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Thursday, July 9, 2020

Technology & the unhurried mind is saga of EVMs


During every Elections season, the Election Commission of India (ECI) seems frustrated with the continued suspicion of political parties’ w.r.t the integrity of the EVM system. Being a citizen and voter, we often wonder why the EVM story has dragged on for so long. Booth capturing has lost its value, in the era of EVMs. The high proportion of invalid votes is also another constraint of the pre-EVM era. The risk of invalidity has been deleted by the EVM. The suspicion that EVMs can be manipulated is with the linking of EVMs with a Voter-Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT).

The idea of Democracy is itself a modern faith. Its disruption cannot be entertained, even as a passing thought. The nations which are more advanced than us on the industrial path have not at all agreed to use EVMs for their elections. The long row of buttons on the body of the EVM machine looks menacing. Why did the advanced countries reject EVMs? If we consider our case, we have settled our mind that accepts only digital machines as acceptable technology. The qualities that they possess are accredited as the highest. Having any doubt about their integrity is a waste of time.

As the ECI said that the declaration of results will be delayed by up to six days if the proportion of EVMs whose vote count will be verified with the help of a VVPAT is increased substantially. This is quite acceptable. We can finally characterize it as the bustle of a healthy, relaxed democracy which would stretch our caution against cynicism too far.

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Kanan Shah

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