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  Opinion   Edit  19 Dec 2017  Stop targeting the EVMs

Stop targeting the EVMs

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Dec 19, 2017, 1:13 am IST
Updated : Dec 19, 2017, 1:13 am IST

The Gujarat poll seemed to follow every path surmised upon, down to regions and sub-regions, indicating EVMs have done reasonably well

The EVMs have earned a name for fairness of verdicts, irrespective of which party or alliance wins. (Representational image)
 The EVMs have earned a name for fairness of verdicts, irrespective of which party or alliance wins. (Representational image)

The endless carping against Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) has become more of a political refrain. Although the Gujarat polls were held with Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPATs) machines at every booth, budding politicians like Hardik Patel were freely blaming EVMs. This kind of unexplained conspiracy theory does little to challenge the electronic system through which India has voted in elections for nearly two decades. When the EC invited political parties to a hackathon this year, not one turned up. Had they participated and failed to hack the EVMs, they would have lost their major talking point. Curiously, it isn’t just losers who harp on this; even those like the AAP, which won with an unprecedented majority in Delhi in 2015, keep up this tirade.

The EVMs have earned a name for fairness of verdicts, irrespective of which party or alliance wins. The Gujarat poll seemed to follow every path surmised upon, down to regions and sub-regions, indicating EVMs have done reasonably well. Complaints against malfunctioning of a few EVMs in earlier elections may have been justified, but the problems were too few to suggest any largescale tampering. The Supreme Court turned down a Gujarat Congress plea seeking counting of at least 20 per cent of VVPATs, saying any debate on poll reforms could take place after the election process ends. A fair introspection of the issue and suggestions on the way forward in which the paper trail can help verify the working of EVMs to refine the system further may prove more helpful than constant criticism.

 

Tags: electronic voting machines, vvpat machines, hardik patel