To Check Tampering, EC to Buy Next Gen EVMs With Automatic 'Kill Switch'
The Election Commission is set to buy next generation EVMs that become "inoperable" the moment attempts are made to tinker with it, a move which comes amid claims by some parties that the machines were tampered with during the recent assembly polls.
File photo of a polling officer holding an Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) at a training camp ahead of the Uttar Pradesh elections. (PTI/Representative Image)
New Delhi: The Election Commission is set to buy next generation EVMs that become "inoperable" the moment attempts are made to tinker with it, a move which comes amid claims by some parties that the machines were tampered with during the recent assembly polls.
The 'M3'-type electronic voting machines (EVMs) are also equipped with a self-diagnostic system for authentication of genuineness of the machines.
These will come with a public key interface-based mutual authentication system.
Only a "genuine" EVM — manufactured either by atomic energy PSU ECIL or defence PSU BEL — "communicates" with other EVMs in the field.
Any EVM manufactured by other companies would not be able to communicate with other machines, thus exposing it.
The Election Commission has decided to replace 9,30,430 EVMs purchased before 2006 as the older machines are nearing their 15-year life cycle, he said.
On December 7 last, the Union Cabinet had approved a fresh tranche of Rs 1,009 crore for the Election Commission to buy new EVMs so that it can phase out the ageing ones before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
On July 20 last, a similar Election Commission proposal to buy nearly 14 lakh new EVMs — the first tranche — at a cost of Rs 9,200 crore during 2016-17 was approved by the Union Cabinet.
In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha on Friday, the Law Ministry had said that EC has not purchased a single new machine in the last three fiscals.
Minister of State for Law P P Chaudhary had said that the poll panel has informed the government that it had not procured any electronic voting machine during 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17.
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