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VVPATs EVM Malfunctiong in Kairana: Is it a real threat ?

VVPATs EVM Malfunctiong in Kairana- Is it a real threat

Election Commission is considering re-polling in certain booths of Kairana Lok Sabha constituency of western Uttar Pradesh, where the EVM machines are said to be found malfunctioning, but the opposition claims that they were tempered to benefit the ruling party candidates.

Is it really possible to temper the machine, or made it to program according to the choice of the party in power? EC says, absolutely no, but opposition says yes, it is possible. According to official reports, a total of 1,073 VVPATs malfunctioned in various Lok Sabha constituencies and the Noorpur Assembly constituency of Uttar Pradesh. Data showed that 355 VVPATs were reported malfunctioning which needed to be changed. In Noorpur of Bijnaur district, 29 paper trail machines had to be replaced due to malfunctioning.

Electronic Voting Machines are being employed in elections since 1999 elections, in a phased manner. EVMs have to replace paper ballots in all the elections in the country. Earlier, there were claims regarding EVMs’ tamparability and security which have not been proved, even to the courts. A number of petitions had been filed time and again in Delhi High Court, Supreme Court and various political parties have demanded to theElection Commission to decide to introduce EVMs with voter-verified paper audit trail system. Ultimately, the VVPAT system was introduced in eight Lok Sabha constituencies as a trial based in Indian general election, 2014.

A seminar on the EVMs and its susceptability of tampering of these machines was called in the year 2010. The seminar was of the view that the Election Commission of India needs to come forward on the issue of transparency in the working of the EVMs.Later, an independent analysis was also undertaken by a research team which demonstrated a pseudo attack carried out on a real EVM, as well as descriptions of fewl other potential loopholes.

In order to rule out these threats, it was recommended to make use of a voting system that offers much more transparency and thus, a voter verified paper audit trail was considered a safe and feasible idea. On the contrary, the Election Commission opined that for tampering of these machines, a physical access is necessary, and special tech skills are needed to manipulate, and it is almost impossible to gain physical access to the machines in a democratic setup.

Trials of the VVPAT system were conducted at Ladakh, Thiruvananthapuram, Cherrapunjee, East Delhi and Jaisalmer in the same year, i.e. 2011. In the beginning of the next year Election Commission also ordered public sector giants who manufacture these machines to make EVMs that will generate a paper trail of each and individual vote.

Supreme Court of India has delivered its judgement on the PIL, that Election Commission of India will only use only VVPAT along with EVMs, in a phased manner and the full completion of this technology should be achieved by the year 2019.

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