VVPATs to be used in all future elections: India's Election Commission

VVPATs to be used in all future elections: India's Election Commission

AAP legislator Saurabh Bharadwaj, a former computer science engineer, gave a "hacking" demonstration on a machine said to be a prototype EVM.

Three years later, an alumnus of IIT and now a MLA from Aam Aadmi Party Saurabh Bhardwaj demonstrated in Delhi assembly that EVMs can be tampered.

The meeting was called after 13 political parties met EC raising questions on EVMs.

AAP has vociferously raised the issue after its disappointing performance in Punjab and Goa assembly elections and the recent MCD polls.

The poll panel intends to use VVPAT units attached with EVMs in the coming elections for greater transparency and to keep voters' confidence in the electoral process.

He further said the AAP would also raise the EVM issue in the all party meeting which is to be held tomorrow.

During the demonstration, Bharadwaj claimed that EVMs can be tampered with even after a mock test.

One of the protesters said, "We want the EC to wake up and amend the machine". VVPATs or Voter-Verifiable Paper Audit Trail is a printed slip which tells voters which party and candidate they have voted for.

He said once the polls close, EVMS are sealed, numbers are noted and EVMs are taken under security to the strongrooms where they are kept till the counting day. "In this context it should be understood that it is possible for anyone to make any electronic gadget which looks like ECI's EVMs and demonstrate any magic or tampering", the Commission said in a statement.

The EC rejected AAP's EVM tampering claim, saying the "look-alike" gadget demonstrated in the assembly was not its machine.

Election Commission of India (ECI) has scheduled an All Political Parties meeting on 12th May 2017 for EVM Issues and other Electoral Reforms.

EVM, which plays an important role in Indian Politics, which plays a key role in creating a political party's future are nowadays in suspicion.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday said he was "sad" that the Election Commission had "backed" out of a hackathon it had earlier announced. "At least if we switch back to ballot paper there will be no apprehensions left", it added.

The recently released status report by ECI does not mentions any technical loophole which could possibly be explored in order to tamper or hack EVMs.

Nevertheless, the poll panel is expected to invite suggestions from the seven political parties - including the Congress, the AAP, the SP and the BSP - that are attending the meeting on what can be done to allay their fears that the BJP is rigging elections through hacked EVMs. However, the only way to secure these against manipulations is to have a paper trail system.

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