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Sunday, March 10, 2019

Indian : EVM & Elections

EVM as we all know stands for electronic voting machine.This machine is designed by Mr. Rangarajan in supervision of Sujatha Rangarajan during his tenure at Bharat Electronics Limited.

        The EVM were commissioned in 1989 by Election Commission of India in collaboration with Bharat Electronics Limited and Electronics Corporation of India Limited. The EVM were first-time used in 1982 in the by election to North Paravur Assembly Constituency in Kerala. In 1998 it is used in 16 Assembly seats in MP, Rajasthan and Delhi. The EVMs were entirely used first time in general election to the Assembly of Goa in 1999; encouraged  by this Election Commission decided to use only EVMs for Lok Sabha election in 2004.

Design & Technology:
             EVMs are powered  by an ordinary 6 volt alkaline battery. An EVM can record a maximum of 3840 votes and can cater to a maximum of 64 candidates. There is a provision for 16 candidates in a single balloting unit and up to a maximum of 4 units can be connected in parallel. If the number of candidate exceeds from 64 than conventional ballot Paper box method is used.

              The cost of per EVM is estimated to be 10500 rupees in 2017. Even though the initial investment was heavy but it save the cost of production and printing of crore of ballot papers, their transportation, storage, substantial reduction in the Counting Staff and the remunerations paid to them. It is estimated that about 10,000 tons of the ballot of paper are saved for each National election. Other advantages are:

  •  Easy to transport.
  •  Easy to carry.
  • Bogus voting is reduced.
  •  Vote counting is fast.
  • Illiterate people find it easy to use.
EVM  Tempering : is it possible ?
According to me all machines are designed to be controlled by human beings. If a machine cannot be manipulated, then it is of no use. The question is whether a machine lends itself to be manipulated illegally. In the last few decades, we have seen even highly secure and complex Nuclear Technology or Space Technology being illegally proliferated. 

I always wonder, what gives Election Commission or non-experts sitting and blabbering in TV studios the idea that an EVM cannot be tampered with. On the one hand, we are proud of our scientists that they can manipulate machines sent to Moon and Mars sitting on earth and on the other hand they insist confidently, without an iota of doubt, that EVMs cannot be and are not being manipulated. Iam providing a link  below to overview the tempering of Indian EVMs by US based scientists:
Hope  you check the  above  link and find  answers  to all of your queries  regarding EVM.

Countries that have banned/refrained the the use of EVMs:

1. Germany :
              In Germany, Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) have been termed as unconstitutional and has been banned as  EVMs have been prone to hacking and are declared as unfit for political use.
Two voters brought a case before the German Constitutional Court after unsuccessfully raising a complaint with the Committee for the Scrutiny of Elections. Following this complaint, the German Constitutional Court banned the use of voting machines.

2. Netherlands:
              The Netherlands is another country that has questioned the use of EVMs. The country banned the use of EVMs stating that it lack transparency. This decision was taken by the Dutch council in 2008 after people questioned the authenticity of the voting machines. Dutch TV carried a story where one change the EPROM of the Nedap voting machine changed the output making people question its credibility.
3. Ireland:
                Ireland spent millions of dollars on the installation of EVMs and to use them during the political elections. However, after spending more than 51 million pounds for three years, Ireland went forwards and scrapped the electronic voting system citing  lack of trust and transparency in the voting machine.
4. England:
                England has had various pilots for the electronic voting system to be used. However, these pilots have never led to the use of EVMs in the country. England is one of the few countries that has stayed away from the modern methods in political elections, and the government plans to continue on the same path. In January 2016, the UK Parliament revealed that it has no plans to introduce electronic voting for statutory elections, either using electronic voting in polling booths or remotely via the internet
5. France:
               Electronic voting was used in a national presidential primary in 2007. While the country has chosen to vote via the internet, EVMs have not been used in France. Elections in France utilised remote Internet voting for the first time in 2003, and this idea was made a custom in 2009 as people chose the internet voting system over paper.
6. Italy:
             In 2006, Italy used Nedap Voting machines in the national elections. The pilot project involved 3000 electors and four polling stations. However, after the pilot project was completed, the country chose to go back to paper as it is easy to manage and cheaper.

While these countries have banned or refrained from using EVMs, there are others who have taken a systematic approach and backed the use of EVMs with paper ballots. In various parts of the United States of America as well as in  Venezuela EVMs are used on a large scale but are backed by paper trails of the votes. This simple step helps the government to regularize and check the authenticity of votes and avoid any discrepancies.
Now  in India  due   to raising questions regarding  tempering  of  EVMs the  Supreme Court of India directed the Election Commission to upgrade all  EVMs to EVM-VVPAT machines.

What is VVPAT and how is it different?
       Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machine is not a separate voting system, as often misunderstood. It is only an extended feature of EVM.

             VVPAT is attached to the EVM. Once a voter presses a button on the EVM, VVPAT prints the details on a paper slip. The slip contains the name of the candidate and his party, through which a citizen can verify his/her vote.

  In all the 2019 Lok Sabha  elections  EVM-VVPAT machines  are used to ensure transparency & to save democracy in India..

In the end I just simply want  to say that when people become corrupted & blind followers what ever method is used it is proliferated. Democracy depends only on the people of nation, it never depends on government officials.. Democracy  is ruled by intellectual voters not by blind supporters.

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