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Telangana plans to use blockchain-based e-voting, facial recognition, in Hyderabad civic polls

Telangana's State Election Commission (TSEC) is considering using blockchain-based e-voting in the upcoming Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections. If green-lit, this would be first time e-voting (or remote voting) is conducted anywhere in the country. MediaNama has learnt that e-voters would be authenticated using Telangana's Real Time Digital Authentication of Identity (RTDAI) system, which uses facial recognition technology (FRT) to perform "liveness checks" of persons. TSEC has decided to use facial recognition in at least one polling station in all 150 wards in the GHMC area. The Commission had first used FRT at the Kompally urban local body elections in January. This was also the first time FRT was used in elections anywhere in the country. While speaking to MediaNama, C Parthasarathy, State Election Commissioner, said that once the software and other mechanisms are finalised, TSEC will deliberate on using e-voting in low-voting and low-population wards in the GHMC (more on this later). The GHMC elections are expected to happen in early 2021, since the term of the current elected body ends in February 2021. The Greater Hyderabad area had more than 70 lakh eligible voters in the previous elections held in 2016. 'Using blockchain to ensure votes are tamper-proof' The Telangana State Technology Services (TSTS), a specialised agency established by the state's IT department, will be implementing both e-voting and FRT-based authentication. GT Venkateswara Rao, managing director of TSTS, told MediaNama that blockchain technology will be used to ensure that votes cast using e-voting are not tampered with…

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