EVM tampering?


I wonder is it really possible to tamper with EVMs (Electronic Voting Machines) on a big scale and steal an election.

Being an IT professional, I have no doubt it is possible to tamper with the votes, from an electronics/software point of you.

However the question really is about the logistics of it all. The country uses over 1.2million EVMs. That is 1,200,000 machines!

Each EVM will need to be seperately labeled each time to reflect the candidates. The votes will be tallied on the basis of the number associated with the candidate.

For example:

1. K Candidate
2. B Candidate
3. Z candidate

Note that there is no pre-fixed format for such allocation and to reprogram the EVM to rig the voting pattern a person will have to know the exact number in which he appears, and go to each and every machine to reprogram it.

It is a herculean task that’s impossible to manage by a small bunch of people. It’ll need at least one person per voting station, if it is going to be done on the day of the poll. When so many people are involved it can’t be done with any degree of secrecy.

So, the only other alternative is for people at the Election C omission to be involved. Or the people whom the C omission contracts this work to be involved. This is a more likely scenario.

I am not aware of how EC manages the programming of EVM. It would indeed be interesting to know the exact process. If this process is handled by a small bunch of people, then it is indeed possible for these EVMs to be rigged at a election stealing level. If this reprogramming (Or vote counting mechanism) is left to constituency levels, then to steal such an election will be worthy of a large espionage agency!!

All EC has to make sure is all parties are shown this process to be fair (not individual EVMs), and involve them in the process of programming or Tallying of the votes.

That shouldn’t be too difficult to do, and we will be spared of going back to the dark ages of ballots.

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One thought on “EVM tampering?

  1. Interesting! It does seem to be a logistically impossible task to tamper with the EVMs.

    Thoughts:
    – You can tamper only upto the max. no. of voters in every polling station;
    – Which implies, you will have to ensure the total of all the votes of all the candidates do not exceed max. no. of voters in every polling station;
    – Which further implies, you can only cast fake votes for the absent voters;
    – But then the EC maintains a separate voter’s list with the signature/thumb-impression. It can always be cross-verified with to check EVM tampering.
    – And we also know that almost none of the polling stations had 100% voting recorded. (except the rare stations with very few voters, like 3 voters & such)

    Unless the “EVM rigging” is something where the device is ‘blanked’ & then votes are cast for a single candidate, its really difficult.

    So yes – as you say – either its at a large scale, or its not happening (except in theory)!

    There can be a possibility, as demonstrated, that the EVMs can be rigged. But how far can they get with that? Losing parties can continue to create a hoopla, but logistically & technically it seems impossible.

    Completely agree that if the EC involves the party/candidate representatives during the programming & tallying of votes, it can be more secure (securing the EC from the allegations!).

    Nice one sir!
    Thanks,

    Nirav Doshi

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