EVM fraud? Roll out VVPATs, only way to silence doubting politicians, say ex-CECs

The EC has been writing to the Law Ministry (its parent ministry) for funds to purchase approximately 16 lakh VVPATs, for which it needs Rs 3,100 crore.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: March 21, 2017 11:12 am
EVM fraud, EVM error, EVM voting machines, VVPAT, VVPAT printer, news, india news, india election news, election commission news, latest EC news, EVM fraud news, hs brahma, SY Qureshi EVMs Former chief election commissioners H S Brahma and S Y Quraishi at the Idea Exchange, Delhi. (Express Photo/Renuka Puri)

Calling for a quick rollout of the Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines in all polling stations across the country, former Chief Election Commissioners S Y Quraishi and H S Brahma have said that the paper trail system is the only way to silence politicians raising doubts over alleged tampering of electronic voting machines or EVMs.

Speaking at The Indian Express Idea Exchange event on Monday (transcript will be published in The Sunday Express), Brahma said: “I personally feel worried when political parties and politicians question the credibility of voting machines. The credibility of EVMs has been established beyond doubt through court judgments. Having said that, I think, once we cover all polling stations with VVPATs, it will put an end to 90 per cent of the allegations leveled against EVMs and we will have the most dependable election process in the world.”

Several parties, including the BSP, Samajwadi Party and Aam Aadmi Party have questioned the infallibility of EVMs following the Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand results. Before its triumph in the 2014 general elections, the BJP, too, had talked of EVM tampering on many occasions. VVPAT machines produce a printout of the vote cast using an EVM which can be shown to the voter to dispel any doubts. This printout is then deposited in a box and can be used to resolve any dispute regarding the election. In 2013, the Supreme Court ordered the EC to implement the VVPAT system in a phased manner and the Commission had committed to have it in place by the time of the 2019 general elections.

The EC has been writing to the Law Ministry (its parent ministry) for funds to purchase approximately 16 lakh VVPATs, for which it needs Rs 3,100 crore. The Commission, as The Indian Express reported last week, sent over 10 reminders to the government on the matter since June 2014 but hasn’t received any funds till date. The delay prompted Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi to send an SOS of sorts to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 25, 2016.

Criticising the delay in release of funds meant for VVPAT purchase, Quraishi said, “The (incumbent) CEC has said that it will take 30 months to manufacture the machines. The cost of Rs 3500 crore is peanuts when it comes to conducting elections in a transparent manner. This is something the government should look at immediately. What are they doing?”

Asked about EVMs being junked by other countries, Quraishi said, “We are talking of four European countries (that banned EVMs) which were all using machines made in one place, that is, the Netherlands. So when the machine failed in one country, the others will also ban it. There was a case of cheating against Volkswagen but does that mean we should we also ban Mercedes? Secondly, everyone is talking about the German Supreme Court which outlawed the EVMs but no one has read their judgment. I did. It was done for a legal reason. Their Constitution demands that elections should be conducted in a transparent manner. When the voter presses a button he cannot physically see his vote going to the candidate of choice, which is why it (EVMs) was banned. The court didn’t say that the technology is bad.

“Moreover, we don’t follow the German Supreme Court. We follow our Supreme Court, which, almost 25 years ago during Kerala state elections, had struck down the use of EVMs for legal reasons and not technical. The court had pointed out that the law does not have provision for use of EVMs. We went to the Parliament and got it incorporated in the Act and came back with a bang. We have been using these machines so successfully for last 20 years.”

Both Brahma and Quraishi also endorsed the introduction of the totaliser machines, a proposal that has been repeatedly rejected by the NDA government. These machines increase the secrecy of voting by counting votes polled at 14 polling booths together, as against the current practice of announcing booth-wise results.

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    Chander Pal
    Mar 21, 2017 at 4:23 am
    The rejected politicians are really depressed. Still there is no harm in upgrading the technology. For that E C should support a startup technology for (1) should be 100% Indian (2) should be low cost and (3) should have export potential.
    Reply
    1. S
      ss
      Mar 21, 2017 at 6:29 am
      I think there is some pattern in how these EVM's perform in different scenarios, which can never be tested in testing phase. when all exit polls said BJP not getting more than 180 on average, how come they get 323.absolutely evm's have failed
      Reply
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        Atul
        Mar 21, 2017 at 8:32 am
        The politicians would doubt everything. Here is a case that a politician is doubting the process without the shred of an evidence. i am sorry to say that the system is reacting to irresposible politicians.
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          Amit C
          Mar 21, 2017 at 1:27 am
          EC has enough powers, as shown by Mr. TN Seshan. Onus is on them to come clean objectively. Saying EVM can't be tempered and my machines are good not enough.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;How many people complain against IIT JEE, IAS after failing. Hardly any!!
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            Toshi
            Mar 21, 2017 at 11:17 am
            Post your opinion...SHAMELESS BJP Supporters!!! EVMs tempered or not,the mandate was not for making a criminal historysheeter a womenhater narrow minded goon as the CM of U.P!!! BLACK DAY FOR DEMOCRACY N U.P!!!
            Reply
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              Toshi
              Mar 21, 2017 at 11:20 am
              tanu Post your opinion...BJP will n is already destroying n corrupting the harmony among us Indians!!! bjp is making me feel guilty n disgusting being a Hindu!!! NO,BJP!! YOU DONT N U CANT REPRESENT HINDUS LIKE ME..it is a secondary ideny.. iam an Indian first...
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                S Srinivasan
                Mar 21, 2017 at 5:35 am
                For a change ,why not we ban elections in our country for 10 years from nowlt;br/gt;and leave the country at the hands of The President,The Governors and somelt;br/gt;eminent administrators.Atleast some worthwhile would happen in the country andlt;br/gt;by then the disgruntled politicians of SP,BSP,AAP,RJD and different useless Dhals,lt;br/gt;and most importantly Congress would disappear from the picture.Country canlt;br/gt;invest the huge expenditure wasted for elections,ries for the politicians.
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                  Shaan
                  Apr 26, 2017 at 2:56 pm
                  Mr Srinivasan, I guess you need to understand the process of election of Presidents and govornors....They are all elected by elected representatives of People that is MLAs and MPs who are politicians.... so you mean to say that we will not have MPs and MLAs and president and govornors will be elected/nominated/appointed from heaven by God? Or you want president and govornors to be elected/nominated/appointed directly by people of the country... if they are elected directly by people of the country then candidates contesting for positions of President will be a hardcore politician...SO how are you going to stop that.... Please answer.....
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                  Tushar
                  Mar 21, 2017 at 6:15 am
                  Demonetisation was loss of money and effort and a strike on opposition to grab their money
                  Reply
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                    Tushar
                    Mar 21, 2017 at 6:13 am
                    Just stop ur dimwit dude... It's their responsibility to prove their honesty
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                      Tushar
                      Mar 21, 2017 at 6:01 am
                      So u mean BJp has to exist ? 👎👎👎👎. Great idea but no in favor of the country any ways .biased
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                        Tushar
                        Mar 21, 2017 at 9:05 am
                        But it is still generating doubt dude . . I don't think having gone through a riot Muslims from few consuency where they are the majority wud vote for bjp..Kuch to kaala hai . any ways of nothing was wrong then y do they really hesitate implement VVPAT
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                          Tushar
                          Mar 21, 2017 at 9:23 am
                          Court had already ordered for VVPAT in 2017 ... But THE don't dbt follow. Those who believe in God .let me tell u ...Such things will be never tolerated ..people will pray for the fall of the party to the god who is the last Savior .. Each and every one who is involved in it (if it is fraud )/will have to face the consequences
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                            Tushar
                            Mar 21, 2017 at 9:21 am
                            Even u once said here .that u have been in UP very recent days close to the last phase election and u didn't feel the trend will go in any ones favor ... U said there is a chance of hung government ..rememebr .. ? These goons are dividing India . I have read one article yesterday ...what says if this government continue to rule for another five year .dia will be divided into two ..North and South .coz people from South are really not being tolerated by all these lt;br/gt;dic tat orsh ip
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                              Tushar
                              Mar 21, 2017 at 9:26 am
                              Ur real face too is exposed .. I thought u had a mindset of standing along with the right thing. but ..... lt;br/gt;Any ways then y this hesitation if party is honest .No one is demanding the recheck of UP results but they are demanding the use of VVPAT in future
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                                Tushar
                                Mar 21, 2017 at 9:29 am
                                Yeah that box will be under observation of every party people
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                                  Tushar
                                  Mar 21, 2017 at 1:52 am
                                  Good one but make it happen instead of just expressing it's opinion
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                                    bha patel
                                    Mar 21, 2017 at 3:01 am
                                    Obviously fraud after looking to bjp stupid win. CBI can't be trusted too. So leave with this new reality.
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                                      Rakesh Pandit
                                      Mar 21, 2017 at 10:41 am
                                      Cannit agree with such lies. Miya tusar, if evm can be tampered, what about punjab? Delhi? Bihar? I request you not expose your stupidity here.
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                                        Arun
                                        Mar 21, 2017 at 2:38 am
                                        Only those who lost election have doubt about EVMs.Arvind Kejriwal had forgotten about same when his party in Delhi Election own 66 seats out of 70 seats.He has become restless when he could not get power in Punjab and Goa.He has no other work other than criticise Narendra Modi day in day out.That is why he lost election in Punjab and Goa.He made IITians laughing stock by his behavior in Public.Even Tejashwi Prasad Yadav Dy CM of Bihar,9th standard failed is more matured and better administrator than Arvind Kejriwal.
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                                          Dr.Damodar Biswal
                                          Mar 21, 2017 at 7:35 am
                                          Only losers blame the EVMs.Same losers do not open their mouth when win the elections.This is unfortunate n not acceptable.EVM is the best method of voting n have replaced physical voting after thorough research.
                                          Reply
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                                            Dr.Damodar Biswal
                                            Mar 21, 2017 at 7:41 am
                                            Our law makers will not make it happen,sir.
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