10/05/2017 9:39 AM IST | Updated 10/05/2017 9:40 AM IST

Can't Vilify EVMs By Hacking Look-Alike Machines, EC Slams AAP's EVM-Tampering Demo

'Look-alikes are made to function in a tampered manner'

Adnan1 Abidi / Reuters

NEW DELHI -- The Election Commission today hit out at the Aam Aadmi Party, saying by hacking a "look-alike" electronic voting machine, it cannot influence the electorate and vilify the EVMs used by it.

Responding to an AAP MLA "hacking" an EVM inside the Delhi assembly "to show" how it could be manipulated, the EC said gadgets other than ECI-EVMs can be programmed to perform in a pre-determined way, but it simply cannot be implied that its EVMs will behave in the same manner.

"Very simply put, any 'look-alike' machine is just a different gadget, which is manifestly designed and made to function in a 'tampered' manner and has no relevance, incidence or bearing on the Commission's EVMs," the poll watchdog said in a statement.

The EC said it is "common sense" that gadgets other than ECI-EVMs can be programmed to perform in a pre-determined way, but it simply cannot be implied that ECI-EVMs will behave in the same manner because the ECI-EVMs are technically secured and function under an elaborate administrative and security protocol.

"Such so-called demonstration on extraneous and duplicate gadgets which are not owned by the EC cannot be exploited to influence our intelligent citizens and electorate to assail or vilify the EVMs used by the Commission in its electoral process," it said.

A Commission official said during the demonstration, there was no control unit attached to the EVM. "Once a vote is cast, the control unit jams all buttons on the EVM (ballot unit) till the time the presiding officer releases it for the next voter. When the buttons are jammed, how would one punch in the code as demonstrated by AAP," he questioned.

The move of the AAP government to demonstrate the vulnerability of the EVM comes ahead of an all-party meet convened by the Commission on 12 May to discuss the EVM issue.

Earlier, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had dared the EC to provide an electronic voting machine to the AAP, claiming it can be tampered with in '90 seconds' flat.

Later during a day-long special sitting of the Delhi Assembly, AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj put on a "live demonstration" on how EVMs can be programmed "to favour" any political party.

16 Opposition parties, including Congress, DMK, Left, BSP and SP, had recently approached the EC, asking it to revert to the paper ballot system as the "EVMS are not reliable".

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