Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) procured from other states will be used in the 2017 Punjab assmebly elections, stated the Election Commission on Monday. It has also asked all the political parties to check for themselves the EVMs in order to clear their doubts about the possibility of any manipulations of the machines.
“All the EVMs have come from other states, like Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Jharkhand and Bihar. We will not use old EVMs,” Punjab chief electoral officer VK Singh said here. Punjab Congress Chief Amarinder Singh had on Sunday sought use of EVMs from outside the state to rule out the possibility of any manipulations by the “local officials at the behest of their Akali bosses” in the coming elections in Punjab to be held in January or February.
Around 35,000 EVMs have been brought from other states which will be used in Punjab assembly polls. “All EVMs are fitted with voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) whereby voters can get vote receipt,” said VK Singh. “At present, first-level checking of EVMs is going on to see whether machines are properly functioning or not. We want to appeal to all political parties to come and spend time in checking the machines,” he added.
He further said that experts from Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), which manufactured the EVMs, would also come and check the machines.