Issue of EVM again after London Hackathon
Claimed to hack the EVM, alleged cyber expert Sayed Shuja during the hackathon in London, said that the EVM used in elections in India can be hacked. When he claimed that the EVM was rigged in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the Election Commission of India adopted a strong stand and filed an FIR in the police against him. This is not the first time that the issue of hacking electronic voting machines i.e. EVM has surfaced.
Election Commission held its favor
The Election Commission of India said that it has come to its notice that a program was organized in London, in which the EVMs used during the elections in the country have been claimed to be hacked. On this, the Election Commission in its reply said that EVMs used in India’s elections are flower proofs and it is not possible to tamper with any kind. EVMs are manufactured in India under strict control and protective conditions by Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Electronics Corporation of India (ECIL). During their construction, strict standard compliance is done in strict compliance with all the standard operating procedures at all levels in the supervision of a prestigious technical expert committee formed in 2010.
The Election Commission of India says that the EVMs used in the elections are completely safe. According to Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora, EVM can not be tampered with and a committee of skilled technical experts looks at its work equally.
Understand the EVM’s ABCD
EVM computers are not controlled. These are independent machines themselves, which are not connected at any time with the Internet or any other network. Therefore it is not possible to hack them using a remote device.
EVM does not have any frequency receiver for wireless or any external hardware port, hence no tampering or tampering is possible through hardware port, wireless, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth device.
Only encrypted or dynamically coded data is accepted from EVM’s control unit and ballet unit and it does not accept any other type of data.
EVMs are made indigenously in the country and these machines are made in two public sector companies- Bharat Electronics Limited, Bangalore and Electronics Corporation of India Limited, Hyderabad.
These two companies prepare EVM software program codes internally and are not outsourced.
This program is converted to machine code and only after that chip manufacturer is given to the producer, because in India, the semiconductor microchip is not yet built.
Each microchip has an identity number in the memory on which those who make it are digital signatures.
Any attempt to remove the microchip can be detected and if this happens the EVM can be disabled.
Key Features of EVM
It is tedious and easy to operate.
The program that controls the control unit of the machine (One Time Program) is inserted into the microchip and destroyed.
Once destroyed, it can not be read, it can not be copied or there can be no change.
EVM minimizes the possibility of illegal votes, calculates the process faster and reduces printing costs.
EVM can be used without electricity as the machine runs from the battery.
If the number of candidates is more than 64 then it is not possible to elect from the EVM.
An EVM can register a maximum of 3840 votes.
Use of VVPAT with EVM for transparency
VVPAT stands for Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail, ie voter receipt receipt. This is the way to give feedback to voters using ballot-less voting system. This arrangement gives the voter a chance to confirm whether or not he has voted as he wishes. It is used as an additional remedy to stop voting or to destroy votes.
Under VVPAT, a printer-like device is connected to the EVM. When a vote is cast then it receives a receipt receipt.
This acknowledgment shows the serial number, name and election symbol of the candidate.
This tool confirms the voting and it can confirm voter details.
After the receipt appears only for 7 seconds, it goes into the container attached to the EVM.
In the rare cases, only the election officer can have access to it.
This system allows the voter to challenge his vote based on the receipt for the first time.
According to the new rules, the presiding officer of the polling station must file a rejection of the voter and this rejection should be kept in mind when counting.
In the general elections to be held in 2019, VVPAT will be used with all EVM machines.
Let us know that the Government of India amended the Rules, 1961 for making elections through a notification on August 14, 2013. From this, the Election Commission got the right to use VVPAT with EVM. Subsequently VVPAT was used for the first time with the EVM for the NOSCEN Legislative Assembly constituency in Tainsang, Nagaland in September 2013.
Background of EVM
The use of EVM was partially started in 1999 in the elections of general election and state legislatures in India and it is being used in all elections since 2004. EVMs seem to be less time consuming than the old ballot system, and time is considered low in counting, and declaration of results results in less time. The use of EVM can lead to substantial reductions in firing and booth capturing events. Illiterate people find EVM easier than ballot system, because because it has to press the button in front of the symbol. It is also easier to bring EVMs than ballot boxes.
The gradual development of the EVM
EVMs were first used in 50 polling stations in Perir assembly constituency of Kerala in May 1982.
Law changes after the Supreme Court order
After 1983 these machines were not used because the Supreme Court ordered the legalization of the use of voting machines in the election. In December 1988, the Parliament amended this Act and added new Section-61A to the Representation of the People Act, 1951, which gives the Commission the right to use the voting machines. The revised provision was effective from March 15, 1989.
In February 1990, the Central Government formed the Electoral Reforms Committee with representatives of almost all recognized national and regional parties. Government of India sent the Election Improvement Committee to consider the use of EVM.
The Central Government constituted an Expert Committee, in which Prof. S. Sampath, Prof. P.V. Insertion and Dr. C. Rao Kasarwada were included. This committee said in its report that these machines can not be tampered with.
On March 24, 1992, the Central Government issued notification of the amendment in the Operating Rules, 1961 of the Elections.
Since November 1998 EVMs are being used in each parliamentary and assembly constituency in general elections / bye-elections.
With the use of 10.75 lakh EVMs in all the polling stations of the country in the general election of 2004, India changed into e-democracy .
EVMs are being used in all the elections since then.
This is not the first time that there is debate in the politics of India regarding the EVM. There are questions about EVMs-when elections are held. Actually, those who question the EVM include almost all the major parties. In 2009, the BJP questioned the legitimacy of the EVM, as it had to face defeat in the subsequent elections. After this, after the loss of power in 2014, Congress also questioned its credibility. All the parties (especially the loser) believe that EVM is a machine, so it is possible to tamper with. Some books have been written on this, including Democracy at Risk: How Political Choices Undermine Citizen Participation and what We Can Do about it and Democracy At Risk! Can We Trust Our Electronic Voting Machines? Are included.