Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

VVPATs to be used in all future elections: India's Election Commission


The poll panel will try to assure parties that the EVMs can not be hacked in any manner.

The AAP's new challenge came two days after Bharadwaj, an IT engineer, on Tuesday demonstrated in Delhi Assembly by using a lookalike machine how EVMs could be manipulated by tampering with its code and changing its motherboard. The EC subsequently pointed out that the hacking of any device that looks like an EVM does not mean that an EVM is hackable or has been hacked.

Amid a raging debate over the reliability of EVMs, the Election Commission will meet representatives of 55 political parties on Friday to put forth its stand on the issue.

"Give us access to the EVMs that will be used in the Gujarat elections for only three hours.I challenge the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) will not win a single booth then", Bharadwaj said, referring to the state assembly polls to be held later this year in the western state. The EC is unlikely to listen to this demand.

Social media also picked up AAP's protest against the EVM tampering.

"They informed the Election Commission that they received only Rs 6 crore donation in 2013-14", he alleged.

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The Election Commission has called an all-party meeting on May 12 to discuss the controversy surrounding the alleged tampering of Electronic Voting Machines. A detailed presentation on electronic voting machines' security features will be made by the EC top brass to prove that the machines are tamper-proof - a fear raised by the opposition parties. "With this demonstration, it has been proved that EVMs can actually be hacked", Bhardwaj said. It allows voters to verify if their vote has gone to the intended candidate. The issue has acquired added interest following the demonstration of EVM tampering on a dummy prototype of the actual machine on the floor of the Delhi Assembly by the AAP government on May 9. After Friday's meeting, the party will take a call on the future course of action for its "Save Democracy" campaign, which now seeks to build awareness on EVMs across the capital.

The VVPAT-equipped EVMs dispense a paper slip which helps voters confirm that their vote has indeed gone to the candidate of their choice.

In its communication to the presidents of all the seven national and 48 state political parties, the poll panel sent a status paper on EVMs and VVPAT.

Senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh also joined the chorus by saying, "The EC must have total transparency on the issue of hacking/cheating in EVMs".

"The Commission has assured political parties that their concerns and apprehensions regarding EVMs have been taken note of and would be duly considered and addressed through the forthcoming challenge and further necessary action will be taken", Nasim Zaidi said after the meeting.

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