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|September 29, 1999||
EVMs are tamper-proof, assures maker
The Bharat Electronics Limited on Wednesday allayed the fear that electronic voting machines could be tampered with to rig the poll.
BEL Additional General Manager M P Mohammad said that the heart of the EVM, its motherboard, used a chip imported from Japan with the software programme embedded on it. No programme could be inserted from outside.
Two candidates for the Bangalore North Lok Sabha seat, Michael Fernandes of the Janata Dal (United) and C Narayanaswamy of the Janata Dal (Secular), had in a joint representation to the Election Commission urged it to prove that the EVMs were tamper-proof. They had stated that they had reliable information that some candidates for the state assembly and the Bangalore North seat were actively involved in tampering and manipulating some EVMs.
"They are believed to have taken the assistance of a few colluding staff and some serving and retired technicians conversant with these machines" they alleged.
The EVMs, manufactured by BEL and the Electronics Corporation of India Limited, have been used in elections since May 1982. It was introduced in the North Parur assembly constituency of Kerala.
Mohammad said the chips could not be reprogrammed. It was impossible to tap the memory of the printed circuit board.
A private computer hardware expert corroborated the BEL's claim: It would be impossible to rig an election since parallel EVMs have to be developed using similar motherboards doctored to suit a particular candidate.
Mohammad also ruled out tampering before the polling took place stating that the polling officer before the process began would conduct a test-check on the machines. He said it would be more difficult to replace an electronic voting machine unlike the normal ballot box while in transit in view of the technology involved.
Further, the number of votes polled by the machine would be separately recorded and would not be available easily. The process of sealing EVMs was also similar to ballot boxes, making them difficult to rig.
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