EVM challenge to begin from 3 June

Barsaba Taglieri
Mag 21, 2017

However, they will be allowed to "visually inspect" the circuits inside the machines during the challenge.

Zaidi, sharing the details of the recent all-party meeting on the issue of EVMs, explained how a majority of the political parties were fine with the idea of using VVPAT machines; something, he said, the ECI was excited and encouraged about, and that going back to ballot boxes was not an option.

The Election Commission will hold a demonstration on Saturday to counter the charge of EVM tampering levelled by a host of opposition parties, chiefly the AAP. They have been told to furnish credible evidence, but none of them has provided the proof so far.

Political parties will be given a four-hour slot to prove that EVMs can be tampered with. "It doesn't have a Wi-Fi chip and therefore can not receive external signals either", said Zaidi.The EC's new version of EVMs comes with self-diagnostic tamper-detection software which recognises digital signature.

The "challenges" will be two-fold, he said adding under the first, the "claimants will have to alter the results in the control units used during these polls" either by using combination of CU or BU keys or the both or via use of wireless, bluetooth, mobile phone, etc.

Meanwhile, opposition parties met President Pranab Mukherjee to discuss the alleged EVM tampering during the recent elections.

In the demonstration on Saturday, the Election Commission reiterated its claim that voting the machines were tamper-proof. Its leader Sanjay Singh said, "Setting conditions for hacking EVMs is akin to asking someone to swim with his hands and legs tied". One will need to open it. EVMs can be tampered by changing the motherboard.

Parties can nominate up to three persons to participate in EVM challenge.

The "Challenge Statement I" said the doubters should prove that the EVMs used in the five states were tampered to favour a candidate or a party by altering their results stored in the EVMs after the polls.

The parties should demonstrate their claims within the security protocols prescribed by the Commission 3 at its headquarters here, Zaidi said.

Nasim Zaidi inspects an EVM before the news conference.

The proceedings will be logged and videographed.

The CEC rejected demands of some parties to allow them to take away the EVMs and show how their internal circuits could be changed. Notably, the Commission has refused to use the term "hackathon" to describe the challenge, contending that the word can not be used since EVMs are not connected to the internet. This number of the EVM can always be cross-checked against the database.

"No developed country in the world is using the EVM machine", Singh added. "Unlike MOIKR of Netherlands, the Commission is fully backed by a Technical Expert Committee comprising eminent professors", he said.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday said that the live demo of EVMs and VVPATs by the ECI will ensure credibility and the authenticity of the voting machine will be retained.

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