Electronic Voting Machine Challenge Flops in India

Chief Election Commissioner Dr. Nasim Zaidi
Chief Election Commissioner Dr. Nasim Zaidi

As most political parties in India had raised doubts about the functioning of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) saying that Narendra Modi’s party BJP wins elections by tampering with EVMs, the Election Commission of India (ECI) had invited all national and state recognized political parties to participate in the EVM Challenge.

The challenge was supposed to give an opportunity to the parties to prove that the EVMs are vulnerable. According to ECI, only two political parties, NCP and CPI(M), submitted their interest in participating the EVM challenge till 5.00 PM on 26th May, 2017.

[ How to Prevent Pervasive Voting Frauds in India ]

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) of Arvind Kejriwal rejected the ECI Challenge saying that it was a farce. “AAP believes that the 3rd June EC demonstration is a pure eye-wash which will achieve nothing,” the party said in a statement. The party has announced its own EVM Challenge to show the EVM vulnerability.

Since none of the two political parties specified their choices for EVMs to be chosen from five poll gone states, the Commission brought 14 EVMs randomly in sealed condition kept in strong rooms from 12 Assembly Constituencies of Punjab, Uttrakhand and Uttar Pradesh for the EVM challenge scheduled for Saturday, 3rd June, 2017.

[ Why You Must Not Trust Electronic Voting Machines in India ]

Earlier, the Commission had a meeting with all National and State Political Parties on 12 May 2017 in which 42 parties participated. While majority expressed full confidence on the integrity of EVMs, according to ECI, a few continued to raise doubts on functioning of the ECI-EVM.

Commission held a press conference on 20 May 2017 and explained in great detail why it has absolute confidence on non-tamperability of ECI-EVMs working within the technical and administrative safeguards.

Commission then announced an EVM Challenge and spelt out a complete framework and sent to all political parties on 20th May along with invitation.

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Rakesh Raman