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 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 thoughts 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:
    See you next week!

  2. I could never afford travel much; thank you for sharing real facts about whats happening around the globe. Stay blessed!!

  3. India has higher voter turnout than the US: I am just shocked, shocked I tell you, that making it easy for people to vote actually increases voter turnout. The US could learn a thing or two…

  4. What an absolutely unique and interesting concept to think to make a video about. I absolutely loved every second of it! Absolutely amazing content!

  5. He should have also mentioned about how there is also a polling booth for a single man in a lone constituency."One man’s vote in a remote place in Junagadh constituency in Gujarat ensured".

    The officials travel for his single vote and set it up in a remote area.

  6. Notice they have ID cards for election. If India can enforce ID. So can USA. It not voter suppression.

  7. Voters in India can also choose NOTA.. none of the above … meaning… I reject all the candidates. But the election is not cancelled if its count exceeds over others.

  8. the most important is that there was ZERO, NULL, SHUNYA, 0 mismatch of EVMs and VVPAT that makes the most secure digital voting process in the world adding to the biggest democratic process.. thats like 1/3rd the issue

  9. Being a bengali, i must say that some of your translations weren't absolutely correct…. They all beat around the bush but are not 100% correct…

  10. Turn this comment BLUE if you love this video!! 3 of my lucky fans will have a chance to video call with me 😙

  11. Jungles to the east ??? And for the fact Assam ain't Jungle, just explore the place before calling the place jungle.

  12. Great video, however the subtitles of those bengali speaking Sunderbans natives (island) were not entirely correct.

  13. Democracy is not perfect but it's the most beautiful thing that happened to India….. And we will give our life to protect our democracy…………

  14. People of India curse government officials and PSU employees whenever they get a chance..but they fail to remember that their democracy runs on these employee's shoulders.. many people had died to get this democracy running without getting their due

  15. When I visited India, I was told by multiple people that the government tried to prevent as many Indian Muslim voters from voting as possible. It's not 900 million, but 1.3 billion population and the current government is very nationalist and corrupt. So it is sad that the minorities are not given the same possibilities.

  16. I am an Indian and have lived here for around 28 years and even I never knew the actual vastness of the voting mechanism. My movies ended there and then in the 2 Km circle without knowing about all this info. Wow!

  17. Republic of india is our official name ( English name)
    Since ancient times our nation has been termed as ' Bharat' (Sanskrit original name ).

  18. With all of India's Democracy why don't Indians just vote themselves into a Developed Nation??? Why are they not voting themselves jobs? Food? Education???

  19. like how the Indian government make companies recruit people who are graduates to earn their tax on education they should also have only graduates vote cause ignorant people vote for money and make corrupt politicians win…….

  20. And they have taken besides Him gods, who do not create anything while they are themselves created, and they control not for themselves any harm or profit, and they control not death nor life, nor raising (the dead) to life.

  21. Good thing is election commission of india uses
    electronic voting mashines
    which makes elections easy

  22. Man you shot half the video in Amritsar which is one of the most developed city in India. I think you should make a vlog on Punjabi culture there

  23. the most surprising thing was you using the same drone footage of some neighbourhood and the boat with some boring and poor story. american audience ? put an indian host

  24. That Booth Gangsters is a real issue back in SEA countries lol. Tampering with election booths is a problem that is truely hard to solve

  25. the main reason why so many poor people want to cast their vote is just to make a change in their conditions so that they can b live better lives .in this hope they cast their vote and most of the times the politicians fool these poor people as when they get elected they dont fulfil such promises

  26. this is what it looks like when the government actually wants every vote counted.
    voter suppression, non-auto registration, gerrymandering, closed polling places. imagine if our elections happened on days where the majority didn't have to go to work. imagine a holiday or weekend.

    theres a reason, the US makes it challenging to vote.

  27. I hope one day the people who receive vote and cast vote in India become as responsible as the election commission 🤔

  28. Let’s replace all of India’s voting machines with used ones from Florida, this way the votes can flip like the US does.

  29. No real voter registration is scary. What’s to stop someone from just washing the ink marks off and going to another precinct?

  30. The total election spend including campaign spend was $7 billion, equivalent to Pakistan or Afghanistan’s entire foreign exchange reserves, making it an expensive exercise as well.

  31. We Proud of our democracy & diverse culture, We know our country is having many problems to solve but we are not denying it and truly acknowledging and we 1.25 billion people working towards solving it with our true democratic & diversity values.

  32. I am not a supporter of Narendra Modi. But it is in that man's destiny to win largest election in the history of human kind.
    Long Live Democracy.

  33. I would honestly love to have this guys job, travel the world, understanding it better and getting paid. Yes PLEASE

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

  35. 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.

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

  37. 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!!!🤦🏽‍♀️

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

  39. 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.

  40. 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…

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

  42. 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.

  43. 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'. 😂

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

  45. 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….

  46. 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.

  47. 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

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