For any election system, the real test is whether it is safe and secure. Right2Vote's online voting technology is 100% secure due to various proprietary and non-proprietary security layers inbuilt into the platform.
Current offline election systems are neither safe nor secure and is hacked on a regular basis. Few of the most commonly used hacking techniques in current offline voting system are listed below. We have used the example of national election to make it easy for everybody to understand. However, these same hacks are very common in smaller elections like associations, housing societies, clubs, colleges, cooperatives and unions.
All offline voting systems suffer from the problem of false voting. In booth-based voting authentication or verification of the voter is done manually. The voter carries with him one of the many approved photo ID cards. The booth official matches the photo on the ID card with the photo available in the voter list. Photo on the ID card and the voter list is generally not of good quality. Also, the photographs are generally very old. Hence it is left to the imagination, judgement and discretion of the polling officer to approve the voter. Generally, the polling officer would like to go on with his work and rarely create a fuss over miss match of photo, unless its very obvious. This leads to prevalent practice of false voting.
Candidates keep track of voters who are not present in the locality and would not be voting. They send false voters or impersonators to vote in their place. As the physical photograph verification is very elementary, they get away with it. This is why, we regularly come across cases where when the genuine voter goes to vote, he is told that you have already voted.
In Right2Vote's online voting system, authentication of the voter is automated and based on multiple layer authentication. Aadhaar based biometric authentication feature is there to verify voters based on their fingerprint or Iris scan before they are allowed to vote. These biometric authentications are 100% accurate as they are mechanised and not prone to human errors. Apart from biometric authentication, there are also OTP based authentication as used in banking transactions. These multiple layers of authentication of voter ensures 100% accurate authentication.
Another common hack in booth-based voting is duplicate voting. A voter with malafide intentions votes multiple times during an election. Booth based voting system has very elementary check to avoid duplicate voting which include inking of voter's finger. The inking of voter finger is non a full proof check and political parties now have standard operating procedure (SOP) written on how to remove this ink within minutes. Also, there is no communication between officials of two different booths. Hence if a voter goes and votes in different booths in a constituency, polling officers would not be able to find out that the person has already voted at some other booth earlier.
These voters with malafide intentions also register multiple names in same booth or register in multiple booths and constituencies. On election date, they will vote multiple times to increase the chances of winning of their preferred candidates. Till the time election voter list is cross checked against the Aadhaar database, such duplicate entries are difficult to remove.
Right2Vote's online voting software is built to leverage on the biometric database of Aadhaar and ensure one individual can vote only once as the voter would be verified using Aadhaar database before voting. If the same voter, tries to vote again the system would automatically block his attempt. This 100% eliminates duplicate voting.
In the national election in India more than 10 lakh booths are set up across the country. In smaller elections like an Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) around 600 booths are set up across the country. Similar number of booths are required for elections in bar council, doctors' body etc.
These booths are located across the country and many times in remote locations. Security of these remote location booths are dependent on security personnel present on those booths. Booth capturing is a common problem faced in booth-based voting in areas with law and problem like naxal affected areas. In these areas, security personnel can do very little.
In offline voting, the vote data is stored in ballot box or EVM machines at specific booths. Hence if the booth is captured, the goons can vote multiple times indiscriminately and nothing much can be done about it.
With Right2Vote's mobile voting technology, there are no booths and hence booth capture is not possible.
In Right2Vote's online election technology, the voter's vote data is stored in central servers or cloud servers protected by multiple layers of security including encryptions and firewalls. These servers are housed in very safe locations with multiple layers of physical security apart from software-based security. These servers also have back up servers at a different location storing copy of the data which make any attempt to capture these server redundant.
One of the common phenomena in interiors of the country with law and other problem is the voters are scared of going to the booth to vote. There are goons who either threaten them and do not allow them to vote or coerce them to vote for a specific candidate.
The voter obstruction phenomenon is not limited to national elections and is seen in varying degrees in elections of associations, cooperatives, colleges and unions
With Right2Vote's mobile voting technology, the voter is able to vote from anywhere and anytime. Voter's can vote sitting in their homes or any other location where they have a much safer environment. It becomes practically impossible for goons to place goons in each and every home to stop people from voting.
Ballot Box Swapping
In a typical offline booth-based voting election, the voter's vote data is stored in a ballot box or EVM machines. Generally, there is a gap of few hours to few days between the end of election and counting and final declaration of result. During this period, it's very important to maintain proper security of these ballot boxes and EVM machines and many times politicians have alleged that these ballot boxes and EVM machines have been exchanged. Ballot box swapping is a real risk in offline voting.
However, in Right2Vote's online voting technology, all the voter's vote data is stored in tamper proof central servers which are secured both by physical security and software-based security. As the result counting is automatic and immediate, there is no need of any gap between the election end time and result declaration time. Result is declared instantly. This 100% eliminates any allegations of ballot box swapping.
Counting Errors And Manipulation
In ballot paper-based voting, counting of votes is required at the end of election. The counting of votes is done by a team of counting personnel. The vote counting process is time consuming and tedious task. It is prone to human errors and also manipulation by people with malafide intentions.
With Right2Vote's online voting technology, vote counting is automatic and instant. There is no human involvement in counting process. This guarantees 100% accurate results.
Human Dependence And Insider Risk
Any offline election process is dependent on people managing the elections. Human intervention is there at each and every step. Polling officials are required for authentication of voter, booth management, counting of votes, logistics of ballot box. The offline voting systems are as secure as the ethics standards of these officials involved in election management. Regular allegations are made by opposition parties that these election officials favour the party in power.
Right2Vote's online voting technology is free from any human intervention. The whole process is fully automated starting from voter authentication, to vote registration to vote counting. Hence, it 100% eliminates any chances of insiders in the election process influencing the election result.
Denying Of Right To Vote
Denying right to vote is worst form of hacking as offline voting systems deny right to vote to major section of population who are unable to travel to the booth to vote. In Indian national, state and municipal elections around 33% of the population is denied right to vote due to booth-based voting. Generally winning candidate gets 20-30% of the total vote, much less than the percentage of voters who were denied right to vote. Hence, the result of each election is majorly impacted due to these absentee voters. A democracy where 33% of the voters are denied right to vote is imperfect democracy to say the least.
The problem is even bigger in elections in associations, cooperatives, clubs, societies, unions, NGOs, colleges. In these elections, there is not enough budget to set up booths across the country. The voter is expected to travel to the single booth created for the purpose. This denies right to vote to all voters who are unable to travel to the booth or who do not have time and stamina to stand in a queue.
Right2Vote's mobile voting technology ensure that all voters can vote from anywhere directly from their mobile and hence nobody is denied their right to vote. This substantially increases the voter turnout and takes it closer to 100%. This ensure the winning candidate is true representative of the majority of the population.