CEO allays political parties’ fears over EVM tampering

ITANAGAR, Jun 4: Seeking to allay fears of political parties in the state, the Arunachal Pradesh chief electoral office (CEO) on Monday said there is no scope for tampering the electronic voting machines (EVM) during poll process.
The assembly polls in the Northeastern state are due next year.
The Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee, the People’s Party of Arunachal, and the National People’s Party had drawn the attention of the Election Commission of India (ECI), urging it to conduct elections in the state through ballot papers, fearing that the ruling BJP government in the state could manipulate the election result by tampering with the EVMs.
“We are appealing to the ECI to conduct next year’s elections in Arunachal Pradesh through ballot papers, so that the deserving candidates and not the candidates with wealth, power and technology to influence and manipulate the EVM results, win,” the parties said in a joint statement on Sunday.
Stating that the question of tampering EVMs does not arise and “is not at all possible,” the CEO said that the ECI had already clarified its position in this matter. The commission had also discussed the matter with experts and political parties.
“The EVMs are cent percent tamper proof and are not hackable. All the political parties are requested to involve themselves during the first level checking (FLC) to clear their doubts,” the office added.??It informed that, as per the ECIs direction, the FLC of EVMs and VVPATs in Arunachal Pradesh started on 1 June.
“The FLC is being done by well-trained engineers from the Electronic Corporation of India Limited (ECIL), the manufacturer of EVM and VVPAT machines. Before election, two layers checking of EVMs are done. This is only the first level checking before the general election,” it said.
The FLC is done only to identify the defective EVMs/VVPATs which require repairing, and the properly working ones are kept under pink paper sealed cover which would be removed during commissioning of EVMs, the CEO said.
For the FLC and other EVM-related work, the political parties are involved, it added. (PTI)