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They can’t be tampered with: EC

J. Balaji

NEW DELHI: The Election Commission (EC) has said it was “amply satisfied” with the “non-tamperability and fool-proof working of the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM),” and that its confidence in the efficacy of the machine has been fortified by the judgments of various courts and views of technical experts.

Even as the Karnataka High Court had hailed the EVM as ‘a national pride,’ the Commission said in press note on Sunday. It would, however, consider all the points raised and apprehensions expressed recently by political leaders and individuals on the EVM, and take all necessary measures to clear doubts.

On reports that a retired civil servant, Omesh Saigal, had proved to the commission that the EVM could be tampered with or manipulated, the EC said Mr. Saigal gave a letter to Chief Election Commissioner Navin Chawla when he met him on June 30. “However, no demonstration on the tamperability of the EVM has been given by him to the EC or to its officials, nor has the EC ordered any enquiry.”

The Commission was receiving letters from individuals and other stakeholders on the possibility of the EVM being tampered with. In some cases, analogies were drawn to electronic voting systems abroad.

The complainants were asked to prove their point on the alleged vulnerability of the EVM. But so far, no one was able to demonstrate to the EC that the EVM could be manipulated. Various higher courts and the Supreme Court had confirmed through their verdicts the reliability of the EVM, when the machine’s efficacy was questioned by petitioners.

The tamper-proof technological soundness of the EVM was endorsed by several technical experts, including those from IITs. The EC also had in place elaborate administrative measures and procedural checks and balances aimed at total transparency and prevention of any possible misuse .

These include rigorous pre-election checking of each EVM by technicians.

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