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Guard EVMs, role of Election Commission not neutral: Concerned citizens appeal

By Our Representative
A group of concerned citizens have in an appeal said they are "deeply perturbed" with reports coming in from various parts of the country of electronic voting machines (EVMs) and even a voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) being transported in unauthorized trucks and private vehicles, allegedly to exchange EVMs from strong rooms and replace them with alternate EVMs.
Pointing out that there are also videos of EVMs being stored in unauthorized storage houses and shops, the appeal says, "While the Election Commission (EC) has denied over years that EVMs can be tampered, many of us have been raising the issue of EVM tampering from Gujarat 2002 election onwards."
Signed by academicians, litterateurs, trade union leaders, social activists and film makers, the appeal says, "We are concerned that voters’ verdict sealed inside the EVM machines is sought to be tampered. We strongly believe that the responsibility of ensuring that the Voters’ Verdict is not changed and manipulated lies with the EC."
"However", it adds, "The role of the EC can no longer said to be neutral, which is visible from the internal news coming out of the EC, where the commission refused to include the dissent note of Ashok Lavasa in commission’s orders."
Appealing to those who have fought for the last five years against the "authoritarian communal fascist regime" to ensure the safety of the EVMs, the it wants political parties to guard strong rooms round the clock, and ensure that unauthorized EVMs are not brought in.
Also wanting those at the vote counting centre to report any suspicious activity immediately on social media and news media, the appeal wants, they should see to it on May 23, representatives of political parties check that all EVMs are sealed before the counting begins, and tally them with the list of EVMs machines in which voting was done.
Those who have signed the appeal include Anand Mazgaonkar, Annie Raja, Aruna Roy, Dinesh Abrol, Gauhar Raza, Mahesh Pandya, Mridula Mukherjee, Neeta Mahadev, Nikhil Dey, Prakash Shah, Ram Puniyani, Shabnam Hashmi, among others.

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