Purpose of Elections
Purpose of elections is to ensure every member of each Electoral College can deposit
(or withdraw) its vote, as a proxy to participation in governance, to a candidate of its
choice and be assured that the system faithfully accounts for it
Principles of Reform
1. Every stakeholder community and geography must find participation by
inclusion, not exclusion of the other.
This principle would require that the election system allow every stakeholder
community an equal opportunity of representation in a geographical
constituency by including their participation, not excluding the participation of
other stakeholders. It would also require that every geographical region have
an equal opportunity for representation by including its participation, not
excluding the participation of a region.
2. Ensure the vote will be a better proxy to development decision-making.
This principle would require that the voter is able recognize and take action on
the deviations in the development agenda or ideals promised to the voter.
3. Ensure the ability of every voter to count and be counted.
This principle would require that every voter have ample opportunity to vote.
It also requires that every vote cast by the voter would continue to matter.
4. Ensure the ability to vote to candidate of choice.
This principle would need to provide for flexibility to voters to select, choose
(and vote for) candidates of their choice.
5. Provide a means to account for every vote and ensure the fidelity of each vote.
This principle would require that it is possible to ensure each vote to a
candidate is genuine. It would need to ensure that each voter’s vote actually
reached the account of the candidate to which it was deposited. It would need
to provide a means to audit and certify the fidelity of the polling process.
Main Ideas for Reforms based on these Principles
Offices for election
1. Administrative boundaries must coincide with constituencies and
constituencies must not morph with time.
2. The Rajya Sabha in the centre and Legislative Council in the State should
represent stakeholders communities and be elected by these communities, not
by geographical representatives.
1. Each member of the Electoral College must be automatically and fairly
included onto the Electoral Rolls.
2. Issue an Election Card to each member on the Census indicating the year from
which they may cast votes for each Office of Election in the country.
3. Searchable Electoral Rolls should map onto street maps and allow a person to
find if their name exists and also to find duplicate names.
4. Electoral Rolls of a constituency should be accessible freely to the all the
members of its electorate.
5. A consolidated demographic and development profile of the constituency must
be mandatory and accessible to every member of its electorate.
1. Candidates can represent a constituency where they are domiciled.
2. Candidate Rolls should be accessible freely to the all the members of the
3. Remove any restriction on the number of candidates or even a formal
nomination process beyond ensuring domicile (or enrollment in that
constituencies voter list).
4. Allow the voter to even nominate any person domiciled in the constituency as
5. Political parties to inspire national policies that local (independent) candidates
6. Create mechanisms to attract those who seek to serve the community and not
themselves or business and political lobbies.
7. Register candidates and provide special funding for their participation in
peoples environmental and development activities.
8. Create a website for each constituency where each registered candidate to
have a web page describing an agenda for the constituency and the project
details of the peoples environmental and development activities the candidate
9. Print and mail the resume and information on the peoples projects that each
candidate from the constituency is participating in to the voters in that
Procedures for election
1. ECI to create a Public Sector undertaking to conduct the elections or
outsourcing the elections to NGO’s or even businesses whose exclusive
activity is the management of events or seek out local people in each
constituency who volunteer the conducting of elections under supervision and
direction of the Election Commission.
2. Procedures for election need to be simple and a way of enforcing the
principles outlined for reforms.
The rules for capturing the vote and counting it
1. ECI to introduce receipts and an audit trail as a means to capture or record the
legitimacy of a vote and ensure the voter feels relevant.
2. A well-designed Voting Receipt as to be generated as two-part print-outs from
the EVM. Part I to be dropped into a ballot box by the voter after confirming it
documents the correct vote. Part II could stay with the voter as proof of the
3. A unique Vote Number to track every vote to be generated by the EVM
through an encryption algorithm using the Voters ID, the Polling Officers ID
and the EVM ID. Each Vote No to then be associated with a unique Vote.
4. Any Vote Number should be verifiable as being valid or for the vote it stores
by logging in at an ECI website for example https://eci.gov.in/verifyvote.
This verification site could then report invalid for invalid Vote Numbers and
the number of the Candidate for a valid vote. It should be possible to do this
without yielding the identity of the voter.
5. The voter should be able to log-in to an ECI site for example
https://eci.gov.in/myvote with the voterid and date-of-birth (that they can reset
to another password) to check details of their vote as they appear on the Part II
of the receipt with them.
6. All EVM’s to upload their data to an encrypted database provide information
to anyone through secure access to at the ECI websites for example
https://eci.gov.in/verifyvote and https://eci.gov.in/myvote. Such a system to
enable check if all votes to a candidate came from legitimate voters without
revealing their identity. It should also make it possible to report duplicate
votes and negate them.
7. Cell phones to be developed to become ubiquitous EVM’s in the hands of the
voter to capture and record votes into a national database.
8. Cellular Service Providers to be required to generate a mechanism to capture
Part I of the voting receipt in their database and make it accessible to third
party Open Audit.
9. Cellular Service Provider to be required to guarantee to its subscriber the
Terms of Privacy and Security.
10. ECI to invest in a mobile-based voting platform that is inclusive, available
ubiquitously and provides a good transaction trail. This would allow the ECI
to play its role to supervise, direct and control the elections effectively.
Declaration of results
1. Declaration of results has to provide adequate reassurance that every voter
counts and has been counted.
2. Third party audit to be made mandatory before the ECI certifies the result to
be true and correct (or an audited result).
3. Detailed result of votes polled by each candidate from the constituency can be
declared and made available by the ECI on the constituency website on the
official day of declaration of results.
Certifying the fidelity and contesting it
1. ECI to adapt an open-audit framework for the voting process.
2. Anyone concerned with the voting process to be able to track one or many
transactions, while respecting the privacy of each voter. ECI to enable anyone
to check the legitimacy of each vote or of all the votes received by a
candidate, but protect the identity of the voter who cast the vote.
3. Bar codes of Part I Receipts, dropped by voters in the polling box at the booth,
to be read into an encrypted Receipt database by an agency independent of the
one counting votes stored in the EVM.
4. A publicly available Poll Audit software program ( for example at
https://eci.gov.in/AuditTheElection) to compare the Candidate No registered
against each Vote Number in the Receipt with the EVM and generate a report
of invalid Vote Numbers, invalid Candidate Numbers, Vote Numbers in the
EVM Database but not in the Receipt Database, Vote Numbers in the Receipt
Database but not in the EVM Database and discrepancies the Candidate
Number registered in the two databases for each Polling centre. In the event
there are no discrepancies, it can certify the Votes as valid.
5. Poll Audit software to provide reports of illegitimate Vote Numbers,
illegitimate Voter IDs by each Polling Centre or by each legitimate Polling
Officer ID. This would make the fidelity of every counted vote completely
transparent and verifiable.