System Analyst points out flaws in Electronic Voting Machines as vote of other candidates can be transferred to a particular contestant.
Political parties might be preparing for the upcoming assembly election but questions are being raised about the authenticity of the Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) which will be used during polls. There is a possibility of EVMs being rigged during the election. Political parties had already complained with the Election Commission about the malfunctioning of EVMs during the Lok Sabha election. Praful Loke, Programmer & System Analyst had written a letter to the President of India regarding the Electronic Voting Machine Scam.
In response to it the President’s Secreatariat, Rashtrapati Bhavan in its Letter SI. No P1/A/1912130018 dated 19th December, 2013 has mentioned that the petition dated 11-12-2013 addressed to the President of India regarding Electronic Voting Machine Scam is self explanatory and directed the Chief Election Commissioner of the Election Commission of India to take action. However, the Election Commission has not taken any action. In the Lok Sabha Election 2014 the Election Commission of India used Electronic Voting Machine for recording and counting of votes without taking test for all possible “key presses sequences” on Ballot Unit (BU) in the presence of representatives of the political parties and social activities.
On 1st April, 2014 Electronic Voting Machines was caught red handed in Jorhat Parliamentary Constituency of Assam state. Electronic Voting Machine was found in biasing mode (favouring mode) during taking mandatory the mock poll. Every time any button was pressed on Ballot Unit of EVM the vote went in favour of particular candidate. Someone would have accidently pressed the key sequence on the Ballot Unit of EVM.
The forthcoming assembly election should be conducted using either EVM with VVPAT or using Ballot paper and Ballot box. In the PIL Praful has challenged the report of Expert Committee for the The Technical Evaluation of the Upgraded Electronic Voting Machine.
Loke said, “The Expert Committee has misguided us by giving following information in its report. For biasing the programme to favour a particular candidate, the key number alloted to the candidate is essential to be known and this information for various election to be conducted in the future cannot possibly be known at the manufacturing stage.”
The location of each key on Ballot Unit is static i.e. normal sequence of key number on ballot unit is static. Hence Dynamic Coding of key numbers of BU is meaningless. Hence bias can be introduced in favour of particular candidate in the program at the time of programming/ manufacture. Therefore biasing results during voting time will be feasible through particular key presses sequences on BU.
“Election conducted using Electronic Voting Machines without VVPAT (Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trial) is not free and fair. VVPAT is a printer which prints a slip after casting of each vote. Voter can see the slip but can’t touch it. Afterward this slip automatically goes into a drop box” added Loke.
The Election Commission of India has not shown the source code of the software on which the EVM functions before burning (writing) it into the EVM.
Loke said, “I have developed a software of Electronic Voting Machine which transfers votes of other candidates to one particular candidate only after entering particular key sequence on Ballot Unit. If a particular key sequence is entered then the EVM functions in biasing mode otherwise EVM functions in normal mode. I have developed this software to demonstrate how election conducted using EVM can be rigged.”
“When I had taken up the case of EVM tampering issue with lawyers and tried to explain about it they failed to understand the technicalities. Hence they refused to fight the case” he added.
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By Suraj Chandran and Akshay Redij