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Updated: January 2, 2010 14:50 IST

Electronic voting machines are tamper proof: Navin Chawla

Special Correspondent
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Chief Election Commissioner Navin Chawla. Photo: Rajeev Bhatt
The Hindu Chief Election Commissioner Navin Chawla. Photo: Rajeev Bhatt

Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) have come to stay, averred the Chief Election Commissioner Navin Chawla while speaking to journalists at the Raj Bavan here on Saturday.

Stating that there was no question of reverting to the old system, he said, “Other nations have lauded India for declaring election results without delay by using the EVMs”. When asked about the references being made by various parties to the system being adopted in the United States of America, he pointed out that it was federal system.

The EVM is like a, ‘Super Calculator’ and its role and commands cannot be altered, he said and added that the people have accepted that they were tamper proof.

Pointing out that the doubts over the EVM had been brought to the notice of the Election Commission, Mr. Chawla said since the proof of the pudding is in the eating, 100 machines from various States had been placed before a number of invitees and they had been asked to choose machines at random and demonstrate how they can be tampered with. However none could prove that the machines were not trustworthy. A request was made to take the machines home. It could not be complied with because it was against the rules.

Stating that the machines were being procured from organisations such as the Bharath Electronics and the Electronic Corporation of India, the CEC pointed out they were catering to the needs of the Defence sector and the Atomic Energy Commission of India.After the recent Maharashtra elections, a candidate had claimed that he would accept the verdict only after the votes were counted four times. It had been done and there had been no variation.

To another query, he said the controversy surrounding EVMs has been laid to rest. Mr.Chawla added, “As head of the Commission I am convinced one thousand per cent about its use.” However, since the matter was pending before the Delhi High Court, “the Commission won’t mind giving another opportunity for demonstration”.

“The Commission would like to reiterate yet again that the EVM is completely and fully tamper proof.”

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