Allegations of EVM tampering 'wild and baseless': Election Commission
Allegations of EVM tampering 'wild and baseless': Election Commission

The Election Commission on Thursday reiterated that electronic voting machines (EVMs) were tamper proof and termed the allegations by some political parties as "baseless, speculative and wild".

"It is not for the first time that such allegations and suspicions have been raised. But none of those alleging tampering has been able to demonstrate to the commission... that EVMs used by it can be manipulated or tampered with," the Election Commission said in a statement.
However, ECI added that if any specific allegation were to be presented accompanied by solid facts, they would be looked into.
"Further, the EC did not receive specific complaints or concrete material from political parties/candidates about alleged tampering of EVMs in just-concluded assembly elections in five states. If any specific allegation with material facts is presented to the ECI, the same will be looked into with all seriousness," the poll panel said.
Since the year 2000, EVMs have been used in 107 assembly polls and three Lok Sabha elections held in 2004, 2009 and 2014.
EC recalled that the "controversy" over the reliability of the machines was raised by political parties after the 2009 Lok Sabha polls. "However, no specific allegation was raised nor could they prove before any court," the statement said.

It said in an "extraordinary" move in August, 2009, it had invited those who had expressed reservations about the EVMs to come and demonstrate the flaws in the machines.

Those invited included political parties, petitioners before various courts and some individuals who had been writing to the Commission on this issue.

One hundred EVMs were brought from ten states -- Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh -- and were kept at the Commission's office here for scrutiny and for any application to establish its alleged fallibility.

"The outcome of this exercise was that none of the persons, who were given the opportunity, could actually demonstrate any tamperability of the ECI-EVMs. They either failed or chose not to demonstrate," it elaborated.
BSP chief Mayawati, who was decimated in the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, was the first to raise questions on the EVMs.

Terming the results as "shocking", Mayawati had said the Election Commission should stop the counting and withhold results and hold fresh polls using traditional paper ballots.

However, the Election Commission had rejected Mayawati's claims and said her demand for a repoll using ballot papers was legally untenable.
Interestingly, after the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP had also raised similar misgivings about the integrity of the EVMs.


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