Emmy Award winning British Comedian John Oliver has become an internet rage with his recent video on the Indian elections. The video is doing rounds on the internet for quite some time now and has drawn the world’s attention to the biggest democratic election with 800 million voters exercising their right. What makes this election even more special is the presence of electronic voting machines (EVM) which would make it a paperless affair.
In 2004, India switched from paper ballots to EVMs making the election easier to manage and more credible. Though it wasn’t an easy task, the incentives of having credible information at one’s disposal, ease of use, drastically increased manageability and simple deployment motivated the Indian Election Commission.
In a country where not everyone gets electricity, EVMs run on battery. Every EVM unit is so compact that it can fit your briefcase! It comes in two parts – the ballot unit and control unit. A voter presses on one of the 16 buttons on the ballot unit and the vote is registered and stored in the control unit. A single EVM can take up to 4000 votes.
India strives to have cost effective election and at the price of $175 per EVM unit, it’s a steal! Security is tight during elections to prevent any tampering. Every EVM has a sealed security ship that is impossible to tamper with. Already, the Indian Election Commission is set to use over 1 million EVMs.
All the names listed on the EVMs are written in English and the State language, however, India is a diverse country with many languages and not everyone is literate. In such a case, a voter can refer to the candidates’ party symbol at the side.
With the results of the 2014 out, the message put across by this humongous democracy is that of going paperless. The Indian election is a unique example of a country working through a digital medium on a massive scale. SOHODOX has always aimed for this. Digitizing improves efficiency and makes it easier for an organization to run and save paper (and save forests!). Every effort, new development and R&D activity works towards achieving this.
As more and more people are realizing the advantages of going paperless, SOHODOX continues to serve with a simple way to transition to digital. We hope you’re making the switch too, soon!