The Election Commission of India on Monday wrote to the Chief Election Officers of the 5 states where assembly elections had recently concluded to provide them with the Electronic Voting Machines, on EVM challenge, for providing EVMs to them, ANI reported. Earlier on Saturday, Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi had informed that the EVM open challenge would be held on June 3, 2017. Addressing a press conference, Zaidi had said that those questioning the credibility of the Electronic Voting Machines had not yet submitted any proof or credible material to support their claims. He had said, ” “Our machines are totally different than the ones used in countries like Ireland. Our machines are tamper proof”. The Election Commissioner had also announced that VVPATs would be used in all the elections to come.
Speaking further about the credibility of the EVMs, Zaidi had said, “A mock poll is conducted on each EVM before it is finally released, each micro-chip has a unique identification number and a digital signature of the manufacturer. Therefore, any attempt to change a microchip is detectable…Advanced encryption technology, one-time programmable chip, tamper detection and self-diagnostic features in the new generation EVMs will ensure that the machines are tamper-proof”.
The Election Commission had also laid out some ground rules for political parties that wished to participate in the EVM hackathon. The interested parties could file in their application forms on or before May 26, 2017. These parties will be allowed representatives who will have access to 4 voting machines from the 5 concerned states where the elections had been conducted earlier in the year. These representatives would have to prove that the EVM could be tampered by using the keys on the machine in a particular sequence or prove that Bluetooth devices could be used to hack these machines.