AAP accuses EC of working under political pressure

Election Commission India to announce Electoral Voting Machine challenge schedule soon

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party had said the "hackathon" on Saturday would "ensure the credibility and authenticity" of the EVMs.

Nominees must be Indians and the participants will be allowed to open the EVM only for inspection to confirm that components are that of the EC's.

The demonstration and press conference have been scheduled after constant allegations that the EC's electronic voting machines had been tampered with in recently held polls.

The proceedings will be logged and videographed.

Senior officials assured the parliamentary panel that the EVMs are tamper-proof and the commission has made a decision to use VVPAT or paper trail machines in all future elections which will further enhance the confidence of the voters in these machines, a member of the panel said.

Mr. Zaidi said though some political parties raised doubts about EVM security, no concrete proof has been produced.

The Centre had announced that the 2019 general election will be held entirely using the new, advanced VVPATs that print a paper receipt for each vote cast.

Elaborating further, the officials said it is not possible to replace microchip as all microchips are subjected to functional tests with regard to the software.

Mr Kejriwal also attributed his party's defeat in the Punjab assembly polls and the Delhi municipal polls to the alleged tampering of voting machines.

It had also announced that all future elections will be held using VVPAT (Voter-verifiable paper audit trail). It gave a presentation on features of EVMs and use of VVPAT machines to assert that they could not be tampered with given the administrative measures adopted to secure them. Then 100 EVMs from various parts of the country were brought to Vigyan Bhawan for the challenge.

"The manufacturer will start making the EVMs with the VVPAT in August this year and it will deliver the new machines to the commission in September 2018", Zaidi said, adding that this would restore the faith of voters in transparent elections. Later, several other parties had joined the chorus and urged the EC to revert to paper ballots.

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