AI and Core Electoral Processes: Mapping the Horizons

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Significant enthusiasm around AI uptake has been witnessed across societies globally. The electoral process -- the time, place and manner of elections within democratic nations -- has been among those very rare sectors in which AI has not penetrated much. Electoral management bodies in many countries have recently started exploring and deliberating over the use of AI in the electoral process. In this paper, we consider five representative avenues within the core electoral process which have potential for AI usage, and map the challenges involved in using AI within them. These five avenues are: voter list maintenance, determining polling booth locations, polling booth protection processes, voter authentication and video monitoring of elections. Within each of these avenues, we lay down the context, illustrate current or potential usage of AI, and discuss extant or potential ramifications of AI usage, and potential directions for mitigating risks while considering AI usage. We believe that the scant current usage of AI within electoral processes provides a very rare opportunity, that of being able to deliberate on the risks and mitigation possibilities, prior to real and widespread AI deployment. This paper is an attempt to map the horizons of risks and opportunities in using AI within the electoral processes and to help shape the debate around the topic.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAI Magazine
Publication statusAccepted - 29 Jan 2023


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