The safety of digital democracy

Date Posted: June 3, 2019 Last Modified: June 3, 2019
The safety of digital democracy Photo: Clker-Free-Vector-Images, Pixabay

This study deals with the concerning challenge of digital safety in a democracy like India. It looks into how the emergence of technology in the form of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) has eradicated the earlier threats to free and fair elections by ballot box tampering, booth capturing etc. However, the use of technology has created other vulnerabilities online by citizens' falling prey to fake news, bot nets, big data and information warfare aimed at manipulating the thought process of voters. 

  • The study finds that the accusations against EVMs being tampered with are invalid. It rubbishes the claims by Indian political leaders to move back to the paper ballot system. It argues that the paper ballot system brings back threats like booth capturing, ballot stuffing etc.
  • The EVM's strong administrative and technical security makes the Indian election process much superior and safer. Any attack on the machine is strongly countered by the administrative policy of the election.
  • The bigger threat to a fair voting process lies in the manipulation of the voter during the campaign election process. The election commission and respective authorities need to arrive at immediate countermeasures to tackle the actual threats of misinformation and the spread of propaganda online.