Before EVM Hackathon, Election Body's Move To Reach Out To Parties

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Before EVM Hackathon, Election Body's Move To Reach Out To Parties

Election Commission will assure parties that EVMs are tamper-proof and secured

Chandigarh: 

Highlights

  1. Poll panel to soon call all-party meet to assure EVMs are tamper-proof
  2. Commission will use VVPAT in all upcoming elections for transparency
  3. Electoral body will hold EVM hackathon challenge to dispel all doubts
In view of the accusations and controversy surrounding tampering of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), the Election Commission could meet all political parties and apprise them about the security features of these machines, said Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi today. 

"We will soon hold an all-party meeting in which they will be told how our EVMs are non-tamperable and secure, as per our administrative and technical safeguard system," Dr Zaidi, was quoted by news agency PTI today. 

Dr Zaidi also informed reporters that the Election Commission intends to use Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) units, as demanded by the political parties, in all upcoming elections for greater transparency.  

A VVPAT generates a paper slip, through which a voter can verify that their vote went to their intended party or candidate. The slip is also kept in the Election Commission records for future reference.

"For VVPAT, we have got all the funds. We have placed an order for the supply of 15 lakh VVPAT units," the poll body chief said, and added that India could be the first country to use VVPATs in all polling stations in the near future. The Election Commission will also launch a campaign to create awareness about the benefits of VVPAT. 

The Chief Election Commissioner, interestingly, also said that the poll body will organise an open-challenge, wherein it will ask contenders to try and hack their electronic voting machines to mitigate all doubts and boost voter confidence.

Many opposition parties - Bahujan Samaj Party, Samajwadi Party, Trinamool Congress, Aam Aadmi Party among others - objected to the use of EVMs following the assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh. The parties intensified their following after a demonstration video by Madhya Pradesh's election officer showed the EVM recording a vote for the BJP irrespective of which party was selected. The parties demanded that the Election Commission use ballot papers in all upcoming elections. 

(with inputs from Agencies)

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