EC ready to clear opposition doubts on EVMs

While leaders of over 20 opposition parties, led by Congress president Rahul Gandhi are set to meet the Election Commission of India (ECI), later today, the ECI is also getting ready to clear their doubts on Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and show how the machines are tamper-proof.

It may be recalled that the four-member committee, constituted by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee last month in Kolkatta has prepared a detailed report expressing their concern over usage of EVMs and seeking revival of ballot boxes. They have decided to submit their report to ECI, today.

On the otherhand, ECI is also seems to be firm on going ahead with EVMs and in recent times Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat had strongly supported EVMs several times and also made it clear no questions of return to ballot boxes. In this regard, the ECI is preparing to share a detailed presentation on EVMs with the opposition leaders, seeking to highlight the distinction between defective EVMs and tampering of EVMs.

Rawat had said earlier that while 1-2% of EVMs develop defects during polls and have to be replaced, no incident of EVM tampering has been detected or proved yet. The EC has been clear in its stand that going back to ballot paper would not be a wise move in a time when technology is used for most transactions.

He  also pointed out that as many as 2,000 invalid votes were recorded on an average in each constituency when ballots were used. It also gave candidates with muscle power advantage and counting of ballots was a slow and error-riddled process. “All such defective EVMs are promptly replaced with good machines. No wrong vote is ever recorded even in a defective EVM,” ECI officials said.

Meanwhile, the ECI has decided to provide the visually impaired voters with Braille voter slips in the Lok Sabha elections. Braille enabled slips were used in the recently held assembly elections also. EMVs have a Braille feature. The ballot paper pasted on the machine with name and symbol of candidates is Braille-enabled. Visually impaired voters will also be given Braille election photo identity cards.

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