The Election Commission of India has called for an all-party meeting in Delhi on May 12, 2017, according to an ANI report, to discuss the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) issue that has been making headlines for quite some time now as the Opposition parties, who lost recent elections at state and local levels, have questioned their accuracy. On April 29, Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi had said that he will call a meeting of all political parties to assure them that the EVMs were tamper-proof and secure, according to PTI reports.
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He further said that the commission is proposing to use Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail also known as VVPAT in all the coming elections to bring more transparency in the polls. “We will soon hold an all-party meeting in which they will be told how our EVMs are non-temperable and secured as per our administrative and technical safeguard system,” said Zaidi as quoted by the report.
While addressing the questions raised by the opposition about the allegations against EVMs, the CEC said that the ECI is planning to ‘hold a challenge’ for which time frame is being worked out. He said, “For VVPAT, we have got all the funds. We have placed an order for the supply of 15 lakh VVPAT with two PSUs Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Electronic Corporation of India (ECI),” according to the report.
On April 23rd Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had raised concerns about the reliability of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), alleging that many machines were malfunctioning. On April 21, two days prior to the MCD elections, the Delhi High Court had rejected the plea seeking direction to state election commission and the Election Commission of India (ECI) to use only second generation of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) with Voter-Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) in the civic polls.