Technical glitches in EVMs led to an uproar among the contending outfits Thursday as counting was stopped for close to three hours.
The Election Commission said Friday the EVMs used during the Delhi University elections were not provided by it. It also said the electronic voting machines used by it for Lok Sabha and assembly polls were different from the ones used in the university students’ elections. Technical glitches in EVMs led to an uproar among the contending outfits Thursday as counting was stopped for close to three hours.
The counting for DUSU polls was halted twice and the counting started late in the morning due to some technical glitches. The counting was stopped for an hour later after an EVM’s display was not working. Later, a ruckus ensued after 40 votes were polled for ballot number 10, though there was no ballot by that number. The counting was then suspended but was resumed later in the evening after all the parties reached a consensus.
The Election Commission said in a statement that confusion existed in minds of many people about the jurisdiction of the ECI. “…ECI is not responsible for the conduct of local body elections (municipalities, panchayats) that are conducted by the state election commissions and elections held by various organisations/institutions in the country and consequently about various protocols and procedures adopted by them,” it said.
The commission said in the statement that it has a firm conviction about the integrity, non-tamperability and credibility of “ECI-EVMs”. “The basis of confidence of the commission flows from a wide range of technical and administrative protocols and procedural safeguards that protect our EVMs and VVPATs against any sort of tampering during manufacture, transportation, storage, polling and counting process,” it said.
Till 2017, Bharat Electronics Limited, Bangalore and Electronics Corporation of India Limited, Hyderabad were allowed by the commission to supply EVMs to state election commissions and other organisations, it said.
However, since May 2017, BEL and ECIL were directed to seek the commission’s prior approval and supply only EVMs that are different from ECI-EVMs to SECs or to other foreign countries, that too only after the current ordered quantities to ECI are fully supplied, the poll panel said.
Old EVMs are sent to BEL and ECIL for destruction and are destroyed as per “strict protocol” prescribed by the commission, the statement read.
The EC said it uses only “single post” EVMs in which vote can be cast only for one post. “In the elections at DUSU it is told that multi-post EVMs (vote can be cast for more than one post for instance president/vice-president/general secretary), which are technically completely different from ECI’s single post EVMs, have been used,” it said.
The commission pointed out that the important technical and administrative safeguards available in ECI-EVMs might not be available in EVMs being used by other organisations. A former Delhi University election official said, “The EVMs were procured from ECIL, the same company whose EVMs are used by the Election Commission.
They have been used by the Delhi University since 2007. They are also machines and have might developed technical glitches.” The EVMs are kept in safe in the university stadium during non-poll period. The university’s in-house security protects it.