New Delhi, Jan 25: Mock trials for remote voting facility for electors would begin soon, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora has said.

In his message to mark the 11th National Voters’ Day, he said a research project on remote voting using cutting-edge technology has already begun.

“There has been a good progress in this regard and mock trials would begin soon,” Arora said on Sunday, adding the poll panel’s proposal to extend postal ballot facility for overseas Indian voters was under active consideration of the law ministry.

The Election Commission has collaborated with IIT-Madras to work on a new technology which will allow electors to vote from faraway cities without going to designated polling station of their constituencies.

Explaining the ‘blockchain’ technology involved in the project, former Senior Deputy Election Commissioner Sandeep Saxena had earlier said the concept is a “two-way electronic voting system in a controlled environment on white-listed IP devices on dedicated Internet lines enabled with biometric devices and a web camera”.

Saxena, however, made it clear that voters will have to reach a designated venue during a pre-decided period of time to be able to use this facility. “It does not mean voting from home. After a voter’s identity is established by the system, a blockchain-enabled personalised e-ballot paper will be generated.

“When the vote is cast, the ballot will be securely encrypted and a blockchain hashtag generated. This hashtag notification will be sent to various stakeholders, in this case the candidates and political parties,” the official said. – PTI