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Missed call drive for VVPAT verification follows online plea to "pressure" poll panel

By Our Representative
Several political activists have begun a new campaign, asking concerned citizens to give a missed call on 9667655855 to “support the demand that 2019 Loksabha elections must be declared only after verification of 50% electronic voting machines (EVMs) with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) receipts.” The effort, supported by civil society networks across India, is meant to "further pressure" India's election machinery to ensure that the poll outcome becomes more transparent.
Based on the number of missed calls sent, to continue for still unspecified days, a mobile vendor, hired by civil society activists, would collect the data and hand it over to the those who have floated the idea to be further forwarded to the Election Commission of India (ECI) and the Supreme Court. The data would add up to the number of individuals who are supporting the campaign for 50% VVPAT verification.
The missed call campaign comes close on the heel of an online petition, proposed to be sent to ECI and the Supreme Court, which has agreed to hear a petition by 21 political parties led by Andhra chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu on 50% verification of VVPAT receipts as against just about 0.4%. The petition has been floated by senior Ahmedabad-based environmental activist, Mahesh Pandya.
The effort, says Pandya, is to answer the question that may be posed by any individual, “I voted for the Lok Sabha elections, but I am worried. I am worried my vote may not go to party I voted for.” Adds Pandya, “This is a common statement a lot of Indians who have voted so far are reporting. There have been many reported cases of EVM malfunctioning in the first phase of the elections.”
While EVMs are a machine where the name of the candidates along with the names of their party and the symbol are placed, VVPAT, placed next to it maintains printed record of the votes cast” so that one can “verify that your vote has gone to the same person you have voted, and are an indispensable requirement of free and fair election. In all, there are today 16,15,000 VVPAT machines are placed next to EVMs.
Mahesh Pandya
The online petition claims, it is “malfunctioning of the EVMs has led to 21 political parties approaching the Supreme Court of India”, adding, “They demanded that to win the faith of the people in EVM, 50% of EVMs must be verified with paper trail of VVPAT.” They did this as the Election Commission of India (ECI) “verified” during earlier elections only one EVM machine randomly through VVPAT in an Assembly segment, which is “a mere 0.4%.”
“Despite the fact that over Rs 3,000 crore was spent in purchasing VVPAT machines, their data is not being verified”, the petition by Pandya states, adding, “The Supreme Court stated that it would verify data from 5 EVMs making that a 2% verification. While the best case scenario is a 100% verification, through this petition, I am asking for a 50 percent random verification of EVM through VVPAT before declaring the results.”
Meanwhile, an email alert on why VVPAT is necessary, and why should the missed call and the petition campaigns should be supported, seeks to answer questions tangled questions regarding the apprehension among many citizens no matter which button one presses, one is not sure as to which party it is going to. Calling it a cause of major worry, the email alart says, while VVPAT, placed next to EVM, does display “the name/symbol of the person” one votes, it also “maintains printed record of the votes cast”, something that should be counted cent per cent.
Insisting that such counting should help “verify” that the vote one has cast has gone to the same person one has voted, the email alert states, “Until 1999 all our elections were done manually. But there were many complaints of corruption and bogus voting. On November 7, 1975 the Supreme Court held that free and fair elections are part of the basic structure of the Constitution of India.”
Suggesting that this led to the introduction EVMs, as “with the increasing number of voters, elections through manual voting were becoming difficult” with the number of voters reaching a whopping 90 crore in the Lok Sabha elections, the explanatory note says, things came to such a pass that EVMs were not considered fool proof either, hence, “on October 9, 2013 Supreme Court (in the case of Subramanyam Swami vs ECI) decided that paper trail is an ‘indispensable’ requirement of free and fair election.”
To make elections transparent ECI ordered 1,615,000 VVPAT machines at the cost of Rs 3,173.47 crore. The entire Lok Sabha election of 2019 is being held with VVPAT for the first time. But as the malfunctioning of EVMs continues, 21 political parties approached Supreme Court of India, demanding, 50 per cent of EVMs must be verified with VVPAT, if not all.

Comments

Anonymous said…
What about the real fear of the evm machine itself being changed.
In the news recently...A huge number of machines are unaccounted for...Missing.!

This would be a great fraud on the nation...


Unknown said…
I FEEL SOMETHING FISHY ABOUT EVMs MACHINE HOW COME BJP PARTY KNOW'S THAT THEY ARE GOING TO GET 300 OR ABOVE BEFORE THE RESULTS STARTING NEXT TIME ELECTION SHOULD BE OF BALLOT PAPERS MOT EVMs I FIND FRAUD
Anonymous said…
Even in 2014 elections, BJP had begun their celebrations (ordering laddoos on large scale) without waiting for results...

This time, they have not succeeded yet in getting those numbers but are trying to replace EVMs after showing on media these fake exit polls.

EVM hacker Syed Shuja (who did press conference in London) claims he has restricted NDA to around 170 seats despite all the attempts by BJP at data transmission to EVMs,using pre-programmed EVMs, and fake voting, etc.

Strong rooms need to be guarded very seriously.
Unknown said…
Definitely there is something fishy. Why is EC hesitating to verify 5vvpats before evms? 😳 😳 Quite surprising.
Make voting process a transparent one.
Election Commission should take note of it.
Supreme Court as the highest institution of Justice in our country and which has the responsibility to uphold the basic tenets of our Constitution ,must take positive steps to restore the confidence of the nation in voting process.

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