The Chief Election Commissioner of India Dr Nasim Zaidi on Saturday threw open challenge to all national and state political parties to tamper Electronic Voting Machines from June 3 onwards.
The Chief Election Commissioner of India said that EVM Challenge is open to national and state parties as they can nominate 3 authorised persons. He also said that they will need to confirm their interest by 5 pm on 26 May.
"13.95 lakh ballot units, 9.3 lakh ballot control units and 16.5 lakh VVPAT are under production," said Nasim Zaidi.
Nasim said that ECI through this challenge will restore & enhance, faith & confidence of voters in EVM voting system.
The announcement came over a week after the Election Commission threw down the gauntlet to political parties to prove that the Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) used in the recent assembly polls were tampered with.
He said people who had questioned reliability of EVMs have not yet submitted any proof or credible material to support their claim.
Zaidi said replacement of the internal circuit of EVMs is not possible at all.
“Our EVMs have strong technological features and are tamper-proof,” he said.
Zaidi rubbished the Aam Aadmi Party’s claim that EVMs could be tampered with, and said no manipulation of the machines is possible.
He also said that improving the election process is a responsibility of all stakeholders and the EC is taking all necessary steps in this regard.
Earlier in the day, the Election Commission gave a live demonstration of electronic voting machines (EVMs) and voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines in New Delhi.
The move came after allegations of hacking in the EVM machine used in recent assembly elections and demands to revert to ballot paper voting methods by several Opposition parties.
At an all-party meeting on May 12, Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi had said a “challenge” was on the cards for political parties to prove that EVMs used in the recent assembly polls were tampered with. He had also said that parties can try and prove that EVMs can be tampered with even under strict technical and administrative safeguards as applicable during elections.
Several major opposition parties had claimed that the faith of people in the machines has eroded.
The BSP and AAP had alleged that the machines used in the recent assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur, Goa and Punjab were tampered with and favoured the BJP. Later, several other parties had joined the chorus and waned the EC to revert to paper ballots.
The EC has already announced that it will ensure paper trail of voting in all future elections to the Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies.