Election Commissioners
HS Brahma ([email protected])
DR Nasim Zaidi ([email protected])
April 3, 2014
Nirvachan Sadan, Ashoka Road,
New Delhi 110001
As academic and concerned citizens we are extremely concerned at the possible manipulation of the free and fair ballot process underway to elect the 16th Lok Sabha by reports that the Electronic Voting Machines Machines (EVMs) tested in one district in Assam were found to be a farce. According to a report in The Times of India, April 3, 2014 (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/lok-sabha-elections-2014/news/An-EVM-that-votes-only-for-BJP-stuns-poll-staff-in-Assam/articleshow/33153152.cms) that reveals that on a mock round, only one singular party was the beneficiary when alternative ballot choices were exercised.
Sir as you are aware the issue of the EVMs being the best way to reflect the diverse views in a vast country like ours has been under debate and dispute which is why, experimentally, the ECI has begun a paper trail voting system to compare the authenticity. Given the criticality of this general election, and any election for the future of this country as a secular, socialist democracy it is critical that the Election Commission immediately does a spot check on every EVM that is to be used not just in Assam but everywhere. Moreover, even if this means a rescheduling of the election it is critical that all Indians are reassured that their choice of ballot is being honoured and there is no crude and desperate manipulations. Voters need to have the right to ask at the polling booths that their vote is being honoured.
We are also enclosing a study that has been conducted on the fragility of the EVM process and urge that the ECI does not take this matter lightly. There exist forces and organisations in our midst who work day and night to subvert the diverse and varied democratic voice of this country. It is the duty of the Election Commission of India to protect the fundamentals of Indian democracy.
Moreover, it is incumbent on the ECI to make public the nexus operating in the corporate companies that manufacture EVMs and the government acquisition process. Election law and criminal law need to be applied to order a full-fledged prosecution of the offending corporate company and an investigation ordered into the acquisition process. . It is reported that according to the returning officer and deputy commissioner of the Jorhat Parliamentary Constittuency in Assam, Shri Vishal Vasant Solanki that the manipulated EVM in question was manufactured by either the Electronics Corporation of India Ltd or another company which are the only two companies manufacturing EVCMs. The background and details need to be probed impartially.
Annexed: Times of India Article, April 3, 2014
An EVM that ‘votes’ only for BJP stuns poll staff in Assam !!!
Congress lodged a complaint with the Election Commission of India on Wednesday and demanded thorough inspection of all EVMs in just not Jorhat, but the entire state.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/lok-sabha-elections-2014/news/An-EVM-that-votes-only-for-BJP-stuns-poll-staff-in-Assam/articleshow/33153152.cmsGUWAHATI: An electronic voting machine raised many eyebrows across the state during a mandatory mock poll in Jorhat on Tuesday. Every time a button was pressed, the vote went in favour of BJP.

The Jorhat parliamentary constituency returning officer and deputy commissioner Vishal Vasant Solanki told TOI that all EVMs in his custody are being put through a second level of test by engineers of the Electronics Corporation of India Ltd (ECIL), one of the two companies from Hyderabad, which manufactures EVMs.

This Jorhat Lok Sabha seat has Congress stalwart and former Union minister Bijoy Krishna Handique locking horns with BJP youth and tea tribal leader Kamakhya Tasa. This will be Handique’s record seventh successive attempt for the Lok Sabha election. Jorhat goes to the polls on April 7.

State chief electoral officer Vijyandra on Wednesday said, “An EVM in Jorhat was found malfunctioning yesterday. It is a defective machine and it was noticed when EVMs were readied in front of representatives of all political parties. We will not send the faulty unit to any polling station.”

An EVM consists of two units, a control unit and a balloting unit. Both unites are connected with cable. The balloting unit is a small box-like device, on top of which each candidate and his or her election symbol appears. The voter selects his candidate by pressing the blue button.

The returning officer said, “These EVMs were here for long. Usually, EVMs are kept in the custody of the deputy commissioner and during elections they are taken to strong rooms.”

Congress lodged a complaint with the Election Commission of India on Wednesday and demanded thorough inspection of all EVMs in just not Jorhat, but the entire state. PradeshCongress Committee general secretary Ranjan Bora, who lodged the complaint with EC, said, “The mock poll was done at random and the EVM for Teok assembly constituency took everyone by surprise. When the hand symbol button was pressed for Congress, the vote was found to be recorded in favour of BJP.”

He said the incident has fuelled suspicion in their minds that EVMs may have been tampered with to favour a particular political party.

Interestingly, after Congress got an overwhelming mandate in the 2011 assembly polls, Asom Gana Parishad had lodged a complaint against Congress accusing it of tinkering with EVMs. The Congress leadership had rejected this charge and pointed out that EVM results could not be manipulated.

“EVM tampering could be possible in the Jorhat case,” a senior Congress leader said.


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