In a bid to prevent any tampering of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), the Election Commission has decided to use for the first time a two-stage randomisation of the machines to avoid pre-programming in favour of any particular candidate.
Under the process, the machines will be selected randomly before being sent to the polling stations to make sure that nobody comes to know beforehand to which polling station a specific EVM will be used.
"EVM Randomisation procedure is being introduced in this general elections. This is a precautionary measure to ensure that nobody can know beforehand about which constituency or polling station a specific EVM will be sent or used," a senior election official told PTI in New Delhi.
During the first stage, serial numbers of the EVMs will be listed under the jurisdiction of a District Election Officer. Then, the EVMs, to be used in a particular constituency, will be randomly selected through a computerised process.
Further randomisation will be done by Returning Officer afterwards to determine which specific EVM will be used in a particular polling station of that constituency.
EVM Randomisation procedure was introduced in the recent assembly elections, including to that of the Delhi assembly, the official said.
Meanwhile, the EC has set in motion the poll process and notifications have been issued for conduct of elections in the first three phases slated for April 16, April 23 and April 30.
Putting in place a series of stringent measures to ensure security of the machines, the EC has directed that the EVMs should be checked by experts before being dispatched and stored in strong rooms in district headquarters where entry is restricted.
Physical sealing of different segments of an EVM will also be done to prevent access to buttons which control various process of the polls.