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Following Questions may kindly be answered
Question Number (1)
“In an age of electronic banking and online college degrees, why hasn’t the rest of the nation gone to voting on touchscreen computers?
The reason is simple and resonates with the contentious debate that has yet to be resolved after at least 15 years of wrangling over the issue of electronic voting. No one has yet figured out a straightforward method of ensuring that one of the most revered democratic institutions—in this case, electing a U.S. president—can be double checked for fraud, particularly when paperless e-voting systems are used.” -
Since VOTING Machines are not tamper proof. Will its SOURCE CODE be made public ?
Question Number (3)
Chief Election Commission ordered for draping Elephant (Including the raised trunk elephants which is not BSP symbol) during last UP elections along with SC/ST/OBC icons statues which were installed for historical reasons.After that several state assembly elections took place in several states. But why the CEC never bothered to order for draping of Hand symbol of Congress Lotus (National flower) of BJP symbol nor the statues of upper caste icons?
Today’s political climate is riven with discontent and mistrust of the institutions of government, yet apart from public discourse, the vote is still how we make our will known. Mistrust in lawmakers or institutions may be nearly endemic, but we still rely on the principle that they can be voted out. When our voting systems fail though, voters lose trust in the electoral process,and that is corrosive. Without that trust, our democracy could crumble. In such an environment,
it is of critical importance that we safeguard that most fundamental part of who we are as voters – our democracy – by ensuring voting systems work properly and that it is possible for those responsible for operating our elections to demonstrate to the public that their votes indeed are being captured and counted as they intended, and that the outcomes are correct.
Our election system faces unprecedented tests this May 2014, and beyond. Among those tests are overt challenges to the full participation of all eligible voters. But there are also
serious fault lines in the landscape of democracy, some of which are not visible but which threaten nonetheless. Many of these tests will become visible in the last yard of the voting
process—the final step that occurs after other obstacles to voting are overcome, where the will of the voters must be captured and counted. That last yard is where the voter actually has the opportunity to mark and cast a ballot, and where the ballots are collected and counted, and
ideally, where the systems that tally our votes are checked to make sure they work as they should. This is where the intersection of technology and democracy occurs. Challenges to voters’ rights in that last yard derive from problems caused by the deployment and use of inadequate voting systems, and exacerbated by insufficient checks on the accuracy of the outcome.
Far too many states use unreliable and insecure electronic voting machines, and many states have made their situation worse by adding some forms of Internet voting for some voters, which cannot be checked for accuracy at all. Even in states where verifiable systems are used, too often the check on the voting system’s function and accuracy is not done. In 2012, the voting systems now in use are aging; resources are severely impacted by the state of the economy over the past several years; shortages of both equipment and human resources are likely. After all the effort necessary to overcome the other hurdles to casting a ballot, it is
patently unfair that once you get to the ballot box, that the ballot itself fails you. Taken together, these problems threaten to silently disenfranchise voters, potentially in sufficient numbers to alter outcomes.
We have seen strategically voters names being removed from the voters list in general and slums and villages where weaker sections reside.It is the duty of the EC to see that all the voters are included in the voters list as it is their fundamental right.
It is requested that the above questions may be answered as a Right To Information.
With kind regards
2) Caste Biased Chief Election Commission ordered for draping Elephant
(Including the raised trunk elephants which is not BSP symbol) during
last UP elections along with SC/ST/OBC icons statues which were
installed for historical reasons.After that several state assembly
elections took place in several states. But the CEC never bothered to
order for draping of Hand symbol of Congress Lotus (National flower) of
BJP symbol nor the statues of upper caste icons.
Republicans during Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary
will use a technology recognizable to Washington and Lincoln to make
FIXING THE VOTE: New Hampshire presidential primary
Image: Courtesy of redjar, via Flickr
In an age of electronic banking and online college degrees, why hasn’t
the rest of the nation gone the way of the Palmetto State? The reason is
simple and resonates with the contentious debate that has yet to be
resolved after at least 15 years of wrangling over the issue of
electronic voting. No one has yet figured out a straightforward method
of ensuring that one of the most revered democratic institutions—in this
case, electing a U.S. president—can be double-checked for fraud,
particularly when paperless e-voting systems are used.
Electronic balloting has yet to reconcile two conflicting needs in the
polling place: Any election must proceed under a cloak of anonymity. But
if a recount is required, election officials must go back and reproduce
a verifiable audit trail. No account number ties the transaction to an
individual, as it does when he transfers cash from bank checking to
savings. What tangible proof then is there that all 5,734 votes cast
really registered at the elementary school on Main Street? “If you have a
machine collecting and recording votes with an electronic ballot box
there’s no way to go back after the fact and see if the machine made a
mistake, whether through malice or simple software error,” says Stanford
University computer science professor David Dill and founder of Verified Voting Foundation, a nonpartisan election watchdog.
Electronic voting has its share snafus to prove the case of the
doubters. In 2006 voters in Florida’s 13th Congressional District
election learned firsthand that there is little recourse when e-voting
election results are in dispute. That year Democratic nominee Christine
Jennings, who lost the election by 369 votes to Republican Vern
Buchanan, claimed that 18,000 ballots went uncounted in the district. Without a paper trail to follow, the matter was left to the courts and Buchanan held onto the seat.
“They couldn’t audit the election because there was no way to evaluate
the machine’s accuracy,” Dill says. “It’s like you have a worker who’s
doing your accounts who is very smart but not very trustworthy. If you
have some independent way of checking the numbers he started with
against the numbers he finished with then you don’t have to trust him.
You can double-check his work and catch any major errors. That’s what we
need for voting machines.”
How do you cast your ballot?
Voters can cast their ballot in a variety of ways, depending on the
method adopted by their election district. This includes paper ballots;
punch cards; two types of touch-screen electronic voting systems (one
that prints out a receipt verifying your vote and one that does not);
optical scanners used to digitize paper ballots; or some combination of
New Hampshire, like nearly two thirds of the country, has a paper ballot
system that voters mark and turn in to election officials who count the
ballots either by electrical scanners or by hand. With the optical-scan
approach, if the ballot is not filled out properly or is unreadable,
the scanner will not accept it but the voter can fix it before leaving
the polling place, Dill says.
A Brief Illustrated History of Voting
the Voting and Elections web pages
Nobody pretends that democracy is perfect or at all wise. Indeed,
it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government
except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.
(Winston Churchill, November 11, 1947)
The conduct of elections has changed in many ways over the past 200 years.
The extent of these changes is nicely illustrated by a comparison of
today’s voting practices with those illustrated in George Caleb Bingham’s
painting, The County Election (Figure 1).
In addition to being a noteworthy artist, Bingham was a successful
politician; this painting shows a polling place on the steps of the
courthouse in Saline County, Missouri, in 1846.
In this painting, we see the judge (top center) administering an oath to
a voter. The voter (in red) is swearing, with his hand on the bible, that
he is entitled to vote and has not already done so. There was no system
of voter registration, so this oath and the possibility that the judge or
someone else in the vicinity of the polls might recognize him if he
came back was all that prevented a voter from voting again and again.
There was no right to a secret ballot; having been sworn in, the voter
simply called out his choices to the election clerks who sit on
the porch behind the judge tallying the vote. Each clerk has a pollbook
in which he writes the voter’s name and records his votes; multiple pollbooks
were a common defense against clerical error.
There are several people in
the painting holding paper tickets in their hands. We know that these were
not paper ballots because Missouri continued to use voice voting until
1863. In a general election, however, many voters might have wanted to bring
their own notes to the polling place.
Campaigning at the polling place was legal and common. The
man in blue tipping his hat to the voter immediately behind the man taking
the oath is one of the candidates in this election, E. D. Sappington,
who lost to Bingham by one vote. He’s handing out his calling cards so that
people can easily read off his name to vote for him.
Voice votes offer modest protection against fraudulent vote counts: An
observer can easily maintain an independent tally of the votes,
and since there is no ballot box, it cannot be stuffed. On the other
hand, the lack of privacy means that voters are open to bribery and
intimidation; an employer can easily demand, for example, that his employees
vote as required, and a crook can easily offer to pay a voter if he votes
a certain way.
Kurt Hyde has sent me a
scan of a page
of a pollbooks in his collection from Bond County, Illinois;
this contains the clerical records of a viva-voce election of the type shown in
Bingham’s painting. Candidate names are written across the top of the page,
while voter names are written down the left hand side as the voters arrive to
vote. Instead of tick marks to record votes, the clerk has written in
the running vote total as each vote is cast. Kurt Hyde reports that most of
the pollbooks in his collection reflect this practice.
One man shall have one vote.
(John Cartwright, 1780)
The word ballot has been described as being derived from the diminuitive form
of the word ball in
Italian, ballota, and in fact, many early ballots were small balls.
In classical Greek, however, the root is the verb for casting or throwing;
indeed, we cast ballots, but the Greeks did not read this word as requiring
that they be round balls.
In ancient Athens, votes were taken by issuing clay or metal tokens
to each voter, and the voter would vote by depositing the appropriate token
in the appropriate ballot box, or perhaps in a clay pot that served as a
Since the renessance, secret societies such as the Masons have used identical
round balls as ballots.
The phrase to blackball someone comes from this usage. In a vote to
admit someone to a secret society, each member was traditionally given a
white ball and a black ball. Depositing the white ball in the
ballot box was a vote for the candidate’s membership, while depositing the
black ball was a vote against the candidate. It follows that to blackball
someone meant to vote to exclude them from the organization or to campaign
for their exclusion in an upcoming vote.
In the late 19th century, many early developers of voting machines
continued to interpret laws requiring that election be by ballot as the
requirement that elections be carried out by the use of little balls, so many
early voting machines operated by depositing small balls in the appropriate
containers as each voter cast a vote. The purpose of the mechanism was to
prevent a voter from casting more than the allowed number of votes in each
race, and to maintain separate ballot containers for each of the many
candidates in each of the many races races in an election.
The Electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot
for President and Vice-President …; they shall name in their ballots
the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots, the person
voted for as Vice-President, …
(12th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution,
ratified June 15, 1804)
The first use of paper ballots to conduct an election appears to have been
in Rome in 139 BCE, and the first use of paper ballots in the United States
was in 1629 to select a pastor for the Salem Church.
By the time the 12th Amendment to the United States Constitution was passed,
it is clear that the term ballot was routinely taken to refer to a slip of
paper on which were written the names of candidates for office. The very
fact that the 12th amendment requires the use of separate ballots to elect
the President and Vice-President implies that the use of one ballot to elect
candidates to more than one office was understood at the time. Of course,
this amendment applied only to the electoral college and not to voting by
the electorate at large.
The Tennessee Acts of 1796, chapter IX section 3 gave the following
definition: “[A ballot is] a ticket or scroll of paper, purporting
to express the voter’s choice, given by the voter to the officer or person
holding an election, to be put into the ballot box.”
These early paper ballots were no more than slips of paper
provided by the voters themselves, although it was not long before
candidates or political parties began to provide preprinted ballots.
This innovation was not always welcome. It took a state supreme court
decision in Massachusetts (Henshaw v. Foster) in 1829 to legalize this
practice in that state. It took a constitutional amendment in Connecticut,
The example shown in Figure 2
was apparently provided by Francis Gehon, a candidate for nonvoting
territorial delegate to the United States Congress in the 1839 Iowa
territorial election; the torn edges suggest that this ballot may
have been printed as an advertisement in the newspaper. This ballot
includes write-in blanks for the other offices in the election,
the territorial house of representatives and various county offices.
The printer omitted the office of Sheriff from the ballot, so the voter
wrote this in at the very bottom.
This form of paper ballot makes it very difficult to reconcile several
requirements that we usually take for granted, the right to privacy, the
requirement that the voter not disclose his or her vote, and the requirement
that no voter deposit more than one ballot in the box.
To maintain voter privacy, we must allow voters the right to insert their
own ballots into the ballot box. Doing this, however, raises the possibility
that a voter might deposit a handful of ballots. If we require voters to give
their ballots to a polling place official, the official might read the
ballot in the process of unfolding it to determine if other ballots have
been cleverly concealed inside, or a dishonest official might add other
ballots to the box.
If a voter wants to disclose his votes, he may easily sign the ballot,
and if we disallow this with rules that require signed ballots to be rejected
in the count, the voter may simply arrange to use distinctive paper or a
distinctive style of writing in order to identify his ballot to someone
observing the count. Political parties quickly mastered the art of
printing ballots on distinctive paper so that all voters using a party’s
ballot could be easily identified.
Despite these serious problems, this style of voting on paper ballots remained
the rule into the late 19th century. By the mid 19th century, it was standard
for each political party in the United States to print a party ticket
that listed all of the offices in the election, along with the candidates
endorsed by that party. The word ticket was used because they
resembled railroad tickets in size and printing style.
The municipal election ticket shown in
in Figure 3 was printed by a local Republican party.
Voters in this era were allowed to write out their own ballots, longhand,
but the parties encouraged them to use the party ticket as a ballot.
So long as a party representative got to a voter in advance to give him that
party’s ticket, voting a straight party ticket was easy. A voter who
wished to split his ticket, that is to vote for candidates from more than
one party, could write out the entire ballot longhand, or he could
could cross out the candidates he didn’t like on one party’s ticket and
write in the names of the candidates he preferred.
By the 1880’s, the parties had learned to format ballots to make it difficult
to vote a spit ticket. The idea is quite simple: arrange the layout of the
ticket so that a voter who crosses out a candidates name on the party
ticket will have no space left to write in the name of any other candidate.
Figure 4 illustrates a general election ticket formatted this way. Where the
example in Figure 3 had ample space under each candidate name to write in a
substitute name, this example has almost no space, except for the write-in
blank for county treasurer, where the party had no nominee.
A striking feature of the ballot in Figure 4 is that the
typography, below the ballot title, is deliberately difficult to read.
From the party’s perspective, printing a ballot that invited close reading
ammounted to an invitation to strike-out names and write in alternatives.
The parties wanted voters to be loyal to the party, not the specific
candidates, so the party name was always easy to pick out and read.
Of course, the typography of the ballot could not be arbitrarily unreadalbe,
the ballot had to be legible enough to tally. On the other hand, with
party tickets, it is not necessary to closely read each ballot; instead,
each ticket style need only be closely read once. The first step in the
tally is to sort the ballots by ticket style; then, all ballots of a
particular style would be counted, along with the number of strike-outs
for each office on that ticket. Candidates on that ticket would then be
credited with the number of tickets less the number of strikeouts. Finally,
all write-ins, manuscript ballots and handwritten additions to ballots
would be counted.
The examples shown here are all printed on inexpensive paper - generally
newsprint, but in large urban areas, it was very common for parties to
print their tickets on distinctive paper. This had only one purpose, to
make it very easy for a party observer at the polling place to note which
party’s ballot each voter was using. Ballot box stuffing was extremely
common in many jurisdictions, and to prevent this, it was common to
demand that ballot boxes be transparent, thus making it completely
impossible for a voter to hide the color of the ballot being deposited.
For an excellent discussion of the extent of vote fraud using such paper
ballots, see the paper
Harrison Count Methods: Election Fraud in Late 19th Century Texas
by Worth Robert Miller, Locus: Regional and Local History 7, 2
(Spring 1995), 111-28.
One of the best references on the pre-technological history of elections is
Election Administration in the United States by Joseph P. Harris,
published by the Brookings Institution in 1934. The book The American
Ballot by Spencer D. Albright, published by the American Council on Public
Affairs in 1942 is a much shorter work filled with extremely useful history
but with very little of the critical content that makes Harris’ book so
In 1838, the London Working Men’s Association published
The People’s Charter. The association represented the first
mass working class labor movement in the world, and its members can
be counted as radical revolutionaries. Today, however, the demands
of the chartists, as they came to be known, seem remarkably tame. They
are, in fact, at the very foundation of essentially all modern democracies,
as outlined in the full title for the charter:
The People’s Charter: Being the outline of an act to provide for
the just representation of the people of Great Britain in the Commons
house of Parliament; embracing the principles of universal suffrage,
no property qualification [for the right to vote], annual parliaments,
equal representation, payment of members [of parliament], and vote by
ballot, prepared by a committee of twelve persons, six members of
parliament and six members of the London Working Men’s Association, and
addressed to the United Kingdom.
– Quoted from an
edition of the People’s Charter
A remarkable feature of the Chartist demand was that one page of each
Chartist pamphlet was a diagram of a polling place that included use
of a voting machine, along with two schedules. Schedule A described the
features of the polling place, including a description of the rolls of
each of the people shown in the woodcut. Schedule B described the
voting machine, described as a ballot box. The Chartists attributed
their ballot box design to Benjamin Jolly of 19 York Street, Bath.
Voters using Jolly’s voting machine were to vote by dropping a brass ball
into one of the holes in the top of the machine. Each hole was to be
marked with a candidate’s name. The ball, on passing through the machine,
would advance a clockwork counter one step before dropping into a tray
on the front of the machine, in clear view of the election judges. During
the election, the counters would be sealed behind a closed door, so
nobody could see the count until the polls closed, and the voter would
vote behind a partition, so nobody could see which hole the ball was
dropped into. If a voter brought an extra ball into the polling place,
the judges would see two balls falling into the tray.
It’s not the voting that’s democracy, it’s the counting.
(Tom Stoppard, British playwright, 1972)
You won the election, but I won the count.
(Anastasio Somoza, Dictator, 1977)
Concern about vote fraud and voter privacy was not restricted to England
and the United States.
One of the most important innovations in voting technology came
about in Australia. In 1858, an election was held in the state of
standardized paper ballots that listed all candidates for office. These
ballots were printed at government expense and distributed to the voters
at the polling place, one per voter. This system, while obvious in
retrospect, was sufficiently innovative that it came to be known as the
Australian secret ballot.
The Chartists had significant influence in Australia, and several of the
Australian states had been experimenting with how to reduce the Chartist
demand for secret ballots into practical form. All of the Australian
experiments substituted printed ballots and a simple ballot box for the
voting machine the Chartists proposed, but it is the Victorian model that
later came to be seen as definitive.
Today, the Australian ballot seems so natural that we take it for granted
as ancient technology, and in much of the world, it is so firmly entrenched
that replacing it with mechanical or electronic voting machines is unthinkable.
Nonetheless, the benefits of the Australian ballot were not
obvious at the time it was introduced. Use of this technology requires,
after all, a special print run at government expense, plus the cost of
secure ballot storage and transport.
In the United States, it is likely that the widespread fraud reported in
the general election of 1884 was the major impetus behind the first adoption
of new voting methods in 1888, but this level of fraud would probably have
gone unnoticed if it hadn’t been for the election upset of 1876. In that
year, Rutheford B. Hayes won an majority of the electoral vote with only
a minority of the popular vote, and just as with the 2000 general election,
this focused popular attention on the problems with the election methods
then in use. The hearings into Boss Tweed’s dealings in New York, published
in 1878 are likely to have been another contributing factor; there, Tweed
admitted quite openly to completely ignoring the ballots and having his
ward bosses simply announce the requested result.
So, it was in 1888 that the Australian ballot was first used in the United
States, in New York and Massachusetts, and it was also in 1888 that the
lever voting machine was first used. The example Australian ballot shown
in Figure 5 allows straight-party voting by a single X
in the circle by the party name at the top of the column, or a split ticket
vote by marking an X in the box by an individual candidate name.
The move to the Australian ballot was not instantaneous. Texas and
Connecticut moved by gradual reform of the partisan ballot, completing
their changes in 1905 and 1909.
Missouri experimented with the Australian ballot but reverted to
partisan ballots until 1921.
New Mexico finished a gradual migration from partisan ballots in 1927.
North Carolina only required that all counties use the Australian ballot
By 1940, Delaware still had a mixed system where partisan distribution
of ballots was still allowed outside the polling place, and South Carolina
was still voting on partisan ballots, although their size, color and
typography were strictly regulated.
While most Australian ballots ask the voter to mark an X or checkmark in
the voting target beside the candidate’s name, where the target is either
a box or a circle, the original form of this ballot asked the voter to scratch
out the names of all but the preferred candidates. The use of an X mark to vote
for a candidate was introduced in West Australia in 1877. The older pattern
persisted for many years in a number of Southern states, most
notably Arkansas. The example in Figure 6 illustrates this.
The scratch-out ballot variant would have appeared quite natural
to those accustomed to voting with party ticket ballots where
voters could scratch out the names of the party nominees they did not support.
There is nothing particularly wrong
with this variant, but when a juristiction changes from this rule to the
more common mark-in-target rule, there are special voter education problems.
Corrupt politicians and political machines have always been quick to search
out and exploit the weaknesses of new voting methods, and it was not long
before the weakness of the Australian ballot was uncovered. Properly
administered, the Australian ballot does indeed make it very difficult for
voters to cast multiple votes or for a dishonest election administration
to stuff the ballot box, but the greatest weakness of the Australian ballot
lies in how votes are counted.
This weakness was the focus of the Supreme Court decision that followed the
2000 general election. The Australian ballot requires a subjective
interpretation of each mark on the ballot, so if corrupt officials cannot
control the ballots that land in the ballot box, they may still try to
control how they are counted. Typical counting procedures attempt to prevent
this, first by allowing observers at the count so that any bias will be out
in the open, and second, by requiring that each tally team be composed of
representatives of opposing parties, each monitoring the other. Even with
these precautions, a corrupt election administration can introduce bias into
the count by manipulating the makeup of the tally teams and by instituting
carefully crafted objective standards governing what marks on
the ballot count as votes.
The Michigan law current today (2001, see MCL 168.803) provides an excellent
example of “an objective and uniform standard” that allows such a biased count.
This law requires that each vote be made with either an X or a checkmark, where
the intersection of the X or the corner of the checkmark is within or on the
border of the box provided on the ballot.
This standard seems excellent, but as a consequence, many marks a voter could
make on the ballot that express clear and obvious intent are disallowed.
A hurried checkmark where the vertex is rounded and not sharp, or an X or check
that is obviously intended to be in a particlar box but is just outside that
box may, under these rules, be discounted.
If an entrenched political machine wishes to remain in power even when their
support from the voters is questionable, all they need to do is assure that
their representatives on each tally team are well trained in the selective
exclusion of votes for the opposition using these rules, while the
representatives for the opposition selected for each tally team are relatively
niave and generally willing to accept the obvious intent of voters. By the
time the oppostion members of the tally team understand the game that is being
played, it is likely that they will have already lost the election.
The problems with the Australian Paper ballot can largely be overcome by
strict accounting requirements, specifically, by the requirement that the
official election canvass include not only the counts of the votes that all
agreed were acceptable votes for one or another candidate, but also counts
of the numbers of undervotes and votes not counted because of improper
marking. If the latter number exceeds the margin of victory of the winning
candidate, there is good reason to request a careful recount, and if these
numbers add up to a number in excess of the number of voters who came to
the polls, a ballot box has been stuffed.
A properly administered Australian paper ballot sets an extremely high
standard that any competing election technology must match, but in a general
election such as those in the United States, where a single ballot may
include over 50 individual candidates and questions on the ballot, hand
counting can be a very expensive proposition.
the right to vote today is far more than the right to pull that lever on
election day. It is the right to an equal and meaningful vote, which
includes the right to equal and meaningful participation.
(John C. Bonifaz to the House Judiciary Committee,
May 5, 1999)
The Myers Automatic Booth lever voting machines was first used in 1892
in Lockport, New York, and lever machines descended from this were slowly
adopted across the country. In the words of Jacob H. Myers, this machine
was designed to “protect mechanically the voter from rascaldom, and make
the process of casting the ballot perfectly plain, simple and secret.”
By the 1930’s, essentially all of
the nation’s larger urban centers had adopted lever voting machines,
and in the election of 1944, Automatic Voting Machine Corporation
advertising claimed that 12 million voters used their machines.
In states such as Iowa, smaller rural counties never abandoned
hand-counted Australian paper ballots.
In other states, particularly where there were serious charges
of election fraud in the first half of the 20th century, lever voting
machines were installed statewide. This happened in Louisiana, for example,
in the 1950’s.
In the 1890’s, lever voting machines were on the cutting edge of technology,
with more moving parts than almost anything else being made. As such, they
were as much of a high-tech solution to the problem of running an honest
election as computer-tabulated punched cards in the 1960’s or direct-recording
electronic voting machines in the 1990’s.
Two manufacturers split the market for lever voting machines,
and AVM (Automatic Voting Machines); the latter company is the direct
descendant of Jacob H. Myers original company, organized in 1895.
Ransom F. Shoup made a number of improvements to lever voting machines
between 1929 and 1975. Figure 7 shows an early Shoup machine; like most
of its successors, this included a substantial voting booth, yet it could
be collapsed into a package that was relatively easy to transport and store.
The most visible difference between the AVM and Shoup machines
was in ballot layout: Both used a tabular ballot layout, with
the lever at the intersection of a particular row and column used to record
a vote for a particular party’s candidate for a particular office;
in the Shoup machine, one column is assigned to each party and one row to
each office, while in the AVM machine, the role of rows and columns is
Lever voting machines were so pervasive by the mid 20th century that most
of us born in midcentury grew up assuming that all voting
machines were and would always be lever machines. Today, although they
have been out of production since 1982, these machines are still in
extremely widespread use. They completely eliminate most of the approaches
to manipulating the vote count that were endemic a century ago, and they
can easily be configured to handle a complex general election ballot.
A lever voting machine completely eliminates all questions of ballot
interpretation. At the time the voter opens the machine’s curtain to
leave the voting machine, it adds one to the counter behind each lever
that was pulled down by the voter, and then it resets all the levers.
The lever voting machines of the mid 20th century included interlocks
to prevent a voter from overvoting — that is, voting for more than one
candidate in a race, and the voting booths that were integral to the
machines offered what most voters considered excellent privacy.
Unfortunately, the mechanism of a lever voting machine maintains no
independent record of each voter’s ballot. Instead, the only record of
a vote is the count maintained on the mechanical register behind each
voting lever, where each register has a mechanism comparable to the
odometer in a car. Not only is this vulnerable to tampering by the
technicians who maintain the machine, but it means that the machine
has an immense number of moving parts that are subject to wear and very
difficult to completely test.
Roy G. Saltman has noted that the number 99 shows up in the vote totals
on lever machines significantly more frequently than would be expected
if vote totals were randomly distributed — that is, the number of 99’s
is noticably different from the number of 98’s or 100’s. The probable
explanation is that it takes more force to turn the vote counting wheels
in a lever machine from 99 to 100, and therefore, if the counter is going
to jam, it is more likely to jam at 99. The fact that this is a frequent
occurance in vote totals reported from lever machines is empirical evidence
that the lever machines that have been used in real elections are, in fact,
inadequately maintained and that this results in the loss of a significant
number of votes. Exhaustive pre-election testing would be expected to detect
these jams, but exhaustive testing of a mechanism as complex as a lever
voting machine is very time consuming, and performing such tests on every
voting machine prior to every election would be prohibitively expensive.
… one card for every individual enumerated, in which holes are punched
according to various possible answers to questions contained in the schedule.
(F. H. Wines, The Census of 1900,
National Geographic Jan. 1900)
The standard punched card, originally invented by
was first used for vital statistics tabulation by the Baltimore Board of
Health. After this trial use, punched cards were
adopted for use in the 1890 census. Hollerith wasn’t working in a vacuum.
His idea for using punched cards for data processing came after he’d seen
the punched cards used to control Jaquard looms.
developed pre-scored punched cards and the Port-A-Punch card punch.
In the early 1960’s, two professors at the University of California at Berkeley
adapted this for voting.
Joseph P. Harris, from the political science department, had the
idea, and sought help from William Rouverol, of the mechanical engineering
department. They made several improvements to the Port-A-Punch,
patented them, and formed Harris Votomatic, Inc. to sell the result.
After a large-scale trial at the Oregon State Fair, the system was used
in primaries in Fulton and DeKalb Counties, Georgia;
By the general election that fall, several counties
in Oregon and California had moved to this new technology, and things
looked promising enough that, in 1965, IBM bought the company.
The Votomatic ballot shown in Figure 8 has 235 voting positions. Other
ballot layouts support 228 and 235 voting positons. No matter what the
layout, the preprinted information on the Votomatic ballot contains little
more than voting-position numbers. The actual names of candidates and
the text of ballot questions is not printed on these ballots, but rather,
must be provided elsewhere, either on the ballot label attached to the
Votomatic machine, or in a booklet provided with the ballot when it is used
for absentee voting.
The Votomatic machine shown in Figure 9 is essentially the same as the original
IBM Portapunch, mounted vertically in a panel that is designed to
be integrated into a voting booth. The entire booth, consisting of
the machine itself, plus sides, back and legs. These booths are well
enough designed that many jurisdictions that have abandoned the Votomatic
ballot have retained the booths, replacing the Votomatic machine with a
tabletop that can be used with their newer voting system.
The Votomatic ballot is pre-scored at each voting position so that punching
with a stylus through that position into an appropriate backing will remove
a rectangle of chad, leaving a hole that is counted as a vote. The backing
used inside the Votomatic machine is a complex structure of elastomeric
strips, and the stylus has a relatively comfortable handle on it. When used
for absentee voting, a disposable styrofoam sheet is generally used as backing,
and in some jurisdictions, the stylus for absentee ballots is an unbent
The ballot card is held in proper alignment in the Votomatic machine by
holes in the ballot stub that fit over pins at the top of the machine.
When the ballot is inserted in the machine, the face of the machine
completely covers the ballot, with the exception of small holes over
those voting positions relevant to the current election. The pages of
the ballot label are hinged to the face of the machine; when the book
made up by the pages of the ballot label is open, one column of voting
positions on the ballot is exposed. The ballot label mounted on the
machine shown in Figure 9 is a replica of the first two pages of the
notorious “butterfly ballot” used in Palm Beach County Florida during
the 2000 general election.
IBM got out of the Votomatic business in 1969, after problems with this
technology began coming to light. Later Votomatic machines (including the
one pictured) were made by Computer Election Services Inc. and several other
IBM licencees. CESI was later absorbed into Election Systems and Software.
Similar mechanisms were made under the Data-Punch trademark
by Election Data Corporation of St. Charles, Illinois.
The example Data-Punch machine shown in Figure 10 is far closer to the original
IBM Portapunch than the Votomatic machine in Figure 9. Unlike the latter, it
is not integrated into the voting booth, but rather, can be used loose on a
desktop. This machine in Figure 10 has has a full book of ballot labels
mounted on it, but they are generic pages with only the positon numbers
printed on them. Both the ballot cards and the hinged ballot label holders
used with this machine are completely compatible with those of the Votomatic
machine, and in some jurisdictions, both machines have been used
The Data-Punch machine in Figure 10 has a 228 position Votomatic ballot
inserted in it, and the punching stylus has been pushed through voting
position 72. Note how the alignment holes in the ballot stub fit
over the red alignment pins on the machine. The actual punched-card
portion of the ballot is entirely hidden inside the machine; only the
tear-off stub is visible. In addition to the alignment holes, the stub
also contains a blank for write-in votes, and when the stub is folded
over along the perforations that separate it from the ballot, it serves
as a privacy cover, hiding both the write-in votes, if any, and any holes
that have been punched.
At the far end of the ballot stub is a small tear-off tab.
The details of how this is used vary from one jurisdiction to
another, but the following is typical: the tear-off tab is
serial numbered; the number on the tab is recorded when the ballot is
issued to the voter, and after the voter has voted, the tab is checked
against the pollbook to see that the voter is returning the same ballot
that was issued. This is a defense agains chain voting, a vote buying
scheme in which a crook gives the voter a pre-voted ballot, the voter
votes that ballot, and then after leaving the polling place, sells his blank
ballot to the crook, who votes it and then gives it to the next willing
Once the tab has been used to verify that a voted ballot is legitimate,
it is torn off and the ballot, with the stub still folded over to hide
the votes, is deposited in the ballot box. When the time comes to count
the ballots, the stubs are unfolded and any ballots that contain write-in
votes are separated so that the write-ins can be hand-tabulated. The ballots
are then separated from the stubs and stacked for tabulation. The tabulation
may be done either by a computer equipped with a standard punched-card
reader or by an electromechanical punched-card tabulating machine.
Problems with Votomatic technology have been known since the late 1960’s.
It is common to notice a few pieces of chad accumulating in areas where
Votomatic ballots are being processed, and each of these may represent
a vote added to some candidates total by accident. Roy Saltman of the
National Bureau of Standards published several reports in the mid 1980’s
calling for the abandonment of Votomatic technology because of these and
other problems, but these reports were ignored by all but a few.
It was not until the general election of November 2000 that problems with
the Votomatic voting technology became the subject of widespread public
discussion. The focus of much of this discussion was dimpled chad;
Figure 11 shows a cleanly punched hole and a dimple in a 228 position
Votomatic ballot. It is noteworthy that 12 punch positions on the
228 position ballot are directly over internal braces inside the Votomatic
mechanism, and that these positions are particularly prone to the
development of chad jams that may prevent clean punching in those positions.
The problem with such dimples during a hand recount is that, unlike the case
with the classic Australian ballot, it is difficult for a human looking at
such a dimple to determine the voter’s intent. Every literate person has had
years of experience evaluating pencil marks on paper, but very few people have
had more than passing exposure to the problems of evaluating bits of chad.
It is possible but unlikely that a dimple could be caused by voter hesitation,
where the stylus was gently pushed against that voting position and then
withdrawn. It is also possible but unlikely that the voter pushed hard
enough to create a clean punch while there was something obstructing the hole.
It is possible to distinguish between these two cases by microscopic
examination using of the back of the dimple, but few have the expertise to
There is another punched card voting technology that has proven to be far
less troublesome than the Votomatic. This is the DataVote system.
Unlike Votomatic ballots, DataVote ballots must be specially printed for
each election, with the candidate names printed by each punching position.
This limits Datavote ballots are punched in only two columns of punching
positions along the two edges of the ballot, with the remainder of the space
reserved for ballot text. Each ballot can hold, in theory, about 70
voting positions (35 per column) but to avoid cramped presentation, the normal
practice is to double or tripple space candidate names, so the effective
capacity of a single DataVote ballot is much smaller. In a typical
general election in the United States,
When used to cast absentee votes, DataVote ballots are prescored, just like
Votomatic ballots. When used in the polling place, DataVote ballots are
punched using an inexpensive formed sheet-metal punching fixture that
holds the ballot in alignment and cleanly punches a hole. Although voters
need some training to learn to align the punch properly, this system avoids
all of the chad problems of the Votomatic and has performed very well in the
small fraction of all jurisdictions that have used it.
Mark-sense scanning has its roots in the world of standardized testing.
Type 805 Test Scoring Machine,
sensing graphite pencil marks on paper by their electrical conductivity.
These were used for the first generation of machine-scored educational
tests, most notably the SAT. This remained in use into the 1950’s.
Optical mark-sense scanning was developed as an alternative to IBM’s
electrical system. IBM had explored optical mark sensing in years earlier,
but Professor E. F. Lindquist of the University
of Iowa developed the ACT exam and directed the development of the first
practical optical mark-sense test scoring machines in the mid 1950’s.
The rights to this technology were sold to Westinghouse Learning Corporation
in 1968, and in 1974, Robert J. Urosevich of the Klopp Printing Company
visited the Westinghouse offices in Iowa City and initiated Westinghouse’s
experiments with using their mark-sense tabulators to scan ballots.
The first use of mark-sense ballots was in 1962, in Kern City, California,
using a mark-sense system developed by the Norden Division of United Aircraft
and the City of Los Angeles. Development of this 15,000 pound system began in
1958 and commercialized as the Coleman and later Gyrex Vote Tally System.
The system remained in use in Orange County for over a decade. The system
also saw use in Oregon, Ohio and North Carolina.
Another early development was the Votronic ballot tabulator, an optical
mark-sense voting system that was used in San Diego in 1964 and was used in
many California counties in 1968, and also approved for use in Ohio.
When compared to earlier scanners, the Votronic was small and easy to
operate. Although originally incorporated as Votronic Corporation, Cubic
Corporation adsorbed the company in 1964.
This was the first
vendor to sell reasonable numbers of mark-sense ballot tabulators.
The Westinghouse system, based on the Westinghouse Learning Corporation
M-600 page scanner, was developed in conjunction with Data Mark Systems and
was first used for an election in Douglas City Nebraska in 1976. In 1979,
American Information Systems emerged from the ashes of this venture and
in 1982, the AIS model 315 central-count ballot tabulator saw its first
official use in several Nebraska counties. In 1997, AIS was reorganized
as Election Systems and Software after merger with Business Records
The ballot scanner shown here, made by Election Systems and Software
is typical of central-count optical mark sense
systems. The model 150 and 550 differ in speed; the 150 is slower, suitable
for small counties and for processing absentee ballots that have been
folded for mailing, while the 550 and later 650 are faster, more appropriate
for large counties.
In use, ballots to be counted are loaded on the tray to the right
(shown with a few ballots in place) and then they are automatically fed
through the reader mechanism and ejected into the output tray on the left.
The scanner includes, within its body, a complete computer system, and
it sits on a wheeled cart that also holds a printer and supplies.
The ballot box on the Eagle and most other precinct-count ballot tabulating
machines contains three compartments. One compartment holds ballots that
were not scanned by the machine. This compartment is considered an emergency
feature; it is intended that it be used only if the scanner does not work,
and in normal use, it is sealed shut. After the polls are closed, any ballots
deposited in this compartment are typically fed through a working scanner
by the precinct election workers or they are subject to a hand count.
Ballots are diverted into one or the other of the two remaining compartments
inside the ballot box by a software controlled diverter mechanism. One
compartment is for ballots that do not require human inspection, while the
other is for ballots that must be hand inspected, for example, those
containing write-in votes.
The first proposals for electrical vote recording date back to the mid
19th century. In 1850, Albert Henderson patented an electrochemical vote
recorder for legislative roll-call votes (U.S. Patent 7,521). This system
allowed legislators to vote by holding down either the aye or
nay telegraph key on their desk to remotely print their name
in either the aye or nay column on a piece of damp blotter
paper that served as the official record of the vote. Edison refined this
idea in his 1869 patent by adding electromechanical counters to count the
votes (U.S. Patent 90,646), and in 1898, Frank S. Wood proposed a push-button
paperless electrical voting machine for use in polling places
(U.S. Patent 616,174).
Occasional patents for such machinery continued to be filed over the next
70 years, but none of these appear to have come to anything until
McKay, Ziebold, Kirby et al developed their electronic voting machine
in 1974 (U.S. Patent 3,793,505). This machine, known commercially as the
Video Voter, was first used in real elections in 1975, in Streamwood and
Woodstock Illinois. Following these demonstrations, several Illinois counties
purchased the system and used it between 1976 and 1980, approximately.
This system was probably the first direct-recording electronic voting system
to be used in a real election.
The Electrovote 2000 voting machine sold by Fidlar-Doubleday (formerly
Fidlar and Chambers) is a wedge shaped affair, basically
an IBM PC compatable with a touch screen, packaged for voting, with
a secure case that prevents keyboard or mouse from being plugged in while
it is in the polling place. The machine plugs into a network hub that
also includes a UPS (uninterruptable power supply, including battery pack),
and sits in a voting booth that is little more than a table with a corrugated
plastic privacy screen — this is a bare minimum voting booth, but the
flat panel display screen on the voting machine has very poor off axis
viewing, so the privacy is a bit better than the minimal booth suggests.
The machine in this photo was on when the picture was taken, with a ballot
displayed on the screen, black text on a white background.
The Global Election Systems Model 100 Electronic Ballot Station is quite
similar looking, with many of the same features. To the voter, the most
visible difference is that it incorporates a smartcard interface. With
the EV2000, the polling place worker enables the machine with an ID code
entered on the screen, while with the EBS100, each voter is given a smartcard
that is good for one use.
The Microvote Electronic Voting Computer represents an older generation of
direct recording electronic voting machines. This uses push-buttons adjacent
to each ballot item to cast votes, with a light by each button giving
positive feedback that the vote has been registered. The ballot issues are
printed on a paper ballot label that is protected behind a window between the
rows of buttons, and the machine itself opens up and assembles into a voting
booth, just as the classic lever machines did - the side privacy panels
of the machine in the photo were folded into the lid at the time, in order
to allow greater visibility during a demonstration of the machine.
The Microvote machine has only 64 buttons, and many elections would require
significantly more than this if the full ballot were to be displayed at once.
Microvote has a patented “ballot paging system” that allows a ballot with
up to 512 candidates or positions on issues to be divided into 8 pages for
presentation. The ballot label is printed on a single scroll, with the pages
printed side-by-side, and the machine contains a motor drive that advances
the scroll to the left or right as the voter works through the issues on the
I am indebted to Laura Rigal for her suggestion that Bingham’s County Election
(Figure 1) would be a good illustration. This painting was made in 1851-52,
and this particular version of the painting is from the St. Louis Art Museum;
Bingham produced a second version (without the dark figure directly under
the judge flipping a coin) and he commissioned an engraving that was sold
All of the 19th century ballots shown here are in the Special Collections
department of the Iowa State Historical Society Library in Iowa City.
The ballot in Figure 3 is from the Dolliver papersa the ballot in
Figure 4 is from the Larrabee papers.
The digital images were made by the author.
The ballot in Figure 6 is from the personal collection of
Jim Dowling of Sac City, IA; he purchased it in 1997 from an antique
dealer near Savanah GA. There are Richland Counties in several states,
but John Wolff Crews, 1890-1962, was a prominant
South Carolina Legislator and Jurist and almost certainly the John W. Crews
listed as a candidate on this ballot.
The digital images were made by the author.
The Data Punch and Votomatic ballots and voting systems shown here are
from the author’s collection. The digital image in Figure 7 was made
by the author; those in Figures 9, 10 and 11 were made by Ted Herman.
The DataVote ballot in Figure 12 is from the collection of Kurt Hyde.
I am indebted to Todd Urosevich of Election Systems and Software for
his help with the early history of mark-sense voting systems. Herb Deutsch
at ES&S has also been very helpful, particularly with regard to the early
history of DRE voting systems.
May AAP, Cong and RSS’s BJP try to implement the following BSP’s
About The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP)
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) or Majority People’s Party is one of the only
five prominent national political parties of the Country, which is the
largest democracy of the world.
The ideology of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is “Social Transformation
and Economic Emancipation” of the “Bahujan Samaj “, which comprises of
the Scheduled Castes (SCs), the Scheduled Tribes (STs), the Other
Backward Classes (OBCs) and Religious Minorities such as Sikhs, Muslims,
Christians, Parsis and Buddhists and account for over 85 per cent of
the country’s total population.
The people belonging to all these classes have been the victims of the
“Manuwadi” system in the country for thousands of years, under which
they have been vanquished, trampled upon and forced to languish in all
spheres of life. In other words, these people were deprived even of all
those human rights, which had been secured for the upper caste Hindus
under the age-old “Manuwadi Social System”.
Though the contributions of leaders of the downtrodden communities like
Mahatma Jyotiba Phule, Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj, Narayana Guru and
Periyar E. V. Ramaswami have been immense in the fight against the
obnoxious Manuwadi system, but the struggle of Baba Saheb Dr. Bhimrao
Ambedkar, who was born in Scheduled Caste community, and that of
Manyawar Kanshi Ram Ji later proved to be greatly effective and pregnant
with far-reaching consequences.
Besides waging a spirited campaign against the Manuwadi Social System,
Dr. Ambedkar instilled consciousness among not only the SC/STs, but also
among those belonging to other backward groups, which continue to be
victimised and trampled under this oppressive and unjust Manuvadi Social
By virtue of his pivotal role in the framing of the Indian Constitution,
these groups were given a number of rights in the Constitution on a
legal basis to lead a life of dignity and self-respect. But he was fully
conscious of the fact that these exploited sections of the society
would not be able to get the full legal rights as long as the
governments would remain dominated by the Manuwadi persons and parties.
Keeping in view this observation and advice of Dr. Ambedkar, respected
Manyawar Kanshi Ram Ji founded the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), with the
help of his associates, on April 14, 1984. For many years while he
enjoyed good health, he prepared the “Bahujan Samaj” to secure the
“master key” of political power, which opens all the avenues for social
and economic development.
However, being a diabetic and host of other serious ailments, his health
did not permit him to lead an active political life for too long. On
December 15, 2001, Manyawar Kanshi Ram Ji, while addressing a mammoth
rally of the BSP at the Lakshman Mela Ground in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
on the banks of the river Gomti, declared Kumari (Miss) Mayawati Ji,
then the lone Vice-President of the Party, as his only political heir
Moreover, on September 15, 2003,
Manyawar Kanshi Ram Ji’s health
suffered a serious setback, and the entire responsibility of the Party
fell on the shoulders of Bahan (Sister) Kumari Mayawati Ji. Later, on
September 18, 2003, the Party, through a consensus and in keeping with
its Constitution, made her its National President.
Being the National President of a National Party, Kumari Mayawati Ji in
her address sought to assure that “I would like to make aware people of
the country that my Party, the BSP, is committed to not only improving
the socio-economic conditions of people belonging to the “Bahujan Samaj”
but also of the poor among the upper caste Hindus, small and medium
farmers, traders and people engaged in other professions.
But people of the Manuwadi mindset, even if they are in different fields
of life, are acting under a conspiracy to project the image of the BSP
as if it is confined to championing the cause of SC/STs alone and is
opposed to the upper castes Hindus and other sections of the society.
Also, the BSP has nothing to do with the issues of national interest.
However, on the basis of facts, I can say with firmness and conviction
that all such talks are a bunch of lies, baseless and devoid of facts
and are nothing else more than a slanderous campaign of the status
quoits Manuwadi forces. The policies, objectives and ideology of the BSP
are crystal clear and attuned to the welfare of the entire country and
its vast population.
On the basis of its ideology, the BSP wants to sound the death-knell of
the “Manuwadi Social System” based on the ‘Varna’ (which is an
inequality social system) and striving hard and honestly for the
establishment of an egalitarian and “Humanistic Social System” in which
everyone enjoys JUSTICE (social, economic and political) and EQUALITY
(of status and of opportunity) as enshrined in the PREAMBLE of the
Further, our Party Constitution very clearly states that “the chief aim
and objective of the Party shall be to work as a revolutionary social
and economic movement of change with a view to realise, in practical
terms, the supreme principles of universal justice, liberty, equality
and fraternity enunciated in the Constitution of India.”
Such a social system is wholly in the overall interest of the Country
and all sections of the society too. If, in this missionary work of
“Social Transformation”, people of the upper castes (Hindus) shed their
Manuwadi mindset and join hands with the Bahujan Samaj, our Party, with
all due respect and affection would embrace them. Such people will be
given suitable positions in the Party organisation in accordance with
their ability, dedication and efficiency, and there would be no
distinction between them and those belonging to the Bahujan Samaj. Also
they will be fielded as Party candidates in the parliamentary and
assembly elections, and if our government is formed, they will also be
given ministerial berths.
These are not hollow talks because the BSP in the past, during the three
successive governments, had implemented all such promises.
Pradesh, Ms. Mayawati government was formed four times, and on each
occasion, upper castes people were inducted in the Council of Ministers.
Even an upper caste person was appointed to an all-important post of
Advocate General. They were given the Party ticket for Lok Sabha and
Assembly elections and also nominated to the Parliament’s Upper Chamber
i.e. Rajya Sabha and state Legislative Councils.
In addition, upper caste people have been given high posts in the Party
organisation. For example, Mr. Satish Chandra Mishra was nominated to
the Rajya Sabha and also was made national general secretary of the
Party. In similar fashion, other castes of the Upper Castes (Hindus)
Thus, keeping in view all these facts, it would be injudicious and
fallacious to hold that the BSP works for the welfare of a particular
group or section. Yes, the Party does give priority to those sections,
which have been ignored and scorned all along by the Manuwadi
governments in all spheres of life. In addition, the BSP has always
contributed positively to all issues pertaining to the welfare of the
The BSP has always taken an unequivocal stand on issues of the
Country’s welfare and never compromised on the issues related to the
interest of the country whenever the need arose.
Aims and Objectives
The chief aim and objective of the party shall be to work as a
revolutionary social and economic movement of change with a view to
realise, in practical terms, the supreme principles of universal
justice, liberty, equality and fraternity enunciated in the Constitution
of India, to be followed by State in governance, and in particular
summed up in the following extract from the Preamble of the
We, THE PEOPLE OF THIS COUNTRY, having solemnly resolved to constitute
India into a SOVEREIGN SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all
its citizens: Justice, social, economic and political; Liberty of
thought, expression, belief, faith and worship; Equality of status and
opportunity; and promote among them all Fraternity assuring the dignity
of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation;”
The Party shall regard its ideology as a movement for ending
exploitation of the weaker sections and suppression of the deprived
through social and economic change in keeping with the above stated
chief aim, and its political activity and participation in governance as
an instrument of furthering such a movement and bringing in such a
This being the chief aim of the Party, the strategy of the Party in
public affairs will be governed by the following general principles:
1. That all citizens of This Country being equal before law are entitled
to be treated as equal in true sense and in all matters and all walks
of life, and where equality does not exist it has to be fostered and
where equality is denied it has to be upheld and fought for.
2. That the full, free, uninhibited and unimpeded development of each
individual is a basic human right and State is an instrument for
promoting and realising such development;
3. That the rights of all citizens of This Country as enshrined in the
Constitution of This Country and subject to such restrictions as are set
out in the Constitution, have to be upheld at all costs and under all
4. That the provisions of the Constitution requiring the State at Center
and in States to promote with special care and protect the
socio-economic interests of the weaker sections of the society denied to
them for centuries, have to upheld and given practical shape in public
affairs as a matter of prime most priority.
5. That economic disparities and the wide gaps between the ‘haves’ and
the ‘have nots’ must not be allowed to override the political principle
of “one man, one vote, one vote, one value” adopted by our republic.
6. That unless political empowerment is secured for the economically
deprived masses they will not be able to free themselves from the
shackles of economic and social dependence and exploitation.
In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the aims stated
above the Party will work specially towards the following objectives:
1. The Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes, the other Backward
Castes, and the minorities, are the most oppressed and exploited people
in This Country. Keeping in mind their large numbers, such a set of
people in India is known as the Bahujan Samaj. The Party shall organise
2. The party shall work for these down trodden masses to-
a. to remove
their backwardness; b. to fight against their oppression and
exploitation; c. to improve their status in society and public life;
d. to improve their living conditions in day to day life;
2. The social structure of This Country is based on inequalities created
by caste system and the movement of the Party shall be geared towards
changing the social system and rebuild it on the basis of equality and
All those who join the party with the commitment to
co-operate in this movement of social change shall be ingratiated into
the fold of the Party.
Towards the furtherance of the above noted
aims and objectives the organisational units of Party as designated in
this constitution, shall be empowered to:-
1. purchase, take on
lease or otherwise acquire, and maintain, moveable or immovable
property for the Party and invest and deal with monies of Party in such a
manner as may from time to time be determined;
2. raise money with or without security for carrying out any of the aims and objectives of the Party;
to do all other lawful things and acts as are incidental or conducive
to the attainment of any of the aforesaid aims and objectives,
Provided that none of these activities will be undertaken without the express approval of the National President