ELECTRONIC VOTING MACHINE
What is an Electronic Voting Machine?
It is a simple electronic device used to record votes in place of ballot papers and boxes which were used earlier in conventional voting system.
What are the advantages of EVM over the traditional ballot paper/ballot box system? (i) It eliminates the possibility of invalid and doubtful votes which, in many cases, are the root causes of controversies and election petitions.
(ii) It makes the process of counting of votes much faster than the conventional system. (iii) It reduces to a great extent the quantity of paper used thus saving a large number of trees making the process eco-friendly.
(iv) It reduces cost of printing almost nil as only one sheet of ballot paper required for each Polling Station.
Apart from India which are the other countries that use EVMs in elections? Bhutan used the Indian EVMs for the whole country during their last elections. These machines were also used by Nepal for some of their constituencies during the last general elections in the country.
When was the EVM introduced in India?
It was first used in 1982 in the bye-election to Parur Assembly Constituency of Kerala for a limited number of polling stations (50 polling stations).
What are the unique features of Indian EVMs?
It is a simple machine that can be operated easily by both the polling personnel and the voters. It is sturdy enough to withstand rough handling and variable climatic conditions. Being a stand alone machine without any network connectivity, nobody can interfere with its programming and manipulate the result. Keeping the erratic power supply position in many places in the country, the machines have been made to run on batteries.
What was the necessity to switch to EVM from ballot paper election? Counting of Ballot papers at an election used to take long hours creating a charged atmosphere for the counting officials as well as candidates/political parties. Sometimes this was aggravated further by the demand for recounting resulting for the low margin of difference of votes between the top 2 candidates coupled with large number of invalid and doubtful votes.
Who manufacture EVMs in India?
The two central govt. undertakings i.e. Bharat Electronics Limited and Electronics Corporation of India Limited are the only manufacturers from whom the EVMs are procured by the Election Commission of India.
Before approving EVM ,whether ECI consulted the political parties? Yes. The matter was discussed with all the recognized political parties and demonstration held before them.
Whether ECI took the advice of technical expert before approving the EVM? Yes. Before inducting the EVMs, opinion of the Technical Committee comprising Prof. S. Sampath, Prof. P.V. Indiresan and Dr. C Rao Kasarbada was obtained. The Committee examined the machines minutely from all technical angles and unanimously recommended their use in elections.
10. What are the features of Control Unit?
The Control Unit is the main unit which stores all data and controls the functioning of EVM. The program which controls the functioning of the control unit is burnt into a micro chip on a “one time programmable basis”. Once burnt it cannot be read, copied out or altered. The EVMs use dynamic coding to enhance security of data transmitted from ballot unit to control unit. The new EVMs have also got real time clock and date-time stamping facility which enables them to record the exact time and date whenever a key is pressed. After the voting is completed and the close button is pressed, the machine does not accept any data or record any vote. Through the press of “total” button, the control unit can display the number of votes recorded till that time which can be cross checked with the register of voters in Form 17-A. The display system of the control unit shows the total number of votes polled in a polling station and the...
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