EVMs Functioning and Issues

Since I come from IT industry, I saw people raising question on the accuracy of EVMs as, “under-educated people on the IT front”. And blindly trusted the claim from EC team that EVMs are temper-proof. It changed recently, and the thought I had about EVM activist, applied on myself. I didn’t understand how EVMs work complete.

Here is the nice interview by Karan Thapar, the ex-CEO of Tulip Systems.

Along with issues, he also shares some of the suggestion to make EVMs more secure from any manipulation. After a internal discussion with the colleagues, also learned that it’s a space which has scope for positioning an open-source software. After interaction with the ballot, it’s a software which ensure a vote is logged in a control panel and shown via VVPAT. That piece of software should be public, and ensure it should be installed in EVMs in production.

I presume there are majority people from IT background and who loves FOSS(?), this issue could compliment well with our expertise. While I say that, I have no background in activism, :sob:, hence no idea how to put this thought in production ;(

1 Like

Even if we have the software available publicly, how can we verify the EVM is actually running that software? In case of Free Software (Open Source) for general public, the owner of the computer can install the software (even build from source code) or there are independent verifications in place by third parties. This is useless unless we can verify the software that is published is actually running on that device. I think counting 100% of the VVPAT in case of a doubt/demand in itself can go a long way to prevent the manipulation. I don’t think the VVPATs are counted currently, so they are useless in practice.

1 Like

Not to forget, what they claimed about Arogyasethu and other. Open Source from Indian government stand point has no binding.

1 Like

There will always be a vulnerability and loophole with everything, but the thing is EVM is our best option currently imo, and for sure miles better than the ballot , considering any local mob can take over a ballot box and the low paid workers counting could just change a few numbers that fit them, compared to an evm which is supposed to be completely offline, with the counting done automatically…

But how can you trust the count is the real vote count? There is no way of verification or recount. You have to blindly trust the outcome. In ballot case, the physical taking over can be detected and protected by physical security and things like video coverage and it happens as an exception. In case of EVM, we are completely in the dark. How do we trust the people flashing the machines are flashing only the right software? How do we know the EVMs themselves are not swapped out later before vote and even after poll is over? It does require much higher level of influence and power, but it can never be detected. Mock polls can be easily cheated by exceptions.

1 Like

EVMs are black box, a powerful political party can introduce algorithmic bias and manipulate at scale, There are numerous instances of the EVM malfunctions, mismatch of voters and voting counts reported by Poonam Journo (Election Results 2019 Mismatch In Votes Polled and Counted In EVM in Multiple Seats. The Quint investigates the EVM data mismatch. EVM Manufactured in India.)

EVMs got stolen, number of EVMs stolen are 1.9 Million (https://thewire.in/government/evm-missing-rti-court-case-frontline)

VVPAT : NGOs allege destruction of VVPAT data of 2019 LS polls before expiry of mandatory one-yr period

When booth capture happens, opposition won’t be silent, there will be re-elections, when algorithm is manipulated, we have no way to detect or do such thing.

Instead of the local mob, coordinated, organised, centralised mobs with sophisticated technology capture the election system. Election is one of the most important aspects of a democracy and can we leave it to vulnerabilities ? Regardless of who is coming to power, We need to trust and honour the government with hope that they will do good, but what if the election itself is suspicious ?

Low paid or High paid, is not how the integrity of a process tested, It is not counted once and forgotten, they need to be verified under many watchful eyes. (Vote counting - Wikipedia)

A system won’t become automatically efficient and transparent because it is digital. It is flawed and sadly not trust worthy. As a voter I need to know if My vote is counted and right and there is no way to know it.
There is fantastic discussions happened (Examine the role of technology in elections)


Interesting, thanks for the links



It clear BJP has the intention to steal the votes and do fraud, even on a counting done on camera. Only because it was paper ballot Supreme Court could inspect and find out the fraud. If it was an EVM, then there would be no trace left. This is the core issue of EVM, there is no way to verify it. VVPATs could fix the verifiability issue easily, but the election commission is refusing the count the VVPATs.

1 Like