The Future of Indian Elections & Technology

Being the largest and the youngest democracy in the world makes India, an extraordinarily potent geography for electoral innovation and disruption. Currently, over 60% of Indians fall within the working–age bracket of 15-59 and just about 54% of the population is under 25 years of age- making India a country with immense possibilities of adopting change.  

And, we cannot talk about change, without discussing digital transformation. 900 million Indians are expected to be active Internet users by 2025. The pandemic saw a 51% increase in using tech to manage the pandemic induced immobility within the health sector. Arguably the most significant fact is that the mobile subscription penetration in India is set to cross the 100% mark in 2023 from 88.3% in 2020.  Similar expansion can be seen in other sectors too with the advent of start-ups. Right now, India is home to 85 Unicorns, the third-largest start-up ecosystem in the world.   

Talk about education, logistics, retail, defence, and even government services- and you will have discussions around the inclusion of technology. One of the last holdouts when it comes to adopting change in a huge democratic country is strangely the democratic process of political engagement.  

The campaign process, like the rest of society, will get increasingly digitalized.   

In this post, we have identified 3 areas where we can see rapid adoption of technology bringing in the proverbial ‘paradigm shift’.   

Massive Voter Mobilization-  

With about 65% turnout in the 2019 general elections and growing, new voters will play a significant role in deciding results. PACs that proactively invest in executing targeted communication, build constituent centric-volunteer infrastructure, build data pipelines to improve access and analysis, and location intelligence-based planning will leave their rivals far behind.   

Micro-targeting voters and generating hyper-local communication is possible today. Using tech to educate new voters, assist them to enroll with user-friendly apps, and provide timely reminders is not only cost-effective but also impressively effective.  

Digitalizing Party Infrastructure-  

Digitalizing PACs is inevitable. Being able to intelligently combine the offline and the online realm is key to digitalizing party infrastructure. The benefits are plenty. Digital infrastructure allows for rapid accumulation of on-ground intelligence and centralization of internal communication to enable strategic agility and improve responsiveness.  Furthermore, recruiting new volunteers does not remain a passive activity and direct engagement with volunteers improves training and clear promotion of party ideology. 

Round-the-Clock Voter Engagement-  

Tech and data-backed solutions provide an unprecedented advantage to early adopters.  Adopters can gain insights that reveal what voters truly think and feel—and why.  

Voters vote for a certain party for the simple reason that their vision is relevant to them. Relevancy can be studied, analyzed, and integrated into the PACs communication strategy at a hyper-local level. With the emergence of survey mechanisms, polling tools, resilient hardware, and powerful analytical models, it is within the realm of possibility to engage with your constituents, understand their concerns, streamline resolution- acknowledgement and build candidate to voter-household relevance.   

Adopting tech is not a silver bullet. PACs have to still go on the ground, knock on doors, meet citizens and connect with them. The difference this time around is that the tech we champion at Meradesh enables small PACs with budget and resource constraints to be able to fight it out with bigger and richer PACs. Meradesh helps you do the right things, better.