Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) that will be used in over 52,000 polling booths across the State on Sunday, will record a maximum of 2,000 votes each.
Over 4.35 crore voters are expected to cast their votes using EVMs in 223 constituencies. No single polling station in the State has more than 1,500 voters. One EVM can display up to 16 candidates’ names, and additional EVMs will be used when the numbers exceed this. The Election Commission has EVMs in Braille for the visually-challenged.
Speaking to The Hindu, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Anil Kumar Jha said about 65,000 EVMs would be used for Sunday’s polling.
As soon as the voter presses the button against the candidate and the symbol of his choice, a tiny bulb on the left side of the symbol glows red and simultaneously a long beep sound will be heard. There are both audio and visual indications for the voter to be assured that his or her vote has been recorded, the officials at the CEO’s office said.
“It is not possible to vote more than once. As soon as a button on the EVM is pressed, the vote is recorded for that particular candidate and the machine gets locked. This way, the EVMs ensure the principle of ‘one man, one vote’,” an official explained.
The battery needs to be activated on the EVMs only at the time of polling and counting. As soon as the polling is over, the battery can be switched off and then switched on only at the time of counting. Even when the battery is removed, the memory in the microchip remains intact. If the court orders a recount, the Control Unit can be reactivated by fixing the battery and it will display the result stored in the memory, according to the Election Commission.
The EVMs were manufactured in 1989-90 and used on an experimental basis for the first time in 16 Assembly constituencies in Madhya Pradesh (5), Rajasthan (5) and Delhi (6) for the elections to the respective Legislative Assemblies held in November 1998.