No evidence to show EVMs can be tampered with: EC

New Delhi, (IANS): The Election Commission on Thursday emphasised that electronic voting machines (EVMs) were tamper proof and termed the allegations by some political parties concerning their use in assembly elections to five states as “baseless, speculative and wild”.

“ECI unequivocally reiterates that given effective technical and administrative safeguards, EVMs are not tamperable and integrity of electoral process is preserved,” the EC said in a statement.

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It said the commission did not receive specific complaints or concrete material from political parties/candidates about alleged tampering of EVMs in assembly elections in five states.

“If any specific allegation with material facts is presented to the ECI, the same will be looked into with all seriousness,” the poll panel said.

“At this stage, baseless, speculative and wild allegations are being made which deserve to be rejected,” it added.

The statement said it was not for the first time that allegations and suspicions have been raised “but none of those alleging tampering has been able to demonstrate to the commission… that EVMs used by it can be manipulated or tampered with,” it said.

“Today, the Commission once again completely reaffirms its faith in the infallibility of the EVMs. These are fully tamper-proof”, the EC said.

The statement said that faith on the machine has never wavered through the conduct of elections in the last many years.

“To date, no one has been able to actually demonstrate that EVMs used by the Election Commission can be tampered with or manipulated.”

Since 2000, Electronic Voting Machines have been used in 107 elections to state legislative assemblies and three Lok Sabha elections held in 2004, 2009 and 2014.

The poll panel said that it will “further enhance confidence of citizens in its electoral process by deploying paper audit trail (VVPAT) in a phased manner”.

Referring to comparisons between ECI-EVM and EVMs used by foreign countries, the commission said such comparisons were misplaced and misguided.

Interestingly, after the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP had also raised misgivings about the integrity of the EVMs.

After Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) Supremo Mayawati claimed that EVMs were tampered with to favour the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the recently-concluded Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) also demanded that the Delhi municipal elections scheduled for next month be held using paper ballots.

The state election commission has rejected the demand, saying it was too late to do so at this stage.