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EVM Quit India call on August 9: Civil society poses 10 'unanswered' questions

Counterview Desk
EVM Virodhi Rashtriya Jan Andolan has given a call for people’s march against electronic voting machines (EVMs) for August 9, 2019. Proposing a rally at 11 am from Mandi House to Jantar Mantar, New Delhi, the #BacktoBallot campaign has begun following the National Consultation in Delhi, held on July 14, where it was decided hold nationwide protests on the day Gandhiji gave the clarion call British Quit India!
To take place under the banner “EVMs Quit India!”, ahead of the proposed rally, the civil society organizers, who have given the call, have put forward 10 “unanswered” questions on EVM, appealing to all political parties and citizens to “urgently recognize the threats posed by the manipulations of EVM that compromise a free and fair election” and create public awareness regarding “possible manipulation by EVM”. It wants the authorities to “revert back to paper ballot.”

Text of the note:

After the results of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections were announced, political parties, as well as several political commentators, are trying to understand the social and political reasons leading to the 2019 verdict. These analyses have largely focussed on political and organisational limitations of the opposition compared to the RSS-BJP. While we recognise the urgent need to address these political and organisational challenges, it is equally important to recognise the threat to Indian democracy being posed by the use of EVMs.
During the 2019 Election, several shocking facts regarding EVM discrepancies have come into public domain. We must raise all these unanswered questions to save our democracy and country.

How Safe Are Our EVMs? 10 unanswered questions

1) Why has there been a mismatch of nearly 56 lakh plus votes polled and votes counted by the Election Commission of India (ECI) Figures in the 2019 election?
There is a serious mismatch between the voter turnout/votes polled data on the EVM and the votes counted data on EVMs, both shared by the ECI, in 373 constituencies which went to poll in the first four phases of Lok Sabha Elections 2019. EVM is nothing but a counting machine. How can number of votes polled vary from number of votes counted? Why has ECI not explained the reasons for this mismatch?
2) Why was the storage and safety of EVMS being compromised by ECI?
Just days before Election result, several videos of EVMs being stored in illegal cars and shops and moved, surfaced on social media platforms. These stories surfaced only after the seventh phase, which is May 19, 2019. Unfortunately, there was no vigilance maintained by the opposition parties or even civil society from the first phase of elections.
3) How come 20 lakh EVMs remain missing from ECI storage?
A public interest litigation in Bombay High Court also points out that 20 lakh EVMs have gone missing from the possession of the ECI! The fact that EVMs are manufactured by the Electronics Corporation of India Ltd (ECIL) and Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL), under the direct control of the Central Government, is a further cause of serious concern. Have these 20 lakh EVMs been traced till now? Has any action been taken against any official?
4) Why has the ECI lied that EVM is One Time Programmable (OTP), when RTI replies have shown that the chip is reprogrammable?
The ECI has said several times that the software used in EVMs is One Time Programmable (OTP), and thus cannot be rewritten and tampered with. A response to a Right to Information (RTI) query tells us that the software in EVMs is not OTP and can indeed be rewritten Similarly, it has been proved that remote access software can be (illegally) installed in EVM machines, thus enabling them to be manipulated via the internet by external agents The fundamental basis of EVM has been OTP that ECI made us believe. Now that has been demolished. Will ECI apologise and replace EVMs with ballot papers?
5) Why has ECI lied about GPS trackers being fitted for EVM transport?
In addition, EVM manufacturers and distributers admit that EVMs are not always GPS-tracked and transported under strict supervision. In RTI response, the ECI refuses to share the GPS data of trucks transporting EVMs as they say they don’t have the data. 
Botswana asked Election Commission to depose in the nation's courts to demonstrate infallibility of EVMs imported from India. It has failed to comply
6) Why is ECI refusing to reply or clarify about EVM swapping case of 2017 Uttarakhand assembly elections?
During the 2017 assembly elections in Uttarakhand, serial numbers of some EVMs used during the polling process did not tally with the serial numbers in the EVMs used during counting. Will ECI finally accept EVMS are being swapped and replace EVMs with ballot papers?
7) Why has ECI lied that EVMS are not handled by any private third-party individuals when the truth is private engineers are hired to handle EVMs?
ECI documents say 17.4 lakh Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trails (VVPATs) were kept ready to be used in GE 2019 and the assembly elections of 4 states. EC documents say that the candidates’ details and symbols will be loaded into EVMs and VVPATs by BEL and ECIL engineers using their laptops. That is an average of 41,428 VVPAT settings per day. Through various RTI's filed to ECI and Uttarakhand CEO and PIL by Ashish Goel, it has been noted that a private company was given contract for handling EVM's for loading ballot units after withdrawal of candidates. More than 60 “consultants” were employed for handling EVM's.
8) Why is the ECI so reluctant to stand up before institutional scrutiny of its own EVMs in Botswana? Why has Botswana rejected Indian made EVMS? Will ECI tell the people of India?
Botswana is witnessing strong political debates over use of EVMs imported from India. In response to several objections raised by the Opposition Botswana Congress Party (BCP) in the Botswana court, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) in Botswana, over the past one year, has repeatedly requested the ECI of India to depose in Botswana’s courts and demonstrate the infallibility of EVMs imported from India. The ECI has till now failed to comply and there are reports that faced with this challenge it is now planning to design an EVM for Botswana that is different from the one used in India! Why is the ECI so reluctant to stand up before institutional scrutiny of its own EVMs in Botswana?
9) Why is the BJP taking a U-turn now on the possibility of EVM tampering, when they themselves flagged off the issue in a big way and wrote an entire book on it 2009?
After the 2009 election, BJP leader L. K. Advani alleged that EVMs were not fool proof, and pointed out it’s discontinuation in the US, Germany etc. The BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao wrote an entire book offering a staunch critique of EVMs. The book is titled "Democracy at Risk! Can We Trust Our Electronic Voting Machines" and carried an introduction by no less than L. K. Advani! Why BJP is now taking an absolute U- turn about the credibility of EVMs?
10) Why is BJP shying away from paper ballot election, when 23 other political parties of India are demanding it?
BJP boasts about the party’s overwhelming popularity across the country; so ballot or EVM, it will get votes and win anyway. What sense then does it make for BJP at least to oppose return to paper ballots?

Comments

thelazyreader said…
Congress stooges want an India where the same dynasty rules tge country forever, just like in Nehru and Indiras lifetime.

So if your belowved party loses election you will attack Indian democracy itself. I hope Supreme Court starts giving jail terms to such phony activists for wasting the EC's time with this EVM propaganda.
Momin said…
How can number of votes polled vary from number of votes counted? Why has ECI not explained the reasons for this mismatch?
The EC had not took any step for 11 complaints of MCC violation by PM Modi.EC behaved as if ther are part of NDA.

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