Almost every year, elections are held for the position of Felicity Coordinators from the UG as well as the PG/Research constituencies for the upcoming Felicity.
This year, the elections for Felicity 2022 were held on the 14th of September. Elections were not conducted for the PG/Research constituency since it had only one nomination for two positions, and hence the nominee Furqan Shaik was selected for the position after a screening process without the need for any elections. The elections for the three positions in the UG constituency were contested by four candidates – Konda Jayant Reddy, Pahulpreet Singh, Prateek Sancheti, and Keshav Bajaj.
Besides the usual campaigning by the candidates, the buildup for the voting day happened with the “Manch” event, conducted a day before the elections. Here, the candidates delivered a pre-recorded opening speech, followed by a live Q&A session. Here, they explained their manifestos in detail and laid out their plans for the upcoming fest. This event is covered in detail in this article in the previous issue of Echoes.
Choosing the Platform
In the past, IMS has been used as the platform of choice for online voting, but the Election Commission wanted to change it this year. IMS was not mobile-friendly, and the tech team wanted to make a reliable and self-sufficient platform entirely on their own. An added bonus would also be that the statistics would be easy to obtain.
So they created their own independent platform, which was mobile-friendly and easy to use, with the help of the Student Parliament’s Technical Committee. Their aim was to integrate technology into the election system to increase transparency and accessibility, and this portal is but one of many steps in that direction. The portal incorporates features such as decoupling users from their votes, making the vote tally and recording process visible to the user in the audit, and ensuring that only authorized voters are permitted to cast their vote, and only once.
The Voting Process
Unlike the General Elections, where the single transferable vote system is followed, the voting in these elections was first-past-the-post. On the new portal, one had access to the list of candidates and their respective manifestos. The voters would cast their vote for at most three out of the four candidates, and then be presented with the choice to audit or finalize their vote. Once the vote was finalized, it would be registered.
The elections were won by Konda Jayant Reddy, Pahulpreet Singh, and Keshav Bajaj. A total of 503 votes were cast, and 219 were audited, but not finalized. Most of the voters were from either UG2K20 or UG2K19, with 175 and 160 votes respectively.
Editors: Jaidev Shriram, Pratishtha Abrol