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Saturday, July 20th, 2024

Now a full stop should be put on the question mark of EVM, it has already passed the ordeal 42 times


New Delhi: It was June 1977, when Shamlal Shakdhar was made the Chief Election Commissioner of the country. The looting of polling booths gave him/her the idea of ​​conducting general elections electronically. Shakdhar then asked the government to explore the possibility of using electronic machines in elections. his/her idea finally bore fruit. Elections were held in May 1982 for the Peravayur assembly seat in Kerala, in which, for the first time, electronic voting machines (EVMs) were used instead of traditional ballot papers at 50 of its 123 polling booths. However, since then, questions have been raised about hacking of EVMs and breaches in its security. EVMs have had to go through the ordeal again and again. From the Supreme Court to the Election Commission, everyone has declared EVMs clean. After the results of the Lok Sabha elections, the opposition parties have again put EVMs in the dock. The controversy began when the Congress alleged that the mobile phone of an associate of an NDA candidate in Mumbai was connected to the EVM. In this controversy, questions were also raised on the electronically transmitted postal ballot system. The government, the opposition, the Election Commission and SpaceX owner Elon Musk, who is sitting thousands of kilometers away, also jumped into this controversy. Let’s understand the whole story.

What is Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot System

Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot System (ETPBS) is for service voters. It is used in place of ballot papers. However, votes are never sent electronically. Ballot papers are sent electronically to service voters from ETPBS in encrypted form, with multiple levels of passwords and PINs. After receiving and downloading, the voter records his/her vote on the postal ballot. It is then sent to the concerned Returning Officer through post.

Who are those new MPs on whose victory Rahul Gandhi asked questions, know what is the whole matter?

What was the process for voting by service voters earlier?

Earlier a ballot paper was printed for every service voter. Then it was put in an envelope and sent to the address of the service voter. This used to take a lot of time and money. Now the same ballot is received by the service voter in encrypted form through mail.

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The process for service voters starts from a portal of the commission

The Election Commission has created a portal for ETPBS, which the concerned election officer can log in to. To log in to the portal, the Returning Officer sends an OTP to the registered mobile number of the concerned election officer. The Returning Officer then prepares the password protected postal ballot for the respective constituency, where it is downloaded. From there, it is then sent to the concerned service voter.

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Postal ballots are counted before EVMs

Postal ballots are counted before EVMs. Before counting, the unique serial numbers written on the envelopes of the ballot papers are matched. After this, the counting officer logs in to ETPBS.

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What did the commission say in the Supreme Court regarding EVM

In response to similar allegations in 2017, the Election Commission had issued a press release saying that EVM is not computer controlled. It is just a machine, which is never connected to the internet or any network. In such a situation, EVM cannot be hacked with a remote device. Former Chief Election Commissioner SY Qureshi has also termed the talk of hacking in EVMs on different media platforms as baseless. Delhi University professor and election analyst Rajiv Ranjan Giri says that EVMs were first used in 1982, since then it has been about 42 years. However, during this time EVMs have had to undergo Agni Pariksha at least 42 times. Repeated allegations or questions weaken constitutional institutions. Now this should stop, because the country can no longer go back to conducting elections with ballot papers.

EVM

What did the Election Commission say on the allegations of the opposition in 2019

In 2019, a poll panel was formed to answer the opposition’s allegations of EVM hacking. Then the poll panel had said in its report that EVM is tamper proof. Tampering with it is possible only when there is physical access to it and the sealing process of EVM is stopped. According to Nishikant Kolge, professor at Maulana Azad Urdu University (MANNU) in Hyderabad and associated with CSDS, tampering with EVM is not possible under any circumstances. The big reason behind this is that it cannot be connected to any internet or Wi-Fi. It is being made an issue unnecessarily. The Supreme Court and the Election Commission have also given it a green signal many times.

nishikant college

Candidate’s relative’s phone was connected to EVM: Congress

In fact, Congress had tweeted about a candidate from Mumbai and said that a serious case related to EVM has come to light. In Mumbai, the mobile phone of a relative of NDA candidate Ravindra Waikar was connected to the EVM. This NDA candidate won by just 48 votes. In such a situation, the question is why was the mobile of the relative of the NDA candidate connected to the EVM? How did the mobile phone reach the place where the votes were being counted? There are many questions which raise doubts. The Election Commission should give an explanation.

presswire18 Times

OTP is not required for EVMs: Election Officer

Mumbai North-West constituency election officer Vandana Suryavanshi said, EVMs do not require any kind of OTP. The news is false. It works by just pressing the result button. The Election Commission has followed its procedure. A defamation notice has been given to the concerned newspaper.

The uproar started with a tweet from Elon Musk

Actually, this debate on EVM started with a post by SpaceX owner Elon Musk. Musk’s post was not about India. Musk posted a post in response to the social media post of Robert F Kennedy, nephew of former US President John F Kennedy and independent candidate in the upcoming US elections. In it, Robert F Kennedy had raised questions on the role of EVM in the primary election held in Puerto Rico, USA and said that fortunately there was a paper trail, which helped identify the problem. On this, Musk had said that we should eliminate electronic voting machines. Humans or AI (Artificial Intelligence) can hack it. The risk of hacking it is very high.

Chandrashekhar’s reply to Musk: There is no Bluetooth in EVM

Former Union Minister Rajiv Chandrashekhar countered Musk’s statement. he/she said that there is no truth in this statement. EVMs have no connectivity, no Bluetooth, no Wi-Fi, no internet, no way. There are factory-programmed controllers that cannot be reprogrammed. Electronic voting machines are well designed, as India has done. There may be a possibility of hacking EVMs in other countries including America, where standard computing platforms are used to create internet-connected voting machines. However, Musk replied to Chandrashekhar’s post and said – anything can be hacked.

EVMs in India are like black boxes: Rahul Gandhi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that EVMs in India are like a ‘black box’ which no one is allowed to examine. Serious questions are being raised on the transparency of the electoral process in our country. When there is a lack of accountability in institutions, democracy becomes a sham and becomes a victim of fraud.

rahul gandhi

Akhilesh said- the upcoming elections should be held through ballot papers

SP chief Akhilesh Yadav said about EVMs- Any technology is meant to solve problems. If it becomes the reason for problems, then its use should be stopped. Akhilesh has been raising questions about EVMs earlier also.

Akhilesh Yadav

Akhilesh said, today when there are apprehensions of EVM tampering in many elections of the world and the world’s renowned technology experts are openly writing about the danger of EVM tampering, then what is the reason behind the insistence on using EVM. BJP should clarify this. We again reiterate our demand to conduct all the upcoming elections through ballot papers.
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