The Impact of Electronic Voting Machines on Electoral Frauds, Democracy, and Development

59 Pages Posted: 25 Sep 2017

See all articles by Sisir Debnath

Sisir Debnath

Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad

Mudit Kapoor

Indian School of Business

Shamika Ravi

Brookings Institution

Date Written: March 16, 2017

Abstract

Free and fair elections are cornerstones of democracy. In India, electronic voting machines (EVMs) were introduced with the objective of reducing electoral fraud. We exploit the phased roll-out of the EVMs in state assembly elections to study its impact on electoral fraud, democracy, and development.

Our main findings are:

(i) Introductions of EVMs led to a significant decline in electoral frauds, particularly in politically sensitive states which were subjected to frequent re-polls due to electoral rigging.

(ii) It strengthened the weaker and the vulnerable sections of the society (women and the scheduled castes and tribe) who were now more likely to cast their vote.

(iii) It made the electoral process more competitive whereby the winning margin and the vote share of the winning party declined.

(iv) Using the luminosity data, we find that EVMs led to an increase in the provision of electricity. (v) Lastly, we find evidence that EVMs resulted in significant decline in crimes, such as murder and rape (violence against women).

Suggested Citation

Debnath, Sisir and Kapoor, Mudit and Ravi, Shamika, The Impact of Electronic Voting Machines on Electoral Frauds, Democracy, and Development (March 16, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3041197 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3041197

Sisir Debnath

Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad ( email )

Hyderabad, Gachibowli 500 019
India
8897844177 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.isb.edu/faculty-research/faculty/directory/debnath-sisir

Mudit Kapoor

Indian School of Business ( email )

Hyderabad, Gachibowli 500 019
India

Shamika Ravi (Contact Author)

Brookings Institution ( email )

1775 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20036
United States

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