Archive for September, 2009

Solution to prevent Manipulation of EVMs

September 6, 2009

The recent Lok Sabha polls in Tamil Nadu saw allegations from

opposition parties that accused of the ruling party of tampering with

the electronic voting machine. It was said that, in some booths

whatever button the voter pressed, the vote went to the candidate

from the ruling UPA. Since then, some NGOs have tried to prove

that the EVMs can be tampered with.They along with the

opposition parties want to go back to the ballot paper method. The

ballot paper method is slow. So I have come up with the following

solution for the problem.

In the EVM votes are stored according to candidate number and

not their name or symbol i.e

Candidate 1 has got so many votes
Candidate 2 has got so many votes

and so on.

This order is known to everyone well in advance of the polling date.

As a result, some parties ( if they can get their hands on the

machine before the polling date ) can program the machine

malliciously with the help of some experts. We should see here

that for their idea to work, they need to know the number of their

candidate in the list. If they get it wrong, they might end up helping

the wrong candidate. At present, I think this order is determined by

the order in which the nominations were filed. Instead, I suggest

that we make this order “random” .

On polling day, on each booth, after the machines have been

wired, this order should be determined by a draw of lots.Then this

list can be pasted on the EVM to help the voters.A copy should be

signed by the officer in charge, as well as the agents of each

candidate for that particular booth. After pollimg is over, this list

should be sealed along with the EVMs  and then sent to

counting.The signed list can be used to determine,who got how

many votes during counting.

Since the order of the candidated is determined just on the poliing

date it will be impossible to tamper with the machine before polling.

This can eliminate a lot of suspicion about the EVM.This might

mean about half an hour of additional work to the officers

conducting poles, but it is just a small inconvenience when we see

the fact that it can eliminate a lot of suspicion and fear.