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Electronic Voting Machine ? An Electronic Marvel
HindustanTimes.com, PTI
October 13, 2003
First Published: 15:16 IST(13/10/2003)
Last Updated: 15:16 IST(13/10/2003)

Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) retains all the characteristics of voting by ballot papers, while making polling a lot more expedient. Being fast and absolutely reliable, the EVM saves considerable time, money and manpower. And, of course, helps maintain total voting secrecy without the use of ballot papers. The EVM is 100 per cent tamper proof. And, at the end of the polling, just press a button and there you have the results.

What does an EVM unit comprise of ?

The EVM consists of two units that can be inter-linked. One, a ballot unit which a voter uses to exercise his vote. And the other, a control unit – used by the polling officials.

The Ballot Unit : An electronic ballot box

A simple voting device, it displays the list of candidates. A facility to incorporate party names and symbols is in-built. All the voter has to do is press the desired switch located next to the name of each candidate. The main advantage is the speed, apart from the simplicity of operation, which requires no training at all. A single ballot unit takes in the names of 16 candidates. And thus, by connecting four ballot units the EVM can accommodate a total of 64 candidates in a single election.

The control Unit : In Total control of the polling

Conduction of polling, display of total votes polled, sealing at the end of the poll, and finally, declaration of results – these are the various accomplishments of just one gadget : the control unit. In total control of the polling, this electronic unit gives you all necessary information at a press of a few buttons. For instance, if you need to know the total number of votes, you just have to press the Total switch. Candidates-wise results can be had only at the end of polling.

Independent & Reliable

The EVM is compact and comes in its reusable carry pack. Further, the EVM works/operates on a battery power source. Making it independent and totally reliable.

Hi-tech Simplicity

To commence polling, the polling officer activates the "Ballot" switch on the control unit. The voter then has to press the button of his choice on the ballot unit. This is followed by a short beep sound, indicating that the vote has been cast. Once again, the polling officer has to press the "Ballot" switch to clear the machine for the next voter to cast his vote.

Super-sensitive circuitry: No invalid votes

Inside the control unit, hidden from you, is an extremely sensitive circuitry that takes care of common election errors or malpractices like vote duplication. For instance, if one were to press two or more buttons simultaneously, then no vote would be cast. Even if there was a micro-second difference in the pressing of the switches, the EVM is sensitive enough to trace and identify the twitch that was press first.

Instant results

Once polling is completed, the election results can be known instantly at the counting station by pressing the '‘Result'’switch. This switch is located in a sealed compartment of the control unit.

Tamper proof design

The EVM is designed to be totally tamper proof. Each EVM comes with a sophisticated programme in assembly language : a software fully seated against outside influence. And the programme is itself fused on to a customised micro processor chip at the manufacturer’s end. This ensures that the program is rendered tamper proof and inaccessible.

Result Printout

Normally, an EVM displays results on the display panel of the control unit. But a printout option is available with the use of a Download Adaptor Unit (DAU). The DAU has to be connected to the control unit and any standard printer. Further, with the help of a modem, the DAU can also enable transmission of voting information to a distant centralised computer.

HOW TO CAST VOTE EVM

A. Voter will be called by name as usual to put his signature on Voting Register.

Media Coverage

In order to bring as much transparency as possible to the electoral process, the media are encouraged and provided with facilities to cover the election, although subject to maintaining the secrecy of the vote. Media persons are given special passes to enter polling stations to cover the poll process and the counting halls during the actual counting of votes.

Media are also free to conduct Opinion Polls and Exit Polls. By a recent set of Guideline issued, the Election Commission has stipulated that the results of opinion polls can not be published between two days before the start of polling and after the close of poll in any of the constituencies. Results of exit polls can only be published or made otherwise known only after half an hour of the end of polling hours on the last day of poll 28th of February in the present election of 1998.  

Parliament

The Parliament of the Union consists of the President, the Lok Sabha (House of the People) and the Rajya Sabha (Council of States). The President is the head of state, and he appoints the Prime Minister, who runs the government, according to the political composition of the Lok Sabha. Although the government is headed by a Prime Minister, the Cabinet is the central decision making body of the government. Members of more than one party can make up a government, and although the governing parties may be a minority in the Lok Sabha, they can only govern as long as they have the confidence of a majority of MPs, the members of the Lok Sabha. As well as being the body, which determines whom, makes up the government, the Lok Sabha is the main legislative body, along with the Rajya Sabha.

Electronic Voting Machine – An Electronic Marvel

Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) retains all the characteristics of voting by ballot papers, while making polling a lot more expedient. Being fast and absolutely reliable, the EVM saves considerable time, money and manpower. And, of course, helps maintain total voting secrecy without the use of ballot papers. The EVM is 100 per cent tamper proof. And, at the end of the polling, just press a button and there you have the results.

What does an EVM unit comprise of ?

The EVM consists of two units that can be inter-linked. One, a ballot unit which a voter uses to exercise his vote. And the other, a control unit – used by the polling officials.

The Ballot Unit : An electronic ballot box

A simple voting device, it displays the list of candidates. A facility to incorporate party names and symbols is in-built. All the voter has to do is press the desired switch located next to the name of each candidate. The main advantage is the speed, apart from the simplicity of operation, which requires no training at all. A single ballot unit takes in the names of 16 candidates. And thus, by connecting four ballot units the EVM can accommodate a total of 64 candidates in a single election.

The control Unit : In Total control of the polling

Conduction of polling, display of total votes polled, sealing at the end of the poll, and finally, declaration of results – these are the various accomplishments of just one gadget : the control unit. In total control of the polling, this electronic unit gives you all necessary information at a press of a few buttons. For instance, if you need to know the total number of votes, you just have to press the Total switch. Candidates-wise results can be had only at the end of polling.

Independent & Reliable

The EVM is compact and comes in its reusable carry pack. Further, the EVM works/operates on a battery power source. Making it independent and totally reliable.

Hi-tech Simplicity

To commence polling, the polling officer activates the "Ballot" switch on the control unit. The voter then has to press the button of his choice on the ballot unit. This is followed by a short beep sound, indicating that the vote has been cast. Once again, the polling officer has to press the "Ballot" switch to clear the machine for the next voter to cast his vote.

Super-sensitive circuitry: No invalid votes

Inside the control unit, hidden from you, is an extremely sensitive circuitry that takes care of common election errors or malpractices like vote duplication. For instance, if one were to press two or more buttons simultaneously, then no vote would be cast. Even if there was a micro-second difference in the pressing of the switches, the EVM is sensitive enough to trace and identify the twitch that was press first.

Instant results

Once polling is completed, the election results can be known instantly at the counting station by pressing the '‘Result'’switch. This switch is located in a sealed compartment of the control unit.

Tamper proof design

The EVM is designed to be totally tamper proof. Each EVM comes with a sophisticated programme in assembly language : a software fully seated against outside influence. And the programme is itself fused on to a customised micro processor chip at the manufacturer’s end. This ensures that the program is rendered tamper proof and inaccessible.

Result Printout

Normally, an EVM displays results on the display panel of the control unit. But a printout option is available with the use of a Download Adaptor Unit (DAU). The DAU has to be connected to the control unit and any standard printer. Further, with the help of a modem, the DAU can also enable transmission of voting information to a distant centralised computer.

HOW TO CAST VOTE EVM

A. Voter will be called by name as usual to put his signature on Voting Register.
B. Electoral Officer will put special ink on his finger as usual.
C. Electoral Officer will hand over a slip containing voter’s serial number as shown in the Voter Register.
D. Voter will hand over the slip to Presiding Officer . He will satisfy himself about the genuineness of the particulars of the voter.
E. After all these formalities, voter will be asked to reach at Electronic Voting Machine kept in a corner covered from sides to maintain secrecy of the vote.
G. Voting Machine will contain candidates name and symbol against each name. There will be a red light and a blue button. Voter shall have to press the blue button against the candidate of the choice. Red light will appear on the pressing of blue button and sound like whistle will also be heard which will indicate that the ballot has been casted. If red light does not appear voter can press the blue button again.

Electoral Officer will put special ink on his finger as usual.


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