After the declaration of the Lok Sabha election results on Friday, all eyes were on the victory procession of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers in Mangalore. Little noticed, however, was the procession of nearly 1,766 electronic voting machines (EVMs) towards the Mangalore Tahsildar’s office, which is under construction, later that evening.
Though polling day (more than a month ago) might seem like a distant memory for citizens, within the locked room — guarded through the day by city policemen — at the Mini Vidhana Soudha, the robust machines will keep the memory of each button pressed for the next six months.
“The Election Commission has given directions to preserve and guard the machines for another six months. The machines have been closed and sealed, and will not be touched until further directions,” said B.K. Kusumadhara, Deputy Director, Land Records and election office in-charge of the machines.
Challenging the results
The logic behind the direction is that it gives losing candidates six months to challenge the results if they suspected foul-play.
“If the candidate goes to court and recounting is ordered, it would be easy to do so,” said the officer, adding that within six months, the Election Commission will give a direction for the permanent storage of the machines.
Till next polls
Mr. Kusumadhara said the votes stored in each EVM would not be deleted until its use for the next elections.