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EVMs tamper-proof as ever, asserts EC

Friday, March 17, 2017

New Delhi: The electronic voting machines are "fully tamper-proof, as ever", the Election Commission said today dismissing claims of BSP supremo Mayawati and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal who had questioned their reliability.

In a strongly-worded statement, the Commission said "baseless, speculative and wild allegations are being made which deserve to be rejected".

The poll panel said it did not receive specific complaints or concrete material from political parties and candidates about alleged tampering of EVMs during recently held election.

It said the BSP's representation on EVM tampering was without any specific allegation and it had rejected the claim of the party.

"Such concerns about alleged tamperability of ECI-EVM have been raised earlier also since their introduction including before high court and the Supreme Court.

"These allegations have been dismissed. ECI unequivocally reiterates that given effective technical and administrative safeguards, EVMs are not tamperable and integrity of electoral process is preserved," it said.

The EC's rebuttal came a day after Mayawati said she will move court against the alleged tampering of EVMs. Kejriwal too had alleged that EVMs may have been tampered with in Punjab, adding "it is about the credibility of the Election Commission and the faith of people in the electoral system. We have strong prima facie evidence of foul play."

The Commission today said that so far, no one has been able to actually demonstrate that EVMs used by the Election Commission can be tampered with or manipulated.

It said "what has been demonstrated or claimed to have been demonstrated is on a privately assembled look-alike of ECI-EVMs and not the actual ECI-EVMs."

Electronics Corporation of India Ltd and Bharat Electronics Ltd are the two PSUs which manufacture the EVMs for EC.

The poll watchdog assured that its EVMs are tamper-proof and it is "fully satisfied with the integrity of electoral process using EVM".

Since the year 2000, EVMs have been used in 107 assembly polls and three Lok Sabha elections held in 2004, 2009 and 2014.

It recalled that the "controversy" over the reliability of the machines was raised by political parties after the 2009 Lok Sabha polls. .

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.

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