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AAP hacked 'look-alike' gadget, not our EVM: EC

AAP hacked look-alike gadget, not our EVM: EC
Noting an EVM look-alike can be used to demonstrate anything, the Election Commission on Tuesday dismissed the AAP's "so-called" demonstration of tampering of electronic voting machines.
Hours after AAP legislator Saurabh Bharadwaj used a prototype to demonstrate inside the Delhi Assembly how a voting machine can be tampered with, the poll panel said any EVM lookalike can be used to demonstrate "any magic or tampering".

"The Election Commission, through media, has learnt about a so-called demonstration of tampering of a 'look-alike' EVM. In this context it should be understood that it is possible for anyone to make any electronic gadget which looks like ECI's EVMs and demonstrate any magic or tampering," the Commission said in a statement.

"Very simply put, any 'look-alike' machine is just a different gadget, which is manifestly designed and made to function in a 'tampered' manner and has no relevance, incidence or bearing on the Commission's EVMs," it said.
"It is common sense that gadgets other than ECI EVMs can be programmed to perform in a pre-determined way, but it simply cannot be implied that ECI EVMs will behave in the same manner," said the panel asserting its EVMs are "technically secured and function under an elaborate administrative and security protocol".

"Such so-called demonstration on extraneous and duplicate gadgets which are not owned by the ECI, cannot be exploited to influence our intelligent citizens and electorate to assail or vilify the EVMs used by the Commission in its electoral process," it said.

The Commission also noted it has an all-party meeting, convened to discuss EVM issues and other electoral reforms, scheduled for May 12.

The AAP on Tuesday fielded Bharadwaj, a former minister, who brought a prototype of what looked like an EVM used by the Election Commission and went on to claim how codes embedded inside an EVM can be used to manipulate results. He did not name the BJP but provided enough hints to insinuate that the Bharatiya Janata Party was the beneficiary.

"I will show you how the machines on which the faith of democracy rests can be tampered with. An ordinary engineer like me with just 10-15 days of hard work can tamper with them to ensure that votes go only to one desired party or candidate," he said in the assembly.

During the demonstration, Bharadwaj claimed that EVMs can be tampered with even after a mock test.

"Using codes embedded in the EVMs they can be tampered. Votes will go to a candidate in whose favour ithas been rigged no matter which button you press," he said. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday dared the Election Commission to give EVMs to the AAP which he said will change their motherboards in 90 seconds.

Speaking to the media outside the Delhi assembly at the end of a day-long special session, Kejriwal said Saurabh Bharadwaj, his party MLA, an engineer, had shown how chip technology could be tampered with and how EVMs could be tampered with.

The day-long special session of Delhi assembly on Tuesday adopted a resolution appealing to President Pranab Mukherjee and Election Commission to hold elections through paper trail equipped Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).
Anup Verma

Anup Verma

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