The Election Commission of India (ECI) has unequivocally reiterated that given the effective technical and administrative safeguards, electronic voting machines (EVMs) are not tamperable and the integrity of the electoral process stands preserved.
Since 2000, EVMs have been used in 107 general elections to polls in state legislative assemblies and in 3 Lok Sabha elections held in 2004, 2009 and 2014.
ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW
- In a case before the Delhi High Court in 2009, the issue of all possible ways in which EVMs could be rigged was raised.
- The court after hearing a detailed reply of the poll panel on why EVMs could not be rigged and after learning about EC's efforts on developing voter verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) decided to dispose of the case in 2012. The court said that VVPATs could be used in consultation with the political parties.
- As explained above, the poll panel has put in place an elaborate technical and administrative system of safeguards to ensure error-free functioning of EVMs during elections.
- The Election Commission said that it did not receive any specific complaints or concrete material from political parties, alleging tampering of polling machines in the recently-concluded assembly elections and that it was fully satisfied with the integrity of the electoral process.
- The poll panel has assured all citizens that its EVMs are tamper-proof. It has added that it will enhance confidence of citizens in the electoral process by deploying VVPAT in a phased manner.
- It is pertinent to mention at this point that such allegations and suspicions have not been raised for the first time. Even earlier, parties have brought up this issue, but no one has been able to demonstrate or give conclusive evidence to prove that that these machines can be tampered with. Hence, finding no merit in such charges, the poll panel has consistently rejected them.
- However, if any specific allegation with material facts is presented before the ECI, the same will be looked into with all seriousness on administrative sides.
- "To date, no one has been able to actually demonstrate that EVMs used by the Election Commission can be tampered with or manipulated. What has been demonstrated or claimed to have been demonstrated is on a privately assembled 'look-alike of ECI-EVMs' and not the actual ECI-EVM", the poll panel said.
- Meanwhile, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge has said, "As per my knowledge and information, tampering of EVMs is not possible. If any expert and anyone have any specific technical information to upgrade the system , they must share it with election commission."