Electronic Voting Machine Information:- India is a democratic country. The government here is elected by the people here. The method by which people choose their representatives for the Lok Sabha or Vidhan Sabha from their respective constituencies to form the government is called elections. Elections are held under the supervision of the Election Commission of India. India’s first elections after independence were held from 25 October 1951 to 27 March 1952. During this, at the time of elections, the vote was done using the ballot box, in which a special paper had to be put on a special paper by marking the election symbol of your trusted candidate. Gradually, many flaws and corruption came in this method. At some places, incidents like booth looting were seen. Keeping all these things in mind, the Election Commission of India envisioned a system in which corruption is minimized and democracy is not threatened. The Electronic Voting Machine, also known as EVM in short, is a product of this imagination.
A look at the history of EVMs
In 1980, M.B. Hanifa invented the voting machine for the first time in India’s election. It was actually an ‘electronically operated vote counting machine’. For the first time it was brought in its original form in six cities of Tamil Nadu. In 1989, the Election Commission of India along with the ‘Electronic Co-Operation of India Limited’ authorized it. The industrial designer of EVMs was a faculty member of IIT Bombay.
Manufacturers of EVMs
EVMs were first made by ‘Electronic Co-Operation of India Limited’. After that the Election Commission under its supervision selected two big electronic companies for this work. These two companies are-
Bangalore based Bharat Electronics Limited and
Hyderabad based Electronics Corporation of India
Bangalore-based Bharat Electronics Limited works under the Government of India, and mainly produces electronic materials for the Indian Armed Forces. Hyderabad based ECIL. It is also under the Government of India, and works for the ‘Department of Atomic Energy’.
EVM design and technology
Indian EVM works under the ‘two piece system’. One part of it is the ballot unit, in which there are many buttons under the parties and candidates, which is connected to its second unit electronic ballot box by a five meter long wire. The representatives sent by the Election Commission are present in the voting booth. While casting the vote, the voter has to vote by pressing the blue button given in front of the symbol of various parties in the ballot unit of the EVM instead of the ballot paper. The programming of the controller used in this machine is so strong that, once the EVM is created, no one can change that program. It uses silica.
The battery used in this machine is a six-volt alkaline battery. This design of EVM is easily used anywhere in the country. Due to the use of batteries in EVMs, it is also used in elections in those places of the country, where electricity has not reached even today. This machine has been designed in such a way that the voter is not afraid of any kind of electric shock. Once a candidate has been voted, the machine is immediately locked so that the same person cannot vote for the same candidate by pressing the same button two or three times in a row. In this way, EVMs maintain the rule of “one man one vote” in elections, and reduce corruption in elections. In this, voting can be done for maximum sixty four candidates, if there are more candidates than that, ballot box is used.
EVMs used for the first time
The EVMs, which came into existence between 1989-90, were used for the first time in the by-elections of three states in 1998 for 16 assembly constituencies. These included six seats in the state of Madhya Pradesh, five seats in Rajasthan and six seats in Delhi.
Benefits of using EVMs
Electronic voting has a huge contribution in strengthening democracy. Some of the benefits of using it are as follows-
One machine can be used for many different elections. Although it costs a lot in the beginning, but once the machine is purchased, the Election Commission gets freedom from doing repeated work on the ballot paper.
Being very light and portable, EVMs can be carried from one place to another very easily.
In this, the vote count is very fast, which is very beneficial in an uneducated area. It is also easy for any illiterate person to vote in EVM instead of ballot paper.
Due to this, false voting has also been controlled on a very large scale, where in the ballot system, the same person can cast more than one vote for his favorite candidate.
Because of voting in EVMs, they are no longer able to vote less and democracy is strengthened.
The memory located in the EVM preserves the result in itself until it is erased by an official.
It has a battery switch. Once the polling is over, the battery can be switched off.
An EVM can last for a maximum of 15 years.
How to use EVM
Once a person has cast his vote in the EVM, the Pulling Officer of the Control Unit presses the ‘Close’ button given in the in-charge machine. After this EVM does not accept any vote. When the pole is closed, the balloting unit gets disconnected from the control unit. The vote can be recorded only and only in the ballot unit. After the polling is over, the Presiding Officer gives an account of the total votes recorded to each of the polling agents. The votes being counted at the time of vote counting are tallied with this detail, and any discrepancy, if any, is disclosed by the counting agents. At the time of counting of votes, immediate results are announced by pressing the ‘Result Button’ given in the machine. There are two ways to avoid this by deceitfully pressing the result button before the complete calculation. First, after the voting is over in the polling booth, the result button cannot be pressed until the polling officer-in-charge presses the close button. This button remains a completely sealed cover. It is opened only when the machine is in the counting center.
A big problem with using this is that a candidate can know how many people have voted for him. Because of this, the winning candidate may favor the people of his constituency who did not vote for him. The Election Commission of India has asked the manufacturing companies of EVMs to install a ‘totalizer’ in it, so that only the complete result is known and not the individual result of any candidate. It has been constructed in such a way that at the time of voting, only one person remains near the voting machine.
EVM security issues
In an international conference for Indian EVMs, it was found that the EVMs used in the Indian elections have been kept under the chairmanship of the Janata Dal President and former Law Minister Subramanian Swamy in the Government of India. Due to this, the Election Commission of India was not able to fulfill its responsibilities towards EVMs properly, and there was lack of transparency in this system. In April 2010, an independent inquiry commission headed by Hari Prasad, consisting of Rope Gonggrijp and J. There was also Alex Halderman. A report was prepared. In this video two technical attacks by researchers on original EVMs were shown.
To overcome these threats and such incidents, the researchers tried to make the voting system even more transparent. For this they suggested paper ballot, count optical scan and voter verified paper audit trail. The Election Commission of India said that in order to do such things in EVIM, first of all a person doing such an act has to open the EVM, as well as use very high technical intelligence for this. EVMs are kept under very strict surveillance, and no one is allowed to touch them. Also, more and more machines will be needed to manipulate the result of an election. On 25 July 2011, the Supreme Court of India in a petition asked the Election Commission to make the EVMs better and submit a report within three months. Rajendra Satyanarayan Gilda, who gave the petition, said that the Election Commission is conducting elections with the traditional presentation of EVMs. According to them, the EVM should have such a facility that a part with the election symbol of the party for which the voter has voted, comes out of the EVM, so that it can be confirmed that the vote has gone to the candidate supported by the voter.
On January 17, 2012, Subbhramanian Swamy filed a petition in the Delhi High Court, in which he had written that the EVMs in use are not adulterated in any way. In the same year on 27 September 2012, Subramanian Swamy appealed against the Delhi High Court, that his VVPAT idea was not being taken into account. Election Commission’s lawyer Ashok Desai submitted a petition on this, in which it was written that the Election Commission is working on this idea. Apart from this, many more people also filed petitions in the courts from time to time to bring changes in EVMs. Hearing on a similar petition of Asom Gana Parishad is still going on in the Guwahati High Court.
Voter Verification Paper Audit Test
In October 2008, the Election Commission constituted a technical team under the chairmanship of PV Indirasan, former director of IIT Mumbai, to introduce the VVPAT system in EVMs. The committee was entrusted with the task of bringing such a system in the EVMs, through which the voting citizen gets a paper sheet after voting, in which the election symbol of the candidate elected by him is present. The committee soon completed this work.
On 21 June 2011, the Election Commission accepted the VVPAT system suggested by the committee, and on 26 July 2011, under this system in Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir, Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, Cherrapunji in Meghalaya, East Delhi and Jaisalmer in Rajasthan through this system. Election was conducted.
Soon the result came from the Delhi High Court that EVMs are not “tamper-proof”. The Election Commission of India on 19 January 2012 ordered the Electronic Corporation and Bharat Electronics Limited that it is necessary to have the facility of printing paper parts in the new EVMs. When a voter votes for his/her candidate, the part should contain the name of the candidate, the serial number given in the ballot machine and the election symbol of the candidate in that part. The VVPAT system was used as a preliminary project in eight out of 543 seats. These included Lucknow, Gandhinagar, South Bangalore, Central Chennai, Jadavpur, Patna Sahib and Mizoram.