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Socialist Party stages demonstration in Bengaluru against misuse of VVPAT

Pawan Kumar Sharma, the demonstrator and a candidate of the Right to Recall Party from the Bhilwara Constituency in Rajasthan, asked the audience members to vote using his setup similar to an EVM setup.
Last Updated : 23 April 2024, 16:17 IST
Last Updated : 23 April 2024, 16:17 IST

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Bengaluru: With less than a week remaining until the polling day in Bangalore, the Socialist Party (India), Karnataka, hosted a demonstration in Bengaluru of how VVPAT can be tampered with to steal votes. 

Pawan Kumar Sharma, the demonstrator and a candidate of the Right to Recall Party from the Bhilwara Constituency in Rajasthan, asked the audience members to vote using his setup similar to an EVM setup.

Out of the three options of Apple, Banana and Watermelon, the volunteers cast two votes for Banana and two for Watermelon and confirmed their votes using the paper trail on the VVPAT machine. 

However, to everyone’s surprise, once the demonstrator opened the VVPAT, they found two paper trails for apples and one for Bananas and Watermelons each.

Sharma later showed another demonstration with a counting unit attached to his setup, usually the primary medium to count the votes, but the anomaly continued.

Electronic counting and the VVPAT displayed votes for Apple, although none were cast. Sharma later claimed that while EVM cannot be hacked, it can be internally tampered with to produce desired results. He later shared, “Until 2017, VVPATs used to have a transparent glass, making it visible to everyone. However, in 2017, it introduced a black glass that allows the desired paper trail to be created to match with the tampered EVMs.”

The Election Commission (EC), however, recently told the SC that the glass has always been tinted to maintain the secrecy of voting.

Sandeep Pandey, General Secretary of the Socialist Party (India), who recently made news for returning the Magsaysay award, later said, “We are not claiming that the tampered EVMs have been used in elections, but the demonstration proves it is possible. If any party wants, with the help of sympathetic bureaucracy, they can do especially in constituencies where it fears losing by small margins.”

Pandey shared that he has mailed the Election Commissioner seeking ballot paper since it is already used for postal ballots and senior citizens above 85. If unavailable, he refuses to vote.

“Western Nations like Germany have discontinued EVMs, citing the possibility of tampering. Complaints have also been filed in India, but the EC dismissed them over lack of evidence, which is almost impossible to acquire.

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Published 23 April 2024, 16:17 IST

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