ECI rejects AAP’s demand of allowing change of EVM’s motherboard

New Delhi [India], May 26 : The Election Commission of India (ECI) has rejected the demand of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) of allowing the 'change or tampering' of the motherboard of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) during the 'EVM challenge' which will be held on June 3.

In a reply to the AAP, the poll panel said that allowing any change of the motherboard or any internal circuit of the EVM would be like manufacturing a new machine and introduce newly made EVMs in the Election Commission of India system, which is implausible and irrational.

"As any person with basic common knowledge will be able to appreciate, a non-ECI EVM or an EVM with a different 'internal circuit' is simply a different machine or at best a look alike of ECI EVM and hence, can never be guaranteed by ECI to give correct results," the Election Commission said in a statement.

It further said that the Commission has invited nominees of national and state recognized political parties to participate in an 'EVM Challenge' to prove the allegation of EVM tampering, within the framework of the extant administrative and security protocols prescribed by the Commission, which are strictly followed in the field with active participation of the political parties/candidates/their representatives in an absolutely open and transparent framework.

"Further, in case there is some data or evidence in possession of the party to suggest that EVMs deployed in the recently held General Elections to the State Legislative Assemblies -2017 were already tampered to deliver skewed results, it is requested that the opportunity provided by the 'EVM Challenge' be availed of by the party and polling stations of the choice be selected to verify the results and demonstrate the tampering during the challenge slot, which will be provided by ECI once it receives the request and as per ECI Challenge framework," it added.

It further stated that the commission, in A11 political parties meeting held on May 12 had announced 100 percent coverage of VVPATs at all polling stations in all future elections to the Parliament and state assembly elections of the country for greater transparency and voter verifiability in the electoral system.

Further, it is also informed that the modification in the VVPAT recount rules is also under the consideration of the commission which is 100 percent use of VVPAT must conclusively put to rest all doubts and suspicions about the integrity of the EVMs.

"It is earnestly requested that a holistic view of the totality of facts and truths as stated above be taken as the clarifications above dispel all doubts and aspersions raised in the letter.

The commission solicits cooperation in aiding continuous improvements towards strengthening of our electoral processes and requests the party, once again, to submit any material evidence or credible proof to unravel the basis of allegations of EVM tampering," it said.

The AAP in a memorandum submitted to the Election Commission yesterday urged it to reconsider the terms which it laid that the participants would not be allowed to tamper with or change the motherboard of the EVM machines.

Political parties -- especially Mayawati led-Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Arvind Kejriwal's AAP had contested and claimed that the EVMs held under the ownership of Election Commission and used in recent elections in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Manipur and Uttarakhand in February-March polls were tampered.

Source: ANI