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How To Run The World’s Largest Election

A step by step process of India's national electoral process


What's going on?

With a population of 1.339 billion citizens, running India’s general elections is no easy task. Every five years, the nation begins a democratic process that involves millions of voting booths, officials, and security forces to ensure that 900 million eligible voters can cast their ballots. Indian politics has tempered with increasing accounts of corruption, but the 2019 general elections was a proving factor of a new wave of democracy for India.


For a country hosting the second largest population in the world, its 900 million voters make up an eighth of the world’s entire population. The government enlists over 11 million voting officials and security forces to bring the voting process to everyone’s doorstep as it is mandatory in Indian law for polling booths to be within two kilometers of every voter. Whether it’s traveling by bike, train, boat, camel, or elephant, voting officials will travel to the heart of Kolkata or a remote village in West Bengal to ensure all votes are collected.


Instead of a single day of voting, the electoral process takes an entire month with seven phases. This year, 67% of voters turned out to vote and for the first time in history, women’s participation was equal to men’s. India has worked to vastly improve its voting process after increasing accounts of voting tempering. With the introduction of electronic voting machines and improving security at polling booths, India is dedicated to a better democratic practice during the largest election in the world.


How India runs the world’s biggest election