Election Commission on Saturday declared open house on electronic voting machines. The body, which is responsible for successfully running the largest democracy in the world, has dared parties to tamper with its EVMs – but there are some rules.
The rules of Election Commission’s’ EVM Challenge or Hackathon:
Date: June 03, 2017
Venue: Nirvachan Bhawan, Delhi
Participants: National and state parties which contested assembly polls in five states—Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur, Goa and Punjab. Each party can nominate up to three persons (Indian nationals) to take part in the challenge.
Goal: To prove ECI-EVMs can be hacked
#Participants will have to prove that the EVMs used in the assembly elections in the five states were tampered with to favour a particular candidate or political party by altering the results stored in them.
#The claimants will have to alter the results in the control units used during these polls in exactly the same conditions in which EVMs remain under the technical and administrative safeguards of the EC after elections.
#Under part two of the challenge, the participants will have to prove that the EVMs used in the assembly polls were manipulated before or on the poll day.
Enrolment method: The parties willing to participate in the EVM challenge must confirm their interest to the commission by 5 pm on May 26, 2017 through the email and the details of the nominated members must be furnished.
Duration of challenge: Four days approx., depending on the number of participants.
Rules of hacking:
#Participants will choose four EVMs from the ones used in recent assembly elections
#Each participating group will be given four hours to hack the machine.
#No participant shall be allowed to change the motherboard of EVMs and take the machines home to prove at a later date that they can be tampered with.
#Participants can ‘physically examine’ EVMs to check circuits, chips and the motherboard.
#Parties will be allowed to press any sequence of buttons on the control unit or voting machine or both. The parties can also use of any external wireless or bluetooth or mobile phone device or transmitter.
#At their own cost, participants can accompany the chosen EVMs from the warehouses to the Commission headquarters in New Delhi during transportation.
#The participant would be considered to have “failed” the challenge if the EVM stops functioning due its inbuilt anti-tampering mechanism.
#Also, the challenger would be considered to have failed if it showed the result of the booth where it was used during the assembly polls even after manipulation.
Jury: The challenge would be judged by members of the Technical Expert Committee of the EC mainly to ensure that the rules are followed and the machines are not damaged. They are independent of the Commission and do not charge anything for their service.