Putting to rest all speculations surrounding the tamperability of EVMs (Electronic Voting Machines), Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi on Saturday reiterated that manipulation of machines at the manufacturing stage is not possible due to stringent security measures. “No manipulation of EVM is possible,” said Zaidi during a press conference called upon to ensure credibility and the authenticity of the voting machine.
Throwing an open challenge to all national and state political parties from June 3 onwards to prove that the machines can’t be tampered with, the Election Commission stated that parties will need to confirm their interest by 5 pm on 26th May. Through this process, the poll watchdog will be able to restore and enhance voters’ confidence in the EVM voting system, said Zaidi. “We are holding challenge not to win or lose but to strengthen our processes,” he added.
Asserting that improving election process is responsibility of all stakeholders and citizens of India, Zaidi said replacement of internal circuit of EVMs is not possible as they have strong technological features and are tamper-proof. “The Election Commission would like to assure the citizens of the country that the commission won’t leave any stone unturned to maintain the credibility and integrity of the election process. We want all citizens and stakeholders to be aware of our electoral processes so that the commission can further strengthen the conduct of free and fair elections in the country,” the CEC said.
Targeting critics, the Chief Election Commissioner stated that people who questioned the reliability of EVMs are yet to provide any proof or credible material to support their claim. With an aim to bring in more transparency, the Election Commission said all future elections will be held with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail System (VVPAT) along with EVMs across polling stations. He added that 16.5 lakh VVPAT are currently under production.
Last month, sixteen opposition parties had urged the Election Commission to adopt the old paper ballot system saying that the alleged tampering has created trust deficit in the credibility of the EVMs. Parties alleged that the machines used in the recently-held assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur, Goa and Punjab were tampered with and favoured the BJP.
Earlier this month, the Aam Aadmi Party had conducted a live demonstration on how the voting machines can be manipulated during a special session of the Delhi assembly. However, the poll panel responded to the development saying it was a prototype which was made to function in a ‘tampered’ manner.
With inputs from PTI, ANI