The Election Commission
has dismissed the concerns raised by some political parties over the
“efficacy and safety” of the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs). In a
detailed press note issued today, EC has asserted that the machines used
during elections in the country are “tamper proof.” It said “ECI
unequivocally reiterates that given effective technical and
administrative safeguards, EVMs are not temperable and integrity of
electoral process is preserved.
EC has said , EVMs in India are a standalone machine without being
linked to any network and with no provision for any input. Giving
details of the procedure followed between voting and election results,
the EC said the machines are readied and sealed in the presence of the
candidates and their agents.
Giving details of the technical specifications, the EC said “the machine
is electronically protected to prevent any tampering/manipulation. The
programme (software) used in these machines is burnt into a One Time
Programmable (OTP)/Masked chip so that it cannot be altered or tampered
with. Further these machines are not networked either by wire or by
wireless to any other machine or system. Therefore, there is no
possibility of its data corruption. The software of EVMs is developed
in-house by a selected group of Engineers in BEL (Defence Ministry PSU)
and ECIL (Atomic Energy Ministry’s PSU) independently from each other.
After completion of software design, testing and evaluation of the
software is carried out by an independent testing group as per the
software requirements specifications (SRS).
EC has asserted that it has put in place an elaborate administrative
system of security measures and procedural checks-and-balances aimed at
preventing any possible misuse or procedural lapses.
Since 2000, EVMs have been used in 107 General Elections to State
Legislative Assemblies and 3 General Elections to Lok Sabha held in
2004, 2009 & 2014.
Introduced after a prolonged political discussion, followed by
administrative and technical consultations that began in 1979, EMVs have
been credited by the commission for not only shortening the election
process, but also helping in stemming malpractices such as booth
capturing and bogus voting.