Electronic Voting Machines( EVMs) passed legal scrutiny, says poll panel

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VVPT will enable electors in selected constituencies to see a printout of their ballot — displaying the name, election symbol and serial number of the chosen candidate.!image courtesy : News18.com

“The Election Commission unequivocally reiterates that given effective technical and administrative safeguards, electronic voting machines (EVMs) are not tamperable and integrity of electoral process is preserved,” the EC said in a statement.

The Election Commission on Thursday emphasised that electronic voting machines (EVMs) were tamper proof and termed the allegations by some political parties concerning their use in assembly elections to five states as “baseless, speculative and wild”.

Electronic voting machines have passed legal scrutiny in the past, the Election Commission underlined on Thursday, even as the BSP prepared to move court challenging the credibility of the devices.

The poll panel noted that five high courts — Madras, Delhi, Karnataka, Kerala and Bombay — have in the past held that EVMs used to conduct elections were “credible, reliable and totally tamper-proof”.

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“In some of these cases,” the poll panel said, “even the Supreme Court has dismissed appeals filed by some petitioners against high court orders.”

“ECI assures all citizens that EVMs are tamper-proof and (it is) fully satisfied with the integrity of the election process using EVMs,” it said.

Referring to videos of alleged EVM tampering doing the rounds on social media, the EC said, “What has been demonstrated or claimed to have been demonstrated is on a privately assembled lookalike of ECI-EVMs and not the actual ECI-EVMs.”

It said the commission did not receive specific complaints or concrete material from political parties/candidates about alleged tampering of EVMs in assembly elections in five states.

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“If any specific allegation with material facts is presented to the ECI, the same will be looked into with all seriousness,” the poll panel said.

Pointing out that polls to 107 assemblies and three national elections were held since the introduction of EVMs in 2000, the EC said, “At this stage, baseless, speculative and wild allegations are being made which deserve to be rejected.” It offered to look into any specific allegation presented to it with material facts, “with all seriousness on the administrative side”.

“There is also no question of introducing any virus or bugs for the reason that EVMs cannot be compared to personal computers. The programming in computers, as suggested, has no bearing with EVMs,”it said.

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The BSP is likely to move court with its allegation that the BJP managed a landslide victory in the Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand by tampering with a large number of EVMs.

Harish Rawat, the outgoing chief minister of Uttarakhand, echoed BSP supremo Mayawati’s views to suggest that EVM tampering might have helped the BJP defeat his Congress party.

AAP leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has also charged that EVM tampering might have led to the party’s poor performance in Punjab. The BJP has already rejected her allegations.

SP supremo Akhilesh Yadav, for his part, had said there should be an inquiry into the charges levelled by Mayawati.