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EC prepares for hacking challenge, gets 14 EVMs from UP, Punjab, Uttarakhand

Each participating party can use a maximum of four EVMs for the challenge, in which the NCP and the CPI-M will participate. 

india Updated: Jun 01, 2017 22:03 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, New Dlehi
EVM,Election Commission,Hacking
Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi along with other officials look into an EVM and VVPAT in New Delhi.(PTI)

The Election Commission has pulled out from its strong rooms in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Uttarakhand 14 electronic voting machines (EVMs) used in the recent assembly polls there for Saturday’s EVM challenge, in which the NCP and the CPI(M) will participate.

Since the two parties had not given their preference for the EVMs they would like to tamper with during the challenge, the Commission has brought to Delhi 14 machines -- from Ghaziabad and Gautam Buddha Nagar in UP, Patiala and Bhatinda from Punjab and Dehradun from Uttarakhand.

While each participating party can use a maximum of four EVMs for the challenge, sources in the commission said extra machines were also kept as back up keeping in mind any eventuality.

The challengers will get four hours each to tamper with the machines. The challenge will begin at 10am and end at 2pm. Two separate counters have been set up for the CPI-M and the NCP to participate in the challenge.

Members of a technical committee which helps the EC evaluate the EVMs would judge the proceedings.

Announcing the contours of the EVM challenge, the EC had said it has been divided into two parts.

First, the parties will have to prove that the EVMs used in the assembly elections in the five states were tampered with to favour a particular candidate or political party by altering the results stored in them.

The claimants will have to alter the results in the control units used during these polls in exactly the same conditions in which EVMs remain under the technical and administrative safeguards of the EC after elections.

They can use a combination of keys on EVMs or over the air communication devices such as cellphone and bluetooth to tamper with the machine to change the results, he said.

Under part two of the challenge, the participants will have to prove that the EVMs used in the assembly polls were manipulated before or on the poll day.

The participant would be considered to have “failed” the challenge if the EVM stops functioning due its inbuilt anti- tampering mechanism.

Also, the challenger would be considered to have failed if it showed the result of the booth where it was used during the assembly polls even after manipulation.

First Published: Jun 01, 2017 22:02 IST