EVM- Electronic Voting Machines- Controversies and the Truth. - Seeker's Thoughts

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EVM- Electronic Voting Machines- Controversies and the Truth.

EVM Controversy in India- EVMs or electronic voting machines provides the voter with a button for each choice which is connected by a cable to an electronic ballot box. 

An EVM consists of two units–control unit and balloting unit–and these two are connected by a five-meter cable. When a voter presses a button against the candidate he/she wishes to vote for, the machine locks itself. This EVM can be opened only with a new ballot number. This way, EVMs ensure that one person gets to vote only once.
When were EVMs first used in elections?
The use of EVM started back in 1982 Kerala Assembly elections. Prior to this only ballot papers and ballot boxes were allowed.
Issue s--Why EVM are in controversy?
1.        The only way an EVM can be tampered with is by physically opening it up and replacing the chipset inside it. The chipset used is non-reprogrammable and data is ‘burnt’ into the device. So, today it is possible to replace the chip if we have access to EVMs.
2.        On the VVPAT (voter verifiable paper audit trail) front too, there are reports of malfunctioning. Also, as per the rules, paper ballots and VVPAT machines are not counted until the Returning Officer asks for it.
Why is India using EVMs?
·         Using EVMs means doing away with paper ballots, and in turn, saving millions of trees from being cut.
·         It makes the entire process of voting simpler-a click on the button and your vote is registered.
·         EVMs, in the long-run, have turned out to be cost-effective as well.
·         These machines don’t require electricity and run on batteries.
·         At the same time, the EVMs are lighter and portable compared to the huge ballot boxes.
·         And most importantly, EVMs have made the vote-counting process much faster, delivering results in hours as against manual counting of votes which could take days.
Why to support EVM?
1.        EVMs led to a significant decline in electoral fraud, particularly in politically sensitive States as rigging elections became extremely expensive.
2.        Research has shown a link between luminosity and growth rate, suggesting that EVMs contribute to development.
3.        EVMs empowered those from the weaker sections of society who were victims of political or electoral violence. In particular, women, lower castes, and those less educated were more likely to participate in the electoral process when EVMs were used.
4.        EVMs made the electoral process more competitive.
5.        There has been a significant decline in the incidence of re-election, and winning margins have reduced dramatically.
6.        Less time consuming.
Arguments that are in favour of Paper Ballot
o   Invariably come across reports of malfunctioning EVMs.
o   Reliability of EVM lead to the trust issue where people want the previous system to be worked.  
Disadvantage and Issues related to  ----there are problems of paper ballot.
o   Transporting them and guarding them is a problem.
o   Ballot boxes can be captured.
o   Ghost voters who did not exist voted for the parties.
o   Credibility as election frauds
o   Time consuming
Truth behind tempering
EVM’s do not have electricity, or internet connectivity. The only thing which it has a chip, which is produced in a government own PSU.EVM can be tempered only when it is opened and replace the chip. CHIPS can be replaced BUT ONLY IN LAB. However the truth is that EVM chip can’t be replaced just like that 
Conclusion- Election commission finds it hard to maintain credibility, as controversy does not seem to die. Election commission even kept an open challenge but none came in front. VVPAT should be installed, or more awareness campaign should be promoted by government.