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Why no-one can tamper with the Electronic Voting Machine: By Internet Guru Vijay Mukhi

Whenever anyone loses an election or data or anything electronic , the best person to blame is a virus. This has ben happening since time immemorial. Police find incriminating evidence on your phone, blame a virus, you lose an election blame a virus.

As I have a fertile imagination I could write about a 100 ways on how to plant a virus on a EVM. But ask me to prove this on the field and I will balk.

The main reason why a virus is not possible is very simple. Someone will have to program the EVM in the past saying in that all votes cast on their EVM should goes to say candidate number 3 only. The only problem is that in every assembly seat we have no idea who candidate number 3 is.

There are 3 different invisible segments to a ballot paper which decide the ordering of candidates. The first are the candidates from recognised/national political parties then the state and finally independents. Within each category, the candidate names are ordered alphabetically. In some assembly seats the Congress candidate will be first, in other seats the BJP candidate will be first on the ballot paper.

There is no way for a virus to be able to read the physical ballot paper and decide who say the BJP candidate number is. Its also not possible for the virus to be programmed just before the election to tell it who is the BJP candidate candidate just before the polling starts. To do this per EVM is to time consuming and physical security at the EVM storage will stop this form taking place.

In the year 2009 I along with others met with some EC officials in Delhi and told them bluntly that no matter how much they defended the sanctity of the EVM’s being virus proof , no one would believe them. The only way out is to have a paper based system also. You press the candidate button of your choice and out comes a paper vote which you place into the ballet box as an audit trail.

This paper audit trial is the only way to convince the naysayers that the EVM is tamper proof. Nothing else will. As you can see, nobody takes me seriously.

All this tampering of EVM’s cannot happen on a large scale. One of two EVM’s per election will malfunction, but lets not run down technology.

All said and done our Election System is the best in the world, even better than the USA and others. Lets not go back to the Stone Age or the age of paper ballots.


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