Not going back to era of ballot papers: CEC

Dismissing opposition;s criticisms against EVMs with accusations of 2014 polls were rigged, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora asserted that there will be no going back to ballot papers.

He made it clear once again that there is no scope for the country to go back to ballot papers syster.. “In fact, it is not I, it is the entire ECI, it is the ECIs of the past, and it will be the ECIs of the future… we are not going back to the era of ballot papers,” he added.

He made these remarks at an international conference on ‘Making our Elections Inclusive & Accessible’ in the capital ahead of National Voters Day.

It may be recalled that big uproar has been created among political circles on the efficiency of EVMs, in the light of the revelations by US-based cyber expert Syed Shuja. But, he warned that the the Election Commission of India (ECI) will not be “intimidated or bullied or coerced” into giving up the EVMs.

He wondered that  “…my simple question is that (why is it that) if the result is X, the EVM is right and the result turns out to be Y, the EVM is faulted. Why have we made a machine, and that too manufactured under highly secured conditions by the two Public Sector Undertakings…”

Arora pointed out that some of the country’s foremost technocrats and scientists oversee every aspect of the manufacturing process of EVMS and VVPATs (Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail), which is undertaken by Bharat Electronics Ltd and Electronics Corporation of India Ltd.

Raising the spectra of ballot paper, Arora reminded how the era was marked by lifting of votes, hiring of muscle men for security, delay in counting and harassment of polling staff. Giving the example of recent elections in five states, the CEC pointed out that only six contentious instances were reported out of 1,76,000 booths.

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