The Election Commission has been asked to respond to the plea filed by 21 opposition parties on Electronic Voting machines in the Supreme Court. The parties approached the Supreme Court yesterday, asking that Electronic Voting Machines be made tinker-proof. The petitioners want more strict safety standards for the Electronic Voting Machines. They also want 50 per cent of VVPAT (Voter Verified Paper Trail Audit Machines) to be tallied with the voting machines in the coming national elections.
Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Rawat has termed the opposition reservations on the voting machines a "motivated slugfest". Parties which lose in elections often look for a "scapegoat" and the EVM is a soft target that as it "cannot speak for itself", former Election Commissioner OP Rawat had said.
The controversy over the voting machines has been continuing since the assembly elections of 2017, when the BJP won a massive victory in Uttar Pradesh. The opposition parties -- Mayawati and the Congress -- alleged that the voting machines had been tampered with in behalf of the BJP. Arvind Kejriwal, who party lost to the Congress in Punjab, had come up with similar elections.
None of the parties, however, turned up when the Election Commission held a "hackathon" challenge - asking anyone to try and hack into the voting machines.
The Election Commission had sought the report of Indian Statistical Institute on how many VVPAT slips per constituency can be counted and tallied with EVM machines. Political parties wanted 10 to 30 per cent of VVPAT slips be counted.
The Commission will take a decision once the report comes. Sources in the Commission told NDTV that whatever recommendations are given by the Indian Statistical Institute would be accepted.