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EC to hold demonstration today to prove EVMs can’t be tampered with

The Election Commission will also announce dates for a EVM-hacking challenge in the wake of opposition concerns over the reliability of the voting machines.

india Updated: May 20, 2017 08:51 IST
Agencies, New Delhi
Election Commission,EVM tampering,Aam Aadmi Party
A meeting of political parties to discuss allegationgs of hacking EVMs.(Vipin Kumar/HT File Photo)

The Election Commission will on Saturday hold a demonstration on the working of electronic voting machines (EVMs) to allay fears that the devices can be tampered with by political parties and candidates.

The poll panel will also announce dates for a EVM-hacking challenge in the wake of opposition concerns over the reliability of the machines.

According to an Election Commission announcement, the demonstration of the functioning of the EVMs and VVPATs will be followed by a press conference.

The poll panel had announced after an all-party meeting on May 12 that it will hold the challenge to let opposition political parties prove their contention that the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) used in the February-March assembly elections were, or could be, tampered with.

It also announced that all future elections will be held using Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail.

The VVPAT system records the candidate and symbol a person voted for but the voter cannot take the receipt home.

Several opposition politicians had alleged EVM-tampering in assembly polls but the commission ruled out such a possibility.

Representatives of the Bahujan Samaj Party, Congress, Aam Aadmi Party, and Trinamool Congress had raised concerns over EVMs at the all-party meeting.

The AAP had welcomed the poll panel’s announcement of holding an EVM challenge but insisted on the ‘hackathon’. The party said given a chance, it can prove that the machines can be hacked.

The Trinamool Congress had demanded a return to paper balloting in the country.

The poll panel’s announcement came after the AAP used a dummy EVM to purportedly show how the machine could be manipulated. EC, however, dismissed the Arvind Kejriwal-led party’s assertion outright, saying the machine used by Bharadwaj was a “lookalike” of an EVM and therefore could be used to demonstrate “any magic” or tampering.

In 2009, the Commission had held a similar challenge and it claims no one was able to tamper with its machines. Then 100 EVMs from various parts of the country were brought to Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi for the challenge.

First Published: May 20, 2017 08:36 IST