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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2613

EVM tamper-proof or not? PMK’s Ramadoss ready for demo ‘it can be’

By Gopal Ethiraj, Chennai

Chennai, 07 August (Asiantribune.com): The Election Commission has invited all those who had expressed fears about the possibility of the (Electronic Voting Machines) EVMs being tampered with, to come and demonstrate the same.

Here’s PMK founder S. Ramadoss getting ready for the demonstration.

The Election Commissioner S.Y. Qureshi had said that the EVMs could only be broken but not tampered with. This time new EVMs will be used in the five by-elections. Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer Naresh Gupta had said that the new machines would have advanced features like reading time wise polling and the number of votes polled at a particular time.

But the AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa had cited the possibility of EVMs being tampered with as one of the reasons for boycotting the by-elections scheduled for August 18. Such sweeping allegation are also being made by her allies, PMK and MDMK.

In the meantime Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, on Thursday defended the EVMs. They were superior to those used in Europe, he said. The Commission is a neutral body.

He wondered why AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa and her allies had not rushed to New Delhi for demonstrating that electronic voting machines (EVMs) could be tampered with. He said they should prove their point.

Mr. Karunanidhi also asked how the AIADMK won the 2001 Assembly elections when also EVMs were used.

It’s right of the voter to know to who his vote went

On Wednesday, reiterating her argument that electronic voting machines (EVMs) can be tampered with, Ms. Jayalalithaa said that it was to ensure that democracy, in its true sense, was brought back, that her party decided to boycott by-elections to five Assembly constituencies in Tamil Nadu.

“In a democracy, every voter should know whether the vote cast has gone to the candidate or party it was meant for. In the absence of such certainty, the entire democratic process will be rendered a mockery,” she said in a statement here.

Ms. Jayalalithaa argued that the main problem was that in an electoral exercise, if tampering or hacking of EVMs was suspected, and even if there was no means whatsoever to ascertain or prove before authorities or the court that hacking had been done, it should not be used.

“It is equally impossible to prove that hacking has not been done. The reason for this is that the EVMs in use in our country do not generate a hard copy or a coded print-out,” she said.

Ms.Jayalalithaa pointed out that most of the developed nations had given up using the EVMs, on the ground that they were an unreliable system for registering votes, for the simple reason that the voting machine works on a programme fed into it.

“And any programme made by man can be de-programmed or re-programmed and therefore becomes susceptible to the phenomenon of “hacking,” she said.

‘Ready for demo’

In the meantime Pattali Makkal Katchi founder S. Ramadoss said on Thursday at Dharmapuri, “We are planning to conduct a demonstration before the Election Commission officials to prove that electronic voting machines can be tampered with in Chennai next week and after that in New Delhi,”

- Asian Tribune -

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