technology which enables backups of the data at different locations with near instantaenous recovery if the primary center goes down)


Having said all this, there is a huge amount of population who are technology savvy and internet enabled. An internet based system in which willing citizens voluntarily register to vote over the net will help the country. 

( an analogy could be the indian railways reservation - there still exists the railway reservation counter for the non tech savvy to vote and there exists the internet portal for the tech savvy to book tickets ).

You do not need iris scanner or such technology to enable free and fair usage, you could use less complex systems with a two pronged authentication mechanism perhaps. 

The technology already exists with our IT majors. 


The key issue in all this stuff is anonymity of the vote and privacy of the individuals.


Vasanthkumar Mysoremath's picture

Spectra storage / making it easy for citizens response...

Thampan Sir,

Your views are appreciated.

Spectra storage - futuristic unlimited storage capacities that can be enabled in space storage system in various spectrums of enabled storage capacities -  What I am referring to is a none too distant futuristic techno ambience.

Satellites are no doubt intermediaries for providing communication systems. Look a little beyond and you will find, it is possible for us to embed technology that can create such a storage system which can act as a mega storage warehouse with source code security compatibilities and capabilities.

We are spending millions (including Chandraayana) for keeping ourselves in the forefront of the scientific frontiers.  If a miniature variety of Criag super computer (IISc has done us proud) can be put on the pay load of any of the future INSTATs or RSATs, the entire data about the citizens of India numbering more than a billion can be uploaded in a systematic manner and stored in space that cannot be tampered with.

I suppose, Your take about two pronged security system could be - public key and private key - scenario.  What I am trying to suggest through IRIS /Finger print scan capability scenario is to enable the citizens to get the best of IT at grassroots level without double trouble.  Imagine - walk in - look into the eye slots - get a green signal - press the button - vote - and walk out. 

IT enabled Democracy at grassroots level is ensured, we have responded to the call of participatory democracy.

How do you think the Cyber Cafes in murky slum areas are making profit or surviving with such IT at the door step of such illiterates?  Your guess is as good as mine.

They are attracted towards IT at their doorstep for a variety of reasons and if they are made to understand that they can vote just by getting into a Cyber Cafe in a cubicle (ensures secrecy of voting) with a National Security ID card, our democracy is alive and kicking and India is a powerful country with IT enabled citizens at grassroots level. 

Innovate or perish.

-Vasanth Mysoremath


thampan's picture

Re: Spectra storage / making it easy for citizens response...

 Vasanth Sir, 

1) Of course space based storage systems would come into being in the future - albeit at significant costs - what is needed is not a super computer , but efficient storage devices - massive storage systems connected to networks of data access devices will do the job. 

The cost of putting something like that in space with the required power and temperature controls would be pretty huge ... 

making stuff tamper proof can be done much easier if you take stuff underground or to isolated islands.

The point is such a system is not necessary for this initiative to go forward.   We can easily work with systems on the surface.  ( making it tamper proof etc is a detail which needs to be worked out a later stage , IMO).  ( putting such details forward at initial stages will work against the whole proposal, in my opinion, as people will get diverted away from the main idea)

2)  Agree that people use IT - the point i was making is that an isolated cubicle in a cyber cafe is not secure in today's india. of course, 10/ 20 years down the line we may reach those levels - but let us look around and see the reality as of now. How do you ensure that a person is not holding a knife to the persons neck - of course you may suggest video surveillance but i doubt the practicalities

3) a more easier path of moving towards an IT enabled system - enable it for those who are confident and willing to use the system - Let them use it from their homes / kiosks - technology exists, infrastructure is cheaper. 

Moving forward ,the scope of this can / will get expanded - you will soon reach a stage what you are envisaging. 

Today if you propose such a mamoth investment, i am not sure how many buyers will be there - my proposal is take small steps - ( i am sure that you may have faced the red tapes and difficulties in dealing with the political system in your long career) but sure steps - we can move towards a better system ...

1) enable online voting for the willing ( to vote from elsewhere other than the booth, you need to login and mark your choice of voting ( not voting at the booth)- this will be synced to your polling booth terminal.

2) polling officials at the terminals to have terminals ( maybe a netbook) which has synchronized voters list information.

3) enable onling voting ( instead of electronic voting) at the polling booths. ( if you have already voted elsewhere, you cannot vote at the booth, once more)

4) as the percentage of online voters increase  and systemic improvements happen at ground level- move towards automated terminals - such as what  vasanth sir envisages .. 

PS:  Please do not call me Sir as I am at least 3-4 generations younger than you :).


Vasanthkumar Mysoremath's picture

Cost of IT for Online voting...

Thampan yaar,

You: cost of putting something like that in space.... pretty huge ... systems on the surface...  systemic improvements happen at ground level- move towards automated terminals - such as what  vasanth sir envisages.....

Me says: LS expr.2009 Rs.10,000 crores - every 5 years - double this and you have your answer. How much Chandraayana is going to cost?  Voters will not be able to go to the moon because politicians are showing us the moon and stars. If a foolproof IT system is established, your recurring expr. on man, machines and rape of nature for providing paper based governmental record system will be worth it.

Y: isolated cubicle in a cyber cafe is not secure in today's india -

Me says: Secrecy/security in cyber cubicles or for that matter in the present day scenario of mini-skirted voters cubicles in which our Hon'ble ex PM and his wife voted as also many other husband/wife teams of ministers voted together are your answers.

- interesting poll code violation  :-)  When it was the turn of voting for firebrand Sushma Swaraj - she lifted the EVM for a the benefit of a full view of the Media and with a big smile, pressed the button showing BJP symbol/candidate.

Y:  Pl. do not call me Sir.. I am at least 3-4 generations (?) younger -

-  OK - you are not born even now? (pun intended)

-Vasanth Mysoremath

thampan's picture

VKM sir

1) I did not say that there is no need / advantage with an online system. If you read my previous posts ( about the database) , i have supported your idea minus the "putting it in space" part.  

2) It does not mean that since an offense happened, you need to create scenarios in which the offense can happen more freely. Take action against who ever violated the poll code. As far as a normal citizen would be concerned, I need a place where i can vote without fearing about any body else. 


Vasanthkumar Mysoremath's picture

Three cheers to ECI - stupendous job

Good find and ECI deserves encomiums for a job well done.

Still they have miles to go to remove the frowns from the face of those who were denied their franchise. 

Prajas can push the modus operandi of Online voting to ECI as a module.

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