The Candid Eye

May 28, 2009

Electronic Voting Machines – Are they 100% tamper proof??

Filed under: Elections '09 — thecandideye @ 3:00 AM
Tags: , , , ,

The AIADMK in TamilNadu has passed a resolution recently that the Election Commission should revert to voting through ballot boxes.Excerpts on the same with my emphasis.

Accusing the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam of using money power and malpractices to win the Lok Sabha polls, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam said the Election Commission should revert to voting through ballot boxes.

Taking stock of the Lok Sabha election results, the party’s executive council meeting in Chennai, presided over by AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa, passed a resolution, stating that some developed countries reverted to ballot system of voting due to irregularities in the Electronic Voting Machines.

While there are some incidents in which the EVMs malfunctioned and changed the results of the election in that consituency,still they are considered fool proof by many people.These EVMs are manufactured by Bharat Elecronics,Bangalore and Electronic conrporation of India, Hyderabad.Election Commisson of India says there are a number of benifits using Electrnic machines instead using old ballot boxes and measures are taken to avoid possible malfunctioning.But still, some questions naturally arise regarding the EVMs.They are:

1) Some of the EVMs are malfunctioning  even though it is manufactured by Navaratna status company BEL. What is the quality control being followed for these machines in these companies?Are these measures stringent enough to avoid malfunctioning of the machines?

2) Are the EVMs used in India sufficiently shielded against Van Eck Phreaking?

3) I believe calibration is done properly for these machines.Are recalibration facilities/methods easily and quickly available in the event of malfunctioning?There are repeated incidents of EVMs switching votes in India similar to the one happened in West Virginia in 2008. In Tamilnadu, the switching happened in favour of DMK led alliance in number of places.Why did this not happen for AIADMK led alliance?

4) What are the information exchange protocals/standards being followed for the EVMs used in India?Whether EVMs are using the standards such as Election Markup Language(EML)?

5) I don’t think that the voting machine software has been made available for the people to analyse and improve as it is done in Australia under free software license.

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