EC may call all-party meeting over EVM controversy

Chandigarh, April 29: The Election Commission of India may soon call a meeting of all political parties in order to convince and assure them that the electronic voting machines (EVMs) cannot be hacked, Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi said here on Saturday.

“We will soon hold an all-party meeting to tell them told that our EVMs are non-tamperable and secured as per our administrative and technical safeguard system,” Zaidi told reporters here.

He said that the poll panel intends to use Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) units attached with EVMs in the coming elections for greater transparency and restore voters’ confidence in the electoral process.

A VVPAT churns out a paper slip confirming the party and candidate a person has voted for. This slip is kept in EDC records for future reference.

The government has earlier this month sanctioned funds of Rs 3,173.47 crore to buy 16.15 lakh VVPATs as sought by the EC. The poll panel has already placed an order for the same with Bharat Electronics Ltd and Electronic Corporation of India Ltd and expects to get the machines by September 2018.

After the latest assembly elections in five states, many opposition parties raised questions over the integrity of EVMs.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had urged the State Election Commission to hold municipal bodies election with ballot papers and not EVMs.

The EC is also planning to throw an open challenge to all stakeholders to try and hack its EVMs to mitigate all doubts about voting machines.


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