EVM challenge to start from June 3: Election Commission of India

ECI chief Zaidi rubbished the AAP's claim that EVMs could be tampered with, and said no manipulation of the machines is possible.

Published: 20th May 2017 04:28 PM  |   Last Updated: 21st May 2017 02:46 AM   |  A+A-

Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi along with Election Commissioners A K Joti demonstrating the working of Electronic Voting Machines EVMs and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail System VVPATs while brushing aside the EVM tampering allegation before addressing a press conference on EVM Challenge at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi on Saturday. | PTI

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Asserting that EVMs are tamper-proof, the poll panel on Saturday announced that the challenge to prove it wrong will start from June 3. The chief election commissioner Nasim Zaidi said that people who had questioned the reliability of EVMs have not yet submitted any proof or credible material to support their claim.

“Complaints came after elections in the five states, but we did not receive any credible material information on EVM tampering from the complainants. We believe in complete transparency and have no reason to hide anything,” Zaidi said on Saturday afternoon.

“We did a thorough investigation after we received complaints following the elections held in Bhind. It has been made clear through the demo that no tampering was done. These are baseless rumours,” he added.

He said people who had questioned the reliability of EVMs have not yet submitted any proof or credible material to support their claim. Zaidi said replacement of the internal circuit of EVMs is not possible at all.

"Our EVMs have strong technological features and are tamper-proof," he said.

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However, AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal took to twitter to comment, “Sir, u never provided the machines pl.” Subsequently, in a press conference during evening hours, AAP leader Sanjay Singh said, “Why does EC have 'Terms and Conditions' for the EVM Challenge? Will anyone tampering elections adhere to EC's rules?”

The CEC on Saturday also asserted that all elections in the future would be held with VVPAT along with EVMs across polling stations to bring in transparency and India will be the first such country to use paper trail machines during polling.

As many as 13.95 lakh ballot units, 9.3 lakh ballot control units and 16.5 lakh VVPAT machines are under production, Zaidi said.

The CEC said that the EVM challenge was open to both national and state parties. The parties could nominate 3 authorized persons and would need to confirm their interest by 5 pm on 26 May.

The poll panel also held a demonstration of how EVMs and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail System (VVPATs) work amid allegations that EVMs could be tampered with. “Replacement of internal circuit of EVMs is not possible. Our EVMs have strong technological features and are tamper-proof,” Zaidi added.

The CEC refuted the Aam Aadmi Party’s claim that EVMs could be tampered with, and said no manipulation of the machines is possible. He also said that improving the election process is a responsibility of all stakeholders and the EC is taking all necessary steps in this regard.

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