The Election Commission of India (ECI) will demonstrate the working of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail System (VVPATs) on Saturday morning and may also announce its challenge to tamper with the electronic voting machines, reported news agency ANI. After an all-party meeting on May 12, Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi had said a “challenge” was on the cards for political parties to prove that EVMs used in the recent assembly polls were tampered with. He had also said that parties can try and prove that EVMs can be tampered with even under strict technical and administrative safeguards as applicable during elections.
Yesterday, The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said that the live demo of EVMs and VVPATs by the ECI will ensure credibility and the authenticity of the voting machine will be retained. “It is Election Commission’s duty to convince every citizen and every political party about the credibility of the EVM. It is between the election commission and the parties who are crying foul needlessly. I am sure that the Election Commission will ensure credibility and the authenticity of the EVMs will be retained,” BJP leader S. Prakash told the agency.
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Earlier in 2009, the Election Commission had announced a similar challenge but stated that no one was able to tamper with its machines. Then 100 EVMs from various parts of the country were brought to Vigyan Bhawan for the challenge. As per the agency, last month 16 opposition parties had urged the Election Commission to revert to the paper ballot system saying that the alleged tampering has created trust deficit in the credibility of the EVMs.
However, the poll body has maintained that EVMs are tamper-proof and cannot be manipulated. The Union Cabinet had given its nod to sanctioned funds of nearly Rs. 3,200 crore to procure more than 16 lakh VVPATs as sought by the Election Commission.