EVMs are tamper-proof, affirms Election Commission

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 15, 2018 Published on March 16, 2017

Nasim Zaidi, Chief Election Commissioner

File photo of election staff checking EVMs.   -  The Hindu

After Mayawati, Kejriwal allege tampering, poll panel says courts have repeatedly confirmed their credibility

Maintaining “unequivocally” that the electronic voting machines (EVMs) cannot be tampered with, the Election Commission on Thursday said the integrity of the electoral process had been “preserved”.

“These are as tamper proof as ever,” the poll panel said in a statement.

Crying conspiracy

The Commission’s statement comes in the wake of allegations by BSP supremo Mayawati and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal, that EVMs had been tampered with in the recent Assembly elections. The AAP had also written to the EC saying EVMs should not be used in the municipal polls scheduled to be held in the national Capital in April this year.

The Commission pointed out that EVMs have been used in 107 elections to State Assemblies since 2000, and also in the Lok Sabha elections of 2004, 2009 and 2009. The issue of EVM tampering has been raised before several courts since 2001. This includes the High Courts of Madras (2001), Kerala, Delhi (2004) and Karnataka (2004). “These courts, after going into all aspects of the technological soundness and the administrative measures involved in the use of EVMs in elections here, have held that the EVMs in India are credible, reliable and totally tamper proof,” the statement says.

The EC also said it had not received “specific complaints or concrete material” from political parties/candidates about alleged tampering of EVMs during the recently held election process. “However, if any specific allegation with material facts is presented to the ECI, the same will be looked into with all seriousness on administrative side,” the statement added.

₹3,174 cr for paper trails

On Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trails (VVPATs), the Commission said it would require ₹3,174 crore for it use in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. “About 15.5 lakh additional VVPATs will be required and at least 30 months from the time of release of funds will be required to manufacture these,” officials said.

With the use of VVPATs, a paper slip is generated once a voter has cast her vote. The slip bears the name and symbol of the candidate voted for. In case of a dispute, the paper slips can be counted to verify the result being shown on the EVM.

Published on March 16, 2017
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