Election Commission To Announce Schedule Of EVM Hackathon

In order to give a chance to the political parties to try their hands on the EVMs, the Election Commission is planning to invite parties to demonstrate how the EVMs used in the Assembly elections were tampered.

New Delhi: The Election Commission of India is all set to announce the schedule for hackathon challenge event of Electronic Voting Machines or EVMs on Saturday.

The Election Commission reportedly said that it would also organize a live EVM demo before making the announcement. If anyone raises a question at the event on EVM security, they would be invited to demonstrate how EVMs could be tampered with.

After the recent Assembly elections, many political parties alleged that EVMs were tampered. In order to give a chance to the political parties to try their hands on the EVMs, the Election Commission will be inviting the parties to demonstrate how the EVMs used in the Assembly elections were tampered.

Recently, the Election Commission has held a meeting with representatives of 42 political parties on the issue of electoral reforms that included EVM security features.  The Commission has also given a detailed presentation on the security features of EVMs to clarify that they can’t be tampered with.

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NCP And CPM Express Satisfaction Over EVMs At Hackathon

The Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi told media that the CPM and the NCP that participated in the event were satisfied with the EVMs after the demonstration.

New Delhi: The Election Commission, which held hackathon on Saturday, said that the political parties that participated in the event expressed satisfaction of the EVMs.

The Commission decided to conduct hackathon to prove its EVMs are unhackable, as many parties alleged that EVMs were tampered with.

Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi told media that the CPM and the NCP that participated in the event were satisfied with the EVMs after the demonstration.

Claiming that the NCP and the CPM didn’t want to participate in the challenge, but were only interested in participating in an academic exercise, Zaidi said that now they were satisfied with the outcome.

Zaidi said that the CMP team expressed complete satisfaction and suggested that the commission should hold such demonstrations and awareness sessions proactively.

The NCP team had told us that doubts sprang up due to the alleged problems with EVMs during municipal elections in Maharashtra, Zaidi said. However, he clarified that the EVMs used by the Maharashtra Election Commission for the urban local body polls do not belong to the EC.

ZAidi said the NCP team expressed willingness to opt out requesting ECI should evolve a system, which clearly distinguishes ECI EVMs from that of state EC EVMs.

The NCP and the CPI (M) were the only parties that participated in the event. Three representatives each nominated by both parties attended the session.

The Commission used 14 EVMs from Punjab, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh for the challenge.

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Uttarakhand High Court Says EC’s Hackathon Unconstitutional, EC Refuses To Budge

Despite the Uttarakhand high court terming hackathon of electronic voting machines arranged for tomorrow is unconstitutional, the Election Commission of India has resolved to go ahead with the proposed testing of EVMs.

New Delhi:  As the Election Commission makes preparations for the hackathon, Uttarakhand High Court said the event is unconstitutional. However, the EC said that it will not cancel its plans.

Meanwhile, the court will deliver its verdict later on Friday evening. The court which had earlier asked for electronic voting machines used in Uttarakhand election to be seized after Congress candidates complained that the result was manipulated against them.

However, Friday’s warning to the EC against its plans for Saturday is based on a case filed by a Congress leader, Dr Ramesh Pandey, who said the Commission does not have the authority to conduct the event.

Meanwhile, Election Commission has arranged more than 10 vote machines that were recently used in elections including in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand for tomorrow’s hackathon. Now it’s the turn of political parties to try and prove that the machines can be rigged.

A total of 14 Electronic Voting Machines or EVMs will be made available to representatives of Sharad Pawar’s party and the Left who hope to prove that the Election Commission is wrong and that the equipment used by it can be gamed, as alleged by a series of political outfits including the Congress and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party or AAP after Prime Minister Narendra Modi front-lined his party’s gigantic wins in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

AAP, which has accused the Election Commission of colluding with the BJP to rig results in its favour, has announced that it will hold a parallel hackathon of its own tomorrow.

At the Election Commission’s event, hackers will get five hours -from 10 am to 2 pm – and access to four machines each. The other EVMs will be kept as a backup.

The participant will be considered “failed” if the EVM stops functioning as a result of its inbuilt defence mechanism against tampering.

The participants — three members per party – can “physically examine” EVMs and check circuits, chips and motherboard, but cannot replace any part. Arvind Kejriwal’s party had asked for these restrictions to be removed, claiming it “would not be possible to tamper with the machines without giving people a free hand to do so.”

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EVM Challenge Begins June 3

The Election Commission chief said the people who had questioned the reliability of EVMs have not yet submitted any proof or credible material to support their claim.
Nasim Zaidi

New Delhi: Brushing aside the EVM tampering, the Election Commission announced June 3 as the starting day of EVM challenge.  The Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi told in a press conference.

Zaidi said people who had questioned the reliability of EVMs have not yet submitted any proof or credible material to support their claim. He said replacement of the internal circuit of EVMs is not possible at all.

Notably, the commission has refused to use the term ‘Hackathon’ to describe the challenge, contending that the word cannot be used since EVMs are not connected to the Internet.

Asserting that the EVMs are tamper-proof, the Election Commission on Saturday demonstrated the working of EVMs and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail System or VVPATs.

The Technical Officer at Electronics Corporation of India Limited or ECIL B P Mishra, condemned allegations against EVMs and demonstrated how the EVMs and VVPATs work.

“EVM tampering is not possible and the allegations of its malfunctioning are wrong,” Mishra told a news agency.

Today’s live demo comes amid allegations raised by the opposition that the EC’s EVMs are vulnerable to hacking and tampering. The claims first emerged after the recent Uttar Pradesh Assembly election, which saw the Bharatiya Janata Party romping to a huge win.

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We Don’t Have Any Favourites: EC Tells Political Parties

The Election Commission clarifies that it has no favourites in political parties, amidst allegations of tampering of EVMs.

New Delhi: The Election Commission, which convened an all- party meeting on Friday to discuss the tampering controversy, clarified that it has no favourites in political parties.

“Election Commission to offer political parties chance to prove that EVMs used in recent polls were tampered with,” The Chief Election Commissioner Zaidi said, opening the discussion.

The Election Commission will maintain equidistance from all parties, as it is a Constitutional body, he said.

The political parties that were defeated in different States alleged about tampering of EVMs. The allegation snowballed into a major controversy. In this context, the all-party meeting was convened to debate the trustworthiness of EVMs.

After AAP’s fiasco in the assembly, there was a debate over the definition of hacking. He said that the Commission received funds for Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail or VVPAT from the government, and it would be implemented by 2019.

Seven national attended the meeting aalong 35 recognised regional parties on Friday. The date of the proposed challenge will be decided after the meeting.

Responding to AAP’s demonstration and its subsequent claim that EVMs can be tampered, the EC said, “the machine is a look–alike and not the ECI-EVM.”

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AAP Demonstrates That EVMs Can Be Tampered

The Aam Aadmi Party chief Kejriwal, who has been facing allegation after allegation from his former colleague, chose to prove that EVMs can be tampered in the special Assembly session held on Tuesday.

New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party leader Kejriwal’s obsession with Centre’s conspiracy theory is never ending. While sacked minister Kapil Mishra met CBI on Tuesday with ‘proof’, Kejriwal preferred to demonstrate on Tuesday in a special Assembly session how Electronics Voting Machines (EVMs) can be tampered.

And, of course, the party came out with an explosive proof against BJP. “All it takes to rig an EVM is changing the motherboard. All it takes is 90 seconds. If elections continue to be done through these EVMs there will be no measure of democracy left. Only one party will rule all,” said AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj in the special session, after proving his theory.

Earlier the Delhi Assembly special session began with two minutes silence for Sukma martyrs. As the proceedings began BJP MLA Vijender Gupta tried to move adjournment motion alleging graft. Speaker directed marshalls to remove him from the House. Though sacked by the party, Kapil Mishra was also present in the Assembly.

Meanwhile, BJP MLA Vijender Gupta protesting against the government actions sits near Gandhi statue. “CM was in the know of a ₹ 1000 crore scam. Satyender Jain should be arrested. How is this a democracy if they will not allow me to speak in the house?” asked Gupta.

Though there were allegations against Kejriwal earlier also, this time they carried some credence as the person who levelled allegations was none other than his former Cabinet colleague. And also, all the allegations that were levelled earlier were largely against AAP and its government, but the target of the fresh allegations was Kejriwal.

This is the first time that corruption allegations were made against Kejriwal.

Kejriwal who preferred to remain silent since Sunday morning – when the episode started, tweeted on Monday night that “truth will prevail” and the special Assembly would mark the beginning. And on Tuesday he tweeted that he was about to reveal about a big national conspiracy.

After suspending belligerent leader Kapil Mishra from the party on Monday as he dared Kejriwal to sack him, the AAP leaders eagerly condemned Mishra’s statements as baseless and wild allegations.

Kapil was consistently talking about how AAP’s no.2 Satyendra Jain benefited close relatives of Kejriwal in illegal land deals, neither of them bothered to clarify the issue. Mishra also pointed out at the foreign tours and said they used the illegal money for that.

He also vowed that if they don’t give details of their foreign trips, he would be on a hunger strike from Wednesday. Incidentally, Kejriwal’s brother-in-law against whom Mishra was levelling allegations died on Monday morning. It is to him that Jain had allegedly helped in a land deal and shared the same information with Kapil.

The crisis in AAP which started as an implosion is now blow out, with leaders openly levelling allegations against AAP leadership. Aam Aadmi Party which started with the motto to give clean governance without any taint of corruption is proving that it’s no way different from other parties.

Instead of claiming on social media that truth will prevail (which anyway will happen) Kejriwal should have directly clarified the questions being posed to him. Particularly about Satyendra Jain against whom various allegations were made.

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EC Plans To Hold Hackathon Of EVMs By May End

Amid criticisms, the Election Commission has decided to hold an open hackathon for people to try and hack the voting machines.

New Delhi: The chorus against Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) grew after the recent Assembly elections. All the opposition parties that lost the elections alleged that the EVMs were tampered. Amidst these criticisms, the Election Commission decided to hold an open hackathon for people to try and hack the voting machines in the last week of May.

As the noise grew after Delhi civic poll results were announced last month, the EC has said that it would invite experts, scientists, technocrats and representatives from all political parties to come and try to hack the machines.

The EC asserts that they are tamper-proof. A delegation of 16 parties have recently met President Pranab Mukherjee and have submitted a memorandum alleging the tampering of voting machines in the elections held recently. The parties also urged the EC to revert to ballot system.

This is not the first time that the Election Commission has announced such a challenge. In 2009, it challenged experts to hack the EVMs, and nobody could do it.

The Election Commission also said that it would convene an all-party meeting on May 12 to discuss the issue of reliability of EVMs.

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EVM Row: Mayawati, Akhilesh, Azad For Grand Alliance Against BJP

In the struggle against tampering of the EVMs, non-BJP parties find themselves on the same side of the battle line. It may lead to a Grand Alliance against the BJP

Lucknow: Bitter rivals in Uttar Pradesh till the other day, Mayawati, BSP supremo, and Akhilesh Yadav, SP boss, found themselves on the same page in the ongoing debate on tampering of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM).

Akhilesh welcomed the views of Mayawati on forming Grand Alliance against the BJP to save ‘democracy’. She expressed her preparedness to join hands with other opposition parties in order to defeat the BJP. Soon after Akhilesh said it is a good idea, Ghulam Nabi Azad, General Secretary of the Congress, which is already in alliance with SP, called it a ‘good thinking’.

In fact, Akhilesh had suggested an alliance with the BSP hours before the UP Assembly results were announced on March 5. But the results were so one-sided and devastating that the combined strength of the SP, the Congress and BSP in the new Assembly would be less than one fourth of the BJP’s tally. While the SP won 47 seats and the BSP 19, the Congress had to be content with just seven seats. Akhilesh also supported Mayawati when she alleged that the EVMs have been tampered and manipulated in favour of the BJP. Akhilesh,43, reiterated his view by saying that the BJP has come to power in UP through fraudulent means.

Mayawati,61, told her supporters,”if other non-BJP parties want to come with us in the ongoing struggle against the tampering of the EVMs, we have no objection.” That was the moment of thaw in the relationship between the SP and the BSP. “Because democracy ( which was under threat due to tampering of EVMs) comes first, if democracy does not survive, the right to vote that Baba Bhimrao Ambedkar gave you , will not have a meaning,” she added.

Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has said that the BJP would win even more comfortably if the opposition parties get together

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EVMs Row: SC Asks EC, Centre To Explain; Punjab CM Questions Party’s Stand

The Supreme Court on Thursday asked Election Commission and the Central Government to explain the delay in upgrading the machines so that they will be proving a paper receipt which show to whom the vote was cast.

New Delhi: Even as the by-polls to ten Assembly seats were shared equally by the BJP and the Congress, the debate and litigation continues on the desirability of using Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs). The Supreme Court on Thursday asked Election Commission and the Central Government to explain the delay in upgrading the machines so that they will be proving a paper receipt which show to whom the vote was cast.

Voter- Verification Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) would be the upgraded version of the present EVMs. When a voter presses a button a piece of paper, showing the symbol for which he or she has voted, will come out and the paper drops in a sealed box. The voter can thus confirm to whom the vote was cast.

Mayawati, the BSP chief, was the first leader to allege that the UP Assembly elections, which were swept by the BJP, were rigged by programming the EVMs so that all votes went to the saffron party. The Congress and the Left parties also have taken up the issue in Parliament. The leaders of the opposition parties also met the President and gave a representation to him pleading for opting for the old ballot paper method.

The Election Commission has stoutly refuted the allegations and said it would organise a hackathon in May. The EC challenged the opposition parties to prove the allegation by manipulating the machines.

Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram has appeared in SC for the BSP. He said in spite of the apex court’s order in 2013, EVMs with paper trail have not been used. Moreover, the Centre did not provide ₹3000 crore asked by EC to buy EVMs with paper trails.

When Kapil Sibal was arguing for the Congress, the judges commented that,”Mr Sibbal, your party has introduced the machines. How can you say no other country uses it. EVMs are a remedy for booth capturing.” The SC will hear the case again on May 8.

In the meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, who won a thumping majority in Feb-March Assembly poll, has commented how can the Congress explain its Punjab victory if it questions the impartiality of EVMs. Veerappa Moily, former Law Minister, also disagreed with the view of the Congress High Command on this issue. He was summoned by the party bosses.

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EVM Controversy: Election Commission Throws Challenge To Tamper Them

The Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal recently challenged the EC that he would prove within 72 hours that EVMs are not foolproof and can be tampered with.

New Delhi: Amidst raging controversy over Electronic Voting Machines tampered during recently held elections in five States, the Election Commission has thrown an open challenge to prove that EVMs’ can be tampered with.  It is likely to take place in the first week of May.

The challenge will be open for ten days to people not only from political parties but also those from the field of technology. It would be held in Nirvachan Sadan, New Delhi as a four level challenge.

The political parties that lost elections started criticising  EVMs and demanded the return of ballot paper. Parties like Congress, AAP, SP and BSP criticised the functioning of EVMs and conveyed their unhappiness to the Election Commission.

The Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal recently challenged the EC  that he would prove within 72 hours that EVMs are not foolproof and can be tampered with.

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Lose Election, Demand Ban On EVMs

It has become a general practice for the political class to demand for ban on electronic voting machines soon after losing the election

New Delhi: It has become a general practice for the political class to demand for ban on electronic voting machines soon after losing the election. They blame EVMs for their failure and do not accept that people have rejected them.

A heated debate has taken place in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday on the use of EVMs  with the Congress demanding a ban since “these machines are not tamper-proof”.

Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said, “Use of EVMs should be stopped right now. These EVMs should not be used in the April 23civic polls in Delhi, coming assembly polls in Gujarat and other states.” The Rajya Sabha was even adjourned briefly over the issue after it was raised by Congress leader Digvijaya Singh. Later, Samajwadi Party’s Ram Gopal Yadav, Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati and other opposition leaders also joined Digvijaya Singh and raised doubts on the EVMs. “It’s a serious matter,” said Yadav. Mayawati said the government was not “trustworthy” and her party will take the matter to court.

In response, members of the treasury benches said they must approach the Election Commission on the matter.

“Don’t waste the time of the house,” Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said.

Soon after debacle in UP polls Mayawati has blamed on EVMs and has even knocked the doors of court for banning them. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal too did the same after severe drubbing in Punjab polls.

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