State, poll panel can host EVM challenge, suggests Kharge

State, poll panel can host EVM challenge, suggests Kharge

State, poll panel can host EVM challenge, suggests Kharge

Minister for IT and BT Priyank Kharge, on Tuesday, wrote to the Election Commission of India (ECI), seeking an electronic voting machine (EVM) challenge to test the machines for errors.

In his letter to Achal Kumar Jyoti, the Chief Election Commissioner, Kharge has proposed that the EVM challenge be jointly hosted by the Karnataka government and the ECI, where stakeholders of the scientific community can be invited to participate in testing the EVMs.  

Unlike the EVM challenge hosted by the ECI in May 2017, where only political parties participated, Kharge has said that the challenge this time should be thrown open to technocrats, scientists, corporates, R&D institutes, start-ups and tinkerers.

He has sought that the ECI provide 250 randomly selected EVMs to plan and execute the challenge, under the overall supervision of the ECI.

For the challenge, individuals or interested parties can be allowed to test the EVMs using instruments of their choice. Design documents, test descriptions and results, security procedures used by the ECI can be provided for the same. Results obtained can be made public and long-term testing by a team of experts can be initiated, if necessary, he has said.

"The challenge needs to go beyond political parties and should be opened to all the young and bright minds in the country to ensure a pure scientific engagement with the community without political agenda. If there are technical flaws, we can solve it together and if there are no errors, we restore the people's faith in our democratic process," his letter states.

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