No Takers Yet For EVM (Vote Machine) Challenge: Election Commission Chief

Last week, the Election Commission had held an all-party meeting ahead of its hackathon challenge, which begins on June 3.

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No Takers Yet For EVM (Vote Machine) Challenge: Election Commission Chief

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Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi said that no party has submitted named for the hackathon.

New Delhi:  Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi today underscored that the commission has not received any "credible evidence of tampering" in the Electronic Voting Machines. Last week, the commission had held an all-party meeting ahead of its hackathon challenge, which begins on June 3. Mr Zaidi, however, told NDTV that no party so far has submitted any names for the EVM challenge, even though they were asked to provide the names of three representatives. The deadline for submission of names is May 26.

The Aam Aadmi Party of Arvind Kejriwal, one of the prime critics of the voting machines, has objected to the Election Commission's ground rules for the hackathon. AAP's Sanjay Singh said the guidelines were akin to "throwing a person into sea after tying his hands and expecting him to swim".

Mr Zaidi said the panel created the framework for the hackathon according to what he called "real life situations".  

"We have asked political parties to select four polling stations, which could be from any assembly constituency. The machines are coming in sealed condition". The political parties, he said, will have to try and tamper with the sealed machines without being able to tinker with their inner parts. they can, however, open up the machine for a visual examination.

The Election Commission chose to hold the hackathon after allegations that the voting machines were hacked in the recently-held assembly elections and the Delhi civic elections.

The Commission, which denied the allegations, today said it was "not under any pressure" to hold the hackathon. Mr Zaidi today said he had written to political parties to "provide evidence" but none  has been provided so far.

Countering one of the claims of AAP, that the chip in the machine is changed at the "manufacturing level", Mr Zaidi said it was not possible. "For example, this machine was manufactured in 2006. How will the manufacturer know that X person would be contesting from X constituency," he said.

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