EVM tampering: Paper trail voting in all future polls, says EC

The decisions were announced at the end of a marathon day-long meeting of the poll panel with 42 political parties on matters related to electronic voting machines (EVMs).

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: May 13, 2017 9:32 am
EVM, EVM tamering, EVM issue, AAP, EC, EC EVM, Aam Aadmi Party, EVM AAP, EVM all party meeting, election commission, EC EVM, india news, indian express news As first reported by The Indian Express on April 20, the EC has already decided to link all EVMs with VVPAT machines for the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh assembly elections

The Election Commission (EC) on Friday committed to hold all future polls to state assemblies and Lok Sabha with voter verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) and also agreed to mandatorily tally paper trail slips with the EVM results of a fixed percentage of polling booths in every election. The decisions were announced at the end of a day-long meeting of the poll panel with 42 political parties on matters related to electronic voting machines (EVMs).

“The Commission has taken into account that the VVPAT slips of electronic voting machines, up to a definite percentage which will be determined by the Commission, will also be subjected to counting and the ECI will evolve an appropriate framework in this regard,” Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi told reporters after the meeting.

As first reported by The Indian Express on April 20, the EC has decided to link all EVMs to VVPAT machines for the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh assembly elections, due by the end of the year. VVPAT machines produce a printout of the vote cast using an EVM.

The printout is deposited in a box and can be used to resolve any dispute regarding the election.

“Political parties were also informed that the Commission will hold a challenge and offer opportunity to political parties to demonstrate that EVMs used in the recently concluded assembly elections were tampered or that EVMs can be tampered even under the laid down technical and administrative measures,” Zaidi said.

The poll panel did not, however, announce the date of the proposed ‘Open Challenge’. According to sources, it will be held this month and political parties along with their technical experts will be invited to prove their allegations of tampering on EVMs used in the elections in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Manipur and Goa.

At Friday’s meeting, most political parties, except the BJP and SAD (Badal), expressed apprehension over the infallibility of the EVMs. While a majority of the seven national and 35 state parties supported the use of VVPATs along with the voting machines, a few such as the Trinamool Congress, RJD, BSP, CPI, PMK and J&K National Panthers Party, wanted the EC to go back to paper ballots.

Incidentally, the JD(U) took a stand opposite to that of its Bihar ally RJD. JD(U) representative Sanjay Jha cited the example of rampant booth capturing in Bihar in the past to oppose the proposal to use paper ballots again.

Some parties, including RLD and Congress, which supported the use of VVPATs, urged the Commission to extend the display period of the VVPAT slip before it falls into the ballot box. Currently, the paper trail slip is displayed for seven seconds in the VVPAT window before it drops into the box. Parties want the display to last for 15 seconds.

Many parties, including RLD, CPI, JD(S) and National Conference, also objected to the recent amendments to the Companies Act of 2013 which removed the cap of 7.5 per cent on corporate contribution to political parties. “You (the government) have allowed unlimited corporate funding (to parties) but brought down the cash limit on donations from Rs 20,000 to Rs 2,000. This move will only benefit political parties such as the Congress and BJP,” CPI leader Atul Kumar Anjan said.

Parties which opposed unlimited corporate funding supported state funding of elections in the same breath. The CPI, TMC, JD(S) and JD(U) were among the supporters. The Commission assured all parties that their feedback will be considered.

Zaidi said, “You should be convinced that EC has no favourites… we maintain equidistance from all parties and groups. It is our constitutional and moral duty to stand dead centre of the circle drawn around us by 56 political parties.” His remarks came against the backdrop of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal questioning the independence of Election Commissioners A K Joti and O P Rawat.

At the meeting, AAP leader and Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia welcomed the EC’s announcement of using VVPATs in all future elections and urged the Commission to mandatorily count paper trail slips in 25 per cent of the polling booths in every constituency on the day of the results to instil more faith in the voting process. Sisodia maintained that his party will demonstrate hacking on EC’s EVM on the day of the proposed ‘Open Challenge’ just like it did on a prototype in the Delhi Assembly on Tuesday.

The all-party meeting was called in the wake of Opposition parties questioning the infallibility of EVMs after their rout in the UP and Uttarakhand assembly elections. Last month, a delegation of Opposition parties led by the Congress had met the three election commissioners to urge them to revert to the ballot system of voting.

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  1. S
    Sankaran Krishnan
    May 13, 2017 at 5:03 pm
    Election Commission had done the good job and it is as usual some of the Political Parties which are all facing defeats and uncertainty are only opposing without any valid reasons and let us reject them. With Paper TRail VVPAT India becomes the first country to advance their Polls through Electronic Voting which is also the largest of the democracy across the Globe to try this novel method and bring transparency !!!
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      AMERICAN
      May 13, 2017 at 11:07 am
      he indians you are so foolish the brahmni EC fooled you from 2014 elections by rigging EVM first it rejected all claims , now it adding VVPAT means sanghi EC accepted that EVM are tamperable otherwise it would have resigned in protest of fool proof EVM - now sanghi EC playing another game of VVPAT - basic engine driving VVPAT is EVM which is tamperable so can an addition of a bogey to engine will make engine EVM non tamperable - LOL most foolish people and slavery loving sheeps are in india in my country we would have ransacked EC and RSS BJP within 24 hrs
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        sohail
        May 13, 2017 at 10:26 am
        VVPAT ALSO TAMPERABLE EVM memory unit chit will be programmed to alter votes registaration but press button unit will be programed to give exact and correct paper slip - again VOTER IS FOOLED why not give one slip to voter to take home - they wont do it - because safron thugary will not survive -
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          sri.s
          May 13, 2017 at 10:19 am
          Paper trail is apparently good move but it is not in many cases. Many time political parties threaten voters to vote ' them or else...!' The voter at least got the option to vote his/her choice when actually voting but now there will be none. The goons who would be present during votes simply ask voter to bring back the slip to them. So nobody would dare to vote others. EC need to use their brain more. EC should not buckle under pressure from political parties who got their own vested interest.
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            Deshu
            May 13, 2017 at 9:19 am
            EC and Indian voters are honest but some politicians/Political Parties are dishonest and want to blame EVMs after their defeat in election. However all of them must know that they can not fool voters by false promises/Slogan before coming to power.Aam Aadmi had immense faith in Arvind Kejriwal.Public were expecting him to uproot Corruption as soon as coming to power but their hopes were crushed when he himself took bribe of 2 crores as revealed by his own Colleague.Whom to believe ?Now he wants to blame EVMs with hue and cry.
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            1. T
              Tushar
              May 13, 2017 at 9:48 am
              Just like there was an allegation against modi n Sahara case and we all waited for court to decide it lets wait for court about kejris matter... And about kejris governance...even though he was CM his power was totally tied up by the Central government using their power . police and other armed forces were not under him ... Central government took that power deliberately .. No funds for the welfare of the people were allowed .. fcavt they were stopped to defame him
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              ProudToBeIndian
              May 13, 2017 at 9:07 am
              God bless you.
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                Curious onlooker
                May 13, 2017 at 8:33 am
                Discarding EVM machines for future elections, conclusively proves AK's su ion that these voting machines are vulnerable to being tampered with. The right course of justice would also be to declare all results of elections where these machines were used as invalid.
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                  ashok s
                  May 13, 2017 at 8:29 am
                  Best way to count votes is to keep each voters in sepereate rooms as per their respective party votes n release them after counting each head
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                    Ramesh Chhabra
                    May 13, 2017 at 8:28 am
                    Whether print on VVPAT paper will good to see the print? Whether this print will remain alive till the counting (45 days) of Votes? Theses questions are in view of ATM's print.
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                      DP
                      May 13, 2017 at 8:02 am
                      Ok EC. So what went wrong during the earlier demo by EC's officer lady. Shows nothing is fool proof. Don't think the Americans & Brits are fools to discard EVMs for voting.
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                        Mohmed
                        May 13, 2017 at 7:33 am
                        A delegation of parties led by the Congress.Which Congress?ABC or Z?Does It still exist?
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                        1. J
                          John Joseph
                          May 13, 2017 at 6:27 am
                          A curious case of opportunism Vs Nationalism: Rohith Vemula was born on 30 Jan 1989. He committed suicide on 17 Jan 2016. He was a student. He was 27 years old. Lieutenant Umer Fayaz was born on 08 Jun 1994. He was shot dead by terrorists on 10 May 2017. He was an Army officer. He was 23 years old. Rohith’s death was mourned by politicians, human rights activists and other similar people and organisations.  Awards were returned, candle light vigils were organized, and the issue was even raised in the UN Human Rights Council. The bereaved mother was visited by politicians of all hues and colours and by the media honchos. Umer’s death was mourned by his brothers in uniform and by his immediate family. Period. No candle light vigils, no political slugfests, no tears. No one from the political establishment attended the funeral. Why should they? Wouldn’t their precious lives be at risk if they ventured into those areas
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                            Mohmed
                            May 13, 2017 at 7:40 am
                            Right brother.But who created this situation?We the people who voted for corrupt people who looted the nation.You seem to be an enlightened reader.Do you agree that we don't respect the honest?
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                              Curious onlooker
                              May 13, 2017 at 8:37 am
                              Start with reforming your religion to sanity.
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                            Suresh Iyengar
                            May 13, 2017 at 6:03 am
                            I am glad that at last the election commission has accepted the genuine concerns of AK and agreed to put measures to prevent vote rigging as it happened in Punjab and Delhi.
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                              DP
                              May 13, 2017 at 8:10 am
                              Quite agree. The media and paid bhakts are always eager to prowl on him. If he had kept quiet the wrong doings would continue unabated.He is an IIT alumni, and has more IQ than others.
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                              T N
                              May 13, 2017 at 5:46 am
                              I have a problem with VVPAT. What if there is a difference in the VVPAT counting and EVM electronic counting. Which is correct? What will EC do if there is difference of even 1 vote? There will be hue and cry from all. There will be chaos. Fundamentally you cannot record a vote in two modes - printing and electronic. If EVM can be rigged even the printing can be rigged. The printed paper shows the party symbol for 7 seconds and it drops. If the printing paper is pre-printed with invisible ink of the symbol of the rigging party then the symbol that appears for 7 seconds can be made to vanish allowing the pre-printed symbol to remain. EC should put its foot down and stick to EVM machines without VVPAT. When people travel by plane do they question the technology? If they did then they should not travel. Trust in the EC as a cons utional body should be total. There are enough checks and balances to ensure free and fair poll.
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                              1. S
                                sg
                                May 13, 2017 at 10:23 am
                                how can you say say there are enough checks in the present mode EVM. Are you insider of ec or evm manufacturing compnies.Are you qualified elctronic expert who cross cked and tested evms for fail/fraud proof.What is the problem for you if VVPTs are used many countries where machines are used for voting VVPT are used as feed back conformation for the voter.IF evm and paper trails have different out put result then it will be claer that they are tampered, just swhon as in the case of bhind bye election demo voting by RO ena sing.IT can not be due to technical snags such cases of difference election gets cancelled then voting can done with ballot papers.You canot trust totally EC officails.TTV dinakaran (AIADMK)bought election officials for party symbol allocation.bargaining already happened ,it was just at the payment stage it was caught by police.Even in Bofors gun scam case political heads were buoght for deal by swedish compnay Bofors.It also paid the commission..
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                                Parimala
                                May 13, 2017 at 4:03 am
                                It does not need a IAS or an IIT graduate to say or prove that EVM's can be tampered, even my g mother would have said without baiting her eyelid. The EC's are quite aware and most of them play to the party they support, because no one can be imaprtial to the core, not even gods ,specially Hindu and Greek gods, were impartial,the party in power, would bring those whose sympathy is with the ru party, to ensure that they Tamper the EVm's to favour the party that gave them this unenviable post of EC. I for one do not support VVAPT for 25 of the EVM's because even this gives the EC's to manipulate in favourb of BJP. Go back only to Paper ballot like in my country US or in countries of Europe.
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                                  Abdul Jamal
                                  May 13, 2017 at 6:17 am
                                  Even in your country George Bush Jr manipulated paper vote and got elected. Remember Florida? Trump claims 4 to 5 million paper votes were put by Hillary supporters. But you are not going to put these facts as you want to spread fake news and lies about BJP and blame Hindu since your brown Christian masters whose slave you are have told you to spread hatred against Hindus and India. No god not even your brown Jew who got nailed to cross can wink his eye and is probably crying in his grave for you all using his name to spread slavery in the name of Jesus. Doesn't your g mother know that Christian pope will always be a white supremacist male in Vatican?
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                                  ak dev
                                  May 13, 2017 at 3:29 am
                                  As I have suggested earlier also, EVMs must be sealed so that if somebody try to open it, EVM will be damaged. Also there should be a way to sign the machine electronically by EC so that a duplicate can be identified.
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                                    MyTake
                                    May 13, 2017 at 3:07 am
                                    Make available a parallel option for voting as follows: 1. Develop apps for voting online any time upto 10 years in advance. Cross check with any of his/her bank aco s or death registry (created) to make sure the person is still alive at the time. 2. On the last day of election this vote is to be counted. 3. This will reduce burden on EVM/Paper trails etc. and useless "service" of Hopo-sition! This will also encourage reducing spending on electioneering by the candidates because many already know who to vote for and have done their job.
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                                      RS
                                      May 13, 2017 at 2:36 am
                                      Mr. EC Commissioner, this is not enough. There must be re-voting in Punjab and Delhi. Current elections were rigged by the BJP using EVMs. Don't hide behind your future plans. Look at the public response to AAP in Punjab, there is no correlation between the show of support for AAP and the concocted results that were produced by the BJP's EVMs.
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                                        Ram
                                        May 13, 2017 at 1:34 am
                                        AAP rogues should understand as to how they got 48 seats in MCD if all votes go to BJP. Further how that Khujli cleared his IRS when he does not know simple calculation. SP BSP polled more votes than BJP in UP in seats and how this could be possible when all votes go to BJP.
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                                          MyTake
                                          May 13, 2017 at 12:25 am
                                          Good decision to improve areas that need more to be done. This is very normal. Opposition will pay a heavy price in yet to be held elections for their mocking of a system, without making any positive contribution. A system may have lackings but people are smart enough to identify who are trying to improve it and who are mocking it. Opposition does not seem to have got that message yet that people are trying to give them!
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                                            Satya
                                            May 13, 2017 at 12:17 am
                                            Why BJP and EC Fear Election with Ballot Papers which gives more confidence and faith to voter and protects the legitimacy of the Electoral process. When we cannot see if our vote is going to the candidate we are voting to then why using something full of su ion and doubts.
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                                              Sujatha Selvam
                                              May 13, 2017 at 12:43 am
                                              BJP prefer EVM because they used it as Every Vote Modi. EC is supporting BJP. And BJP do not want paper ballet because, it will not win.
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