The Election Commission today held the EVM hacking challenge, starting with a detailed demonstration on the various security checks in the machine. Though the four-hour challenge began at 10 am, the NCP and the CPI(M), the only parties participating in the event, were yet to try their hand at hacking the electronic voting machines even after three hours. While the CPI(M) delegation watched a demonstration on the various security checks involved with the machines, the NCP team interacted with Commission’s technical committee of experts.
The two parties have been provided with four EVMs each brought to Delhi from Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand where they were deployed in the recently-held assembly polls. The challenge was organized after several major opposition parties had claimed that the faith of people in the machines has eroded due to allegations of tampering. The EC has maintained that EVMs are tamper-proof. The BSP and the AAP had alleged that the machines used in the recent assembly elections were tampered with and favored the BJP. Later, several other parties had joined the chorus and wanted the EC to revert to paper ballots.
The Commission has pulled out from its strong rooms in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Uttarakhand electronic voting machines used in the recent assembly polls there for the challenge. The NCP and the CPI (M) were the only parties which had applied to participate in the challenge. The poll panel had invited the seven national and 49 state parties recognized by it for the challenge. It had left out smaller parties and Independents who had contested the recent polls from participating. Even foreign experts are barred. Members of a technical committee, which helps the EC evaluate the EVMs, would judge the proceedings.