Millennium Post

Our EVMs not part of Botswana hacking challenge, says BEL

Electronic voting machines (EVMs) are not just creating a stir in India, but kicking up a controversy in faraway Botswana, too.

After news portals reported Indian EVMs would be tested at a hackathon in the southern African country, Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) -- makers of the EVMs -- said there were no such plans. It denied reports that its EVMs would figure in a hackathon organised on Friday by the Independent Election Commission of Botswana, a government body.

The portals reported that BEL had been invited to the hackathon to demonstrate how the EVMs worked.

The reports prompted BEL to issue a statement saying it had not sold any EVMs or paper trail machines to Botswana's Election Commission.

"The Botswana Election Commission has invited a team of BEL to show only the functionality of EVMs and VVPATS designed to meet the specific requirements of the Botswana government.

These EVMs and VVPATS are different from the ones which are used by the Election Commission of India," it said.

Bel said there were no plans for holding a hackathon event with BEL's EVMs.

The reference to EVMs in the press note issued by the Botswana Election Commission were "completely false and incorrect," it said.

According to a report published in, Botswana's President Ian Khama had last year signed the Electoral Amendment Bill, 2016, a revision of the existing Electoral Act, paving the way for the introduction of EVMs.

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