EVM Challenge scheduled for 3 June

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has announced an open challenge to political parties to demonstrate if the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) can be tampered on 3 June 2017. The challenge is issued to parties who contested in any of the Punjab, Goa, Manipur, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh elections concluded in March 2017.

More about how EVMs work and the election procedure with respect to EVMs can be found in our previous post.

The salient features of the challenge are:

  • The EVMs will be treated in the same manner they were in the polls in both voting and post-voting phases
  • The claimant parties can nominate 3 people to participate in the challenge
  • The parties can specify 4 EVMs from any of 4 polling stations for the Challenge
  • The representatives can witness the opening of EVM strong-rooms, inspect the machines seals and accompany the transport of the machines to the ECI
  • A 4 hour-slot will be allotted to each party where the representatives will have access to the Control Unit, Ballot Unit and VVPAT (if applicable) to prove that the EVM can be tampered during polling
  • Representatives will allowed to press any sequence of buttons, as well as use any wireless transmitter to prove their case. All actions will be logged by ECI staff, and video will be recorded.
  • During the second phase of the Challenge (post-poll) wherein representatives can visually inspect the EVM internals
  • EVMs removal from the sites will not be permitted, and any modification to the device itself would have to be performed within the confines of election procedure
  • If the EVM become non-functional, or the result is as expected, the challenger will be considered to have failed.

Chirag Desai @Chirag