The Election Commission has dismissed the charge of some individuals and political parties that Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) used by it in the polls were not tamper-proof. It appealed that no one should try to create confusion among the public.

The machine used by some individuals to prove their charge was only a “lookalike” and not the one used by the EC which is manufactured by the Electronics Corporation of India Limited – ECIL (under the Department of Atomic Energy).

On Monday, Telugu Desam Party president N. Chandrababu Naidu, while launching a website on the EVMs here, endorsed the charge that the machines were not tamper-proof and asked the EC to revert to the ballot paper system.

However EC sources said: “The EVMs used by the EC are manufactured by ECIL and Bharat Electronics Limited — BEL (Ministry of Defence), both PSUs; the machines cannot be reprogrammed; the software for this chip is developed in-house by a select group of engineers in the two PSUs independently of each other. A select software development group of 2-3 engineers design the source code and this work is not sub-contracted.

“The source code is so designed that it allows a voter to cast the vote only once. The next vote can be recorded only after the Presiding Officer enables the ballot on the Control Unit. In between the machine becomes dead to any signal from outside [except from the Control Unit]. After completion of software design, testing and evaluation of the software is carried out by an independent testing group as per the software requirements specifications (SRS). This ensures that the software has really been written as per the requirements laid down for its intended use only.

“After successful completion of such evaluation, machine code of the source programme code known as hex-code [not the source code itself] is given to the micro controller manufacturer for fusing in the micro controllers. From this machine code, the source code cannot be read. Source code is never handed over to anyone outside the software group.

“The micro controller manufacturer initially provides engineering samples for evaluation. These samples are assembled into the EVM, evaluated and verified for functionality at great length. The bulk production clearance is given to micro controller manufacturer only after successful completion of this verification. ”

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