Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Why linking Aadhar with Voter Id will not prevent voter fraud but increase it

The aadhar database has lakhs of fakes and repeat-enrollments. Everyone from terrorists to mythical figures have aadhar numbers. It's impossible to audit to weed out all fakes, as the probability maths of fingerprints means that at any time some % or so of all the fingerprints will come up as identical even if they belong to different people. The more the number of people in the pool, the more the faux matches. If you tighten up the probability parameters, that leads to the same person's fingerprints on different days not matching with each other and renders biometric identification impossible. This probability complication makes Singapore (a city-state) much better placed to use biometrics than India (a sub-continent).

At the time of enrollment, there is NO WAY for the UIDAI to reject a new Aadhar enrollment on the grounds of the fingerprints being repeats, because of the same probability mathematics mentioned above. You cannot reject 10,000 genuine citizens for the sake of keeping one fake out.

Filtering down by area or name etc is useless as fake voters are by definition people who are from other areas and are giving fake names. It is highly likely that career vote frauds will have several different aadhar numbers made for themselves from different places with different addresses. Some vote frauds will probably boast in their resume about having one aadhar number registered in every constituency by now. But the probabilistic mathematics of biometrics mixes the fakes in with a crowd of genuine people. You cannot delete 10,000 genuine voters off the voter rolls in the drive to remove one fake voter.

Aadhar FACILITATES voter fraud. 

Q: So how then to prevent voter fraud?
A: A far better way of voter authentication (or even pension or PDS for that matter) is to organize ward level public meetings (or even MLA constituency level can do: after all your MLA is supposed to know every society or chawl in your area!) and weed out the duplicates through tapping into localized collective knowledge. Your local shopkeeper deposing in front of a crowd and being recorded on camera will give a much more reliable list of real voters and real beneficiaries in the area than any aadhar database.

It's simple. Use your people's brains, not their fingers, to secure your nation.

Of course, technocrats who have a deep-seated hatred for everybody and are irrationally biased towards techno toys will hate the real solution. I challenge their assumption that they're smart : I think they're dumber than the average person.

Dimaag ladao, desh bachao.

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