Controversy behind the EVMs: Can they be tampered?

By: | Published: March 14, 2017 6:49 PM

Even though the state election commissioner said that EVMs will be used for MCD elections, and even the former Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) vouched for these machines saying that EVMs are effective and could be altered, common perception about EVMs is that they can be easily hacked, the complete profile of a voter can be accessed through EVMs, EVMs can be used to manage the results of an election.

In addition, the EVMs can easily be tampered by an election official. (IE)

Even though the state election commissioner said that EVMs will be used for MCD elections, and even the former Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) vouched for these machines saying that EVMs are effective and could be altered, common perception about EVMs is that they can be easily hacked, the complete profile of a voter can be accessed through EVMs, EVMs can be used to manage the results of an election. In addition, the EVMs can easily be tampered by an election official.

Even the Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal had written to the Election Commission, requesting not to use Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) for polling during the upcoming municipal elections in the National Capital. Instead, the AAP chief has demanded the use of ballot papers for the polling. Kejriwal’s demand has come in the wake of BSP chief Mayawati’s allegation that the EVMs were tampered in Uttar Pradesh to effect positive results for the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Even BSP supremo, Mayawati had alleged, “…several persons had been informing the party (BSP) that grave manipulations have been done in the voting machines by experts of technology and software field hired by BJP in such a manner that particular number of votes as desired by BJP will get automatically transferred to BJP candidates in every constituency even though they have actually been polled in favour of BSP or other political parties.”“The manipulation is absolutely clear from the fact that we have received information from counting agents that in several polling booths where more than 40% to 50% Muslim votes were there still almost all votes are being shown to have been done in favour of BJP,” it added.

Ajay Makan, Congress leader had also said that EVMs should be discontinued and ballot paper used for the elections. In a letter to Delhi State Election Commission, asking them to conduct ensuing Municipal Elections on Ballot Papers, he had said that this is in the wake of the fact that serious doubts have cropped up in the minds of the voters with regard to the use of EVMs. He had said that 2017 elections had demanded vote verifier paper audit trail of EVMs. The is not the first time that the demand for ballot paper has been made.

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EVMs can be hacked is a threat that has been given not only in India, but in many other countries, which is why a number of them have banned the voting machines. Countries where EVMs have been banned include: Netherlands banned it for lack of transparency, Ireland, after three years of research worth 51 million pounds, decided to junk EVMs, Germany declared EVMs unconstitutional and banned it.

Italy also dropped e-voting since its results could be easily managed, in the United States, California and many other states banned EVMs if they did not have a paper trail.

Venezuela, Macedonia and Ukraine stopped using EVMs after massive rigging was found, England and France have never used EVMs.

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