EVMs are reliable and trustworthy: Former CEC

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 02 Jun 2018 12:08:05


By Praveen Vighre,

Exuding confidence in the prevailing pattern of voting in the country, T S Krishnamurthy, former Chief Election Commissioner (CEC), here on Friday rubbished all allegations about manipulations being done in Electronic Voting Machine (EVM). He said that it is one of the best and trusted systems available today. “However, those who suffer defeat in the elections, cry foul play in the EVMs,” he said.

Krishnamurthy, who headed the Election Commission between February 2004 and May 2005 was in the city to attend orientation programme of the newly-promoted Assistant Income-Tax Commissioners at National Academy of Direct Taxes (NADT). He was talking to section of mediapersons on the sidelines of the programme. He said that it was a matter of pride that EVMs were being used in the country like India having huge electoral size. “The EVMs are verified by country’s one of the most advanced institutions like Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). Besides Directors of Indian Institution of Technology (IIT) and other professionals also test the machines before they are being put to use,” he replied to a query raised by the media.

On being asked about the recent row over the EVM failure, he said there is no substance in the allegations and the Election Commission is ready to clear doubts in the minds of people. “Not even the manufacturer can change the programme, once the controller of EVM is installed. The machines are manufactured by Bharat Electronics Limited, Bangalore and Electronics Corporation of India Limited, Hyderabad in a ultra modern setups,” Krishnamurty said downplaying the possibility that those in power can tamper the machines.

On the other hand, he also said that the old system of ballot paper was susceptible to manipulation. “Moreover it is not feasible from point of view of environment as huge quantity of paper used to consume in it,” he clarified adding that vote counting in ballot paper system was lengthy and time consuming process. EVMs were introduced in the year 2004, due to which all number of invalid votes had decreased and tonnes of paper could be saved, he said.

Krishnamurthy further said that many countries have admired India’s polling system. He also expressed that by adding Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT), the Election Commission has succeeded in bringing transparency in the system and eventually making it more reliable and trustworthy. The former chief of the commission expressed his desire to start inter-net voting system for senior citizens and handicapped voters. “The idea could not be implemented during my tenure due to lack of consensus among political parties. But if such system is introduced now, it could benefit all of us”, he said.