Posted on May 3, 2019, 8:17 PM IST
The lok sabha election fever is in high gear at the moment. The whole nation is consumed by an incessant influx of information about the same and there are some observations that cannot be overlooked. One such observation that has often sparked controversy is the use of EVMs in the polling process.
WHAT ARE EVMs
EVMs are electronic voting machines that were first used in kerala in 1982, more than three decades after India’s independence. The use of paper ballots had created ruckus owing to many malpractices like vote rigging and booth capturing associated to it. Also, the excessive use of paper and the handling paraphernalia was also a drawback. The EVMs were hence commissioned by the election commission in 1989 in collaboration with Bharat electronics limited and Electronics Corporation of India limited.Their utility has stood on shaky grounds ever since.
The first accusation of EVM tempering was put forward by LK Advani when BJP lost the elections in 2009.
Congress followed suit when they lost the elections in 2014. Almost every political party has questioned and then quietened these allegations owing to the suitability of the results. In the wake of these accusations, the question that arises is, are EVMs hackable? In September 2013, the Supreme court had ruled that the EVMs are not tamper proof, but not headways were made into banning of these.
A fact that needs a standalone mention here is that many developed nations like France, Germany, England, United states, Netherlands have already banned the use of EVMs and reverted back to paper ballots.
GETTING DOWN TO THE FIX
In 2010 the EC adopted the use of VVPATs as the final solution for the ongoing controversies surrounding the authenticity of EVMs. Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines were attached to the EVMs to ensure that the vote polled by a voter goes to the correct candidate. The introduction of this add on system to be the attached to the EVMs was brought in to satisfy the voters and to do away with the allegation of malpractices.
As India goes to polls, this subject is bound to gain impetus as the allegation trail regarding this has been well documented.