EC invites parties, techies to manipulate, hack EVMs

EC invites parties, techies to manipulate, hack EVMs

EC invites parties, techies to manipulate, hack EVMs

Political parties doubting the credibility of electronic voting machines will have an opportunity next month to prove their point.

The Election Commission has decided to throw up an open challenge for political parties, scientists and technologists to walk into its headquarters in Nirvachan Sadan in New Delhi in the first week of May and prove that EVMs could be tampered with.

The poll panel took this decision to clear doubts over the credibility of EVMs. This comes on a day leaders of the Congress and 12 Opposition parties called on President Pranab Mukherjee and drew his attention to the allegations about tampering of EVMs by the BJP in the just-concluded Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

A poll panel spokesperson said the commission’s technical experts on EVMs would soon work out the details for the challenge and make it public.

State to host hackathon

Karnataka Information Technology Minister Priyank Kharge volunteered to host an ethical hackathon in Bengaluru to check if EVMs could really be tampered with as claimed by certain political parties after the BJP’s landslide victory in the polls.

Delhi Chief Minister and AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal had also challenged the election watchdog to provide IT experts of his party access to some EVMs so that they could prove that the machines could indeed be tampered with.

The EC had thrown up a similar challenge in 2009 to disprove the credibility of EVMs, but none had been able to demonstrate that the devices could be manipulated. On Monday, 16 parties had urged the EC to use ballot papers instead of EVMs in future elections.

The Mayawati-led BSP was the first to raise doubts over the credibility of EVMs after its debacle in the recent elections. Former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat echoed Mayawati’s views to suggest that EVM tampering might have helped the BJP defeat his party, Congress.