Refuting the allegations that Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) can be tampered, the Election Commission (EC) has informed the Supreme Court that it will deploy over 16 lakh EVMs with a paper trail to cover polling stations in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. The poll panel submitted an affidavit before the top court giving an assurance that machines will be equipped with the technology to make the election process more transparent for the next general elections. However, the commission’s affidavit was silent on deploying Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trails (VVPATs) with EVMs in the forthcoming Gujarat assembly elections. Countering the charges of tampering, the affidavit said technological features with administrative safeguards defined by EC make EVMs foolproof not only during elections but also during manufacturing, storage and transportation. The document has been filed in response to a petition filed by Samajwadi Party leader Ata Ur Rehman who wants the court to make VVPATs mandatory. A separate case demanding the use of paper trails in the Gujarat elections, is also pending . The affidavit counters recent allegations against EVMs saying no political party has been able to establish that the machines can be tinkered with. It also demonstrates the safety procedures the EC has in place to ensure no defective or malfunctioned machines are used in the electoral process. “Many of the systems used in other countries are computer based with internet connectivity. This makes them vulnerable to hacking,” it said adding Indian machines are stand-alone units.