How India runs the world’s biggest election

How India runs the world’s biggest election


The world’s biggest democracy just had
an election. The world’s biggest democratic election It’s a marathon election A mammoth undertaking It’s the world’s biggest exercise in democracy In India, voters picked its central government for the next five years. An eighth of the world’s population was eligible to vote in this election. This year, 2019, there are
900 million eligible voters in India making this the largest Democratic exercise in the history of humanity. But this isn’t a
video about Indian politics, because before India’s people can even cast their vote, the election needs to come to them Polling stations need to be set up
wherever people live. And in one of the largest and most populous countries in the world, that isn’t an easy task. India has to reach voters in coastal cities in
the south, in the rural regions of the west, and jungles to the east and
everywhere in between. And what’s more, they want every Indian
citizen to be within 2 km of a voting station. That’s only about 25 city blocks no matter where you are in the country. It’s an incredibly ambitious
goal and yet, somehow they’re able to do it. This is the biggest election in the
world and I wanted to know how does it work. Every election a team of government
officials and security forces, get on a boat in the east of India to take off
towards this island. They travel about 100 km to get here, all to
securely deliver these Electronic Voting Machines or EVMS, the instrument that
logs India’s votes, the heart of this elaborate election process. India has 2.3 million voting machines
for its 900 million voters. So getting these machines close to every voter is a big logistical undertaking. That’s why India doesn’t have a single Election Day, instead, it’s closer to an election month with multiple phases that last weeks. This process takes more than
11 million election officials and security forces, who move from polling station to polling station to polling station from densely populated cities to the rural areas where the majority of Indians live. Once on the island with the EVMs, officials pile on to bike carts and head towards the polling station. Once they arrive, they begin setting
everything up for the vote . On Election Day, voters line up, cast their vote, and get
their fingers inked to prevent double voting. This is where the process ends
for the voters, but for the election officials this is just the beginning. Driving a boat out to a remote island is just one of many ways that officials reach every voter. India’s vast and diverse terrain requires transportation methods of all kinds, like in the jungles
of this northern state where elephants transport voting machines to reach a
remote town or in the Himalayas where officials hike for hours to bring EVMS
for election day. Helicopters, trains, they even use camels. But what makes India’s elections so impressive isn’t just how they reach everyone in such a big country, that’s just half the battle. It’s also the ways they try to include voters of all backgrounds into the process, a challenge that has been a part of India’s elections since the very beginning. India has 22 official languages and hundreds of dialects and when India became an independent nation, less than a quarter of the population could read and write. The newly formed Election Commission of India created a range of symbols to correspond to each political party, like an elephant, a lotus, a hand or even an alarm clock so that from the beginning all people regardless of literacy level and language could vote with confidence. Since 1947, the literacy
rate has increased significantly, but it’s still only 75 percent, so these
symbols are still useful to many when casting a vote. But this is a massive sprawling operation and over the years it’s run
into some pretty serious problems like allegations of election rigging and
problems with a practice called booth capture, where gangs actually take over
polling stations and tamper with the elections. It’s partly because of these problems that the Commission introduced these voting machines in the 1990s. It also increased security around the elections. These efforts to include all voters and protect elections seem to be working. In 2019, India saw the highest
voter turnout yet and for the first time women voted just as much as men. India’s elections are only getting bigger and more complicated. India has one of the fastest growing populations in the world. and in 2020, young people will make up
more than a third of the country. This is the biggest election in the
world that takes millions of officials fanning out across a massive country to
help hundreds of millions vote. Every part of this, the symbols, the elephants, the
boats, the machines shows how hard it is to make sure that everyone in a country this large can participate and all without going more than two kilometers
from home. If you want to learn more about the evolution of democracy in South Asia, you should check out the Bhutan episode of Asia’s Monarchies. It’s a series of documentaries on CuriosityStream. CuriosityStream is a subscription streaming service that offers thousands of documentaries and non-fiction titles from some of the world’s best filmmakers for $2.99 a month. But because you are Borders fan, you can get the first 31 days for free if you go to curiositystream.com/borders. And enter the promo code “Borders.” CuriosityStream is the exclusive sponsor of this season of Borders and while they don’t influence our editorial process, or what the videos are about, they support us and help make videos like this possible. So thank you CuriosityStream. You should definitely go check them out and stay tuned for more Borders.

100 Comments on "How India runs the world’s biggest election"


  1. Hey everyone, I hope you liked Episode two! I learned a ton on this one. I'm curious to hear what was the most surprising thing to you in this episode.
    We've got three more episodes coming, every wendesday. So keep an eye out for that. Also, If you want to help me make Vox Borders bigger and better, check out the Video Lab: http://bit.ly/vox-video-membership
    See you next week!

    Reply

  2. They're officals and security for the electronic polling devices?! Doesn't look or sound safe or secure to me.

    Reply

  3. Successful electoral process in India is actually a case study for World. Except for few cases of rigging and violence here and there, elections are by and large free and fair and the results are accepted by all political parties.

    Reply

  4. One thing you forget,voting system in indian subcontinent is a tool for the supermacy of brahmin over all other communities…….

    Reply

  5. Even India can do it, then i look back to Hong Kong, my hometown with 7M population. But only 1200 people got to vote for the Chief executive, it is not representative enough!!!🤦🏽‍♀️

    Reply

  6. Democracy is the opium of the masses. Democracy has benefited western empire only and enslaved weaker nations.

    Reply

  7. Indian election system Hijacked, paralyzed, defected by BJP govt. EVM voting machines manipulated by BJP party, and came into power since 2014, and 2019 elections. Voted Evm machines were replaced with manipulated Evm machines voting numbers were changed in favour of BJP senators or MP. High level fraud done by BJP party. There's no free and fair elections in india anymore.

    Reply

  8. Hey ,favor could you guys explain the NO BAIL SWEDEN SITUATION ? would help us ASAP.

    Reply

  9. now i feel proud for indian election,even though i worked as polling officer in election with sleppless night , heat wave , summer sun, whole day work…

    Reply

  10. Did anyone notice that everytime people were speaking in a foreign language they were speaking Bangla not Hindi?

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  11. It all happened because of the hardworking politicians we got after Independence in.1947. It took 2 years and 11 months to compile the Constitution.

    Reply

  12. I voted for the second time. First time was for Vidhan sabha election. There were proper arrangements for refreshment as it took place in the scorching heat of May. And also a selfie frame, which read 'i voted'. 😂

    Reply

  13. Thanks Team Vox for acknowledging this and covering this largest democratic exercise, of one kind, exemplary in its own. 👏

    Reply

  14. Democracy is one of the reason that India is not developing fast than china from 1950s because whenever a complaint is raised so many delay will occur and development slows rapidly…but I love my democratic country where freedom of speech,human rights,expression,press,court prevails and above all power of people to elect government….

    Reply

  15. Please do some research on Bangladesh and Bangladesh's recent events…
    I will be waiting for the video on this..
    and hopefully there will more than one video.

    Reply

  16. Dise lo que eres y lo que será tu densetecia y lo digo con el poder de Jehová los maldigo los criticones que eso será recompensa de lo que dise

    Reply

  17. Apoco así eres hija te pudo ayudar si no cree Jehová por eso te comporta así con tu vídeo QUE sales con tus fotos

    Reply

  18. Each eligible Votes from that 130 billion is super important and it is undeniable right of an Indian citizen.

    Reply

  19. This video made me unreasonably happy. The amount of work that goes into ensuring the votes of all of these people is astounding.

    Reply

  20. To be honest, if India wasn't a democracy, it would fall apart really quickly. Considering all the cultures, religions, languages… the only thing really uniting them is a representative government.

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  21. So many villagers are forced to vote for some leaders near the pole booth. You missed that part out.

    Reply

  22. i thought the title was "How India runs the world's biggest election
    "
    not "How India ruins the world's biggest election
    "

    wait

    Reply

  23. UN must take it seriously and send its envoy in coming election to check the frauds and high level cheating through EVMs as most of people are helpless to take action against it.

    Reply

  24. Whatever….Indians vote & then suffer and suffer and suffer…Bt still I can celebrate that we are the biggest democracy…Are we actually…???
    Poors & low castes have no human rights ..

    Reply

  25. All day I complain about everything here, but I can't complain about the will that the system has to conduct a thorough election.

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  26. This is how a democracy values its people. From the super rich to the poorest everyone gets one vote. Everyone is equal. Truly, this is the day in India everyone feels special.

    Reply

  27. Dear Vox…. Change the topic name to
    " 900 million Voters : 1 election : India "

    This video will cross all of ur videos in term views.

    Reply

  28. Long Live Indian Democracy. Long Reign the Indian Republic. Long life to the Prime Minister Modi. Jai Hind.

    Reply

  29. okay the way they film this makes me feel so amazed about India and now i want to visit the place so bad and meet the people and learn the language

    Reply

  30. Indeed what India's done is great. i'll suggest to take a look on how Indonesia run the election. yes, the numbers of voters was not that much as India, but judging on geographical challenge that Indonesia has, we manage to held the election in 1 single day across the nation.

    Reply

  31. The Electoral College is the most important decision ever made in America… Popular vote is not how a President should be elected in America, ever.

    Reply

  32. India also holds the record of world's largest violation of human rights like they did in Kashmir

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  33. So proud to be a part of this massive democracy where so much effort is taken to take into account each person's vote

    Reply

  34. Fun fact: election commission in india sets up polling booth in gir forest for just a single voter who resides there as a caretaker.
    Also most of these election officials are school techers who take leave from their work and conduct the elections.

    Reply

  35. please make a video about current situation in kashmir its painfull .. its been 31 days lockdown curfew in IOK..

    Reply

  36. I have been blown out with your informational video's. It has inspired me to learn more about all border issues and how we humans have taken control over our ego and pride to ruin this world. Kudos to you amazing videos right from the cinematic appeal to background music to editing efforts and most of all precise content.

    Reply

  37. This was brilliant covered full ground level information…
    Very well delivered i also voted for the first time in 2019 elections

    Reply

  38. I love it. I think this is also producing confidence in the people (the individual) of India. 3:27 They were so honored that the government would go out to receive their vote, Thier opinion. This creates a sense of self worth, like all of a sudden: "My opinion DOES matter".

    Reply

  39. Why many people are comparing India with China ?
    It isn't like China wants to be a Democrat . And they are good where they are .
    We both are proud of our system and know how to make things out of it .

    Reply

  40. One more fact about india's election is that the polling booth was set up for even one voter Mahant Bharatdas Bapu, who resides inside Gir Forest. Situated in Somanth district, Gujrat state of india .

    Reply

  41. Lol this turned into a big argument about the US being bad at elections… what did you create Vox?

    Reply

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