CJI’s most appropriate dig to the Murderer of democratic institutions
(Modi) is to dismiss the Central and all state governments selected by
the fraud EVMs and order for fresh elections with paper ballots as
followed by 80 democracies of the world.
It is about time this country
reformed its voting system to ensure that the electoral verdicts reflect
the true will of the people of the country.
1. The Whole World has
Discarded Similar EVMs
2. Use of EVMs is Unconstitutional and Illegal
3. EVM Software Isn’t Safe
4. Nor is The Hardware
5. EVMs are
6. “Insider” Fraud a Concern
7. Storage and Counting are
8. Vote of No Confidence
9. EC is Clueless on Technology
The Whole World has Discarded Similar EVMs.
electronic voting machines used in this country’s elections are
internationally known as Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting
machines which record votes directly in electronic memory.
voting machines have been banned in many countries such as Germany, the
Netherlands, Irelands etc. and such machines are allowed in most states
of the US only with a paper back up. Potential dangers of “vote fraud”
and more importantly, lack of transparency and verifiability associated
with them prompted ban or restrictions of their use. Developed nations
like the United Kingdom and France and advanced countries in our region
like Japan and Singapore have so far stuck to voting on paper ballots,
owing to their simplicity, verifiability and voter confidence in the
system. This country is an exception to this international trend and we
continue to use these voting machines long discarded by the world due
to lack of awareness and appreciation of the lay public of the concerns.
2. Use of EVMs is Unconstitutional and Illegal Too! This country’s
EVMs may also be held unconstitutional because they infringe upon the
fundamental rights of the voters. In this country, Right to vote is a
legal right but how that vote should be exercised by a voter is his/ her
individual expression covered by Article 19 (1) (a) of the
Constitution, which guarantees fundamental rights to the citizens. In
the 2002 case pertaining to disclosure of assets and the criminal
background of candidates, the Supreme Court ruled that voters have a
right to know the antecedents of the contesting candidates and this is
fundamental and basic for survival of democracy. Accordingly, a voter
has the right to know that his vote which he exercised as a part of
freedom of expression has really gone in favour of the candidate whom
he/she has chosen. This right, fundamental in nature, is absent in the
electronic voting system.
In the traditional paper ballot system, that
fundamental right was preserve because a voter knew exactly how his/
her vote was recorded and Universal use of EVMs in Indian elections is
illegal too! In 1984, the Supreme Court of India held that the use of
electronic voting machines in elections was “illegal” as the
Representation of People (RP) Act, 1951 did not permit use of voting
machines in elections. Later, the R.P. Act was amended in 1989
incorporating Section 61A. However, the amendment says voting machines
“may be adopted in such constituency or constituencies as the Election
Commission may, having regard to the circumstances of each case,
specify.” Violating the provisions of the R.P Act, the Election
Commission has conducted 2004 and 2009 nationwide general elections only
using electronic voting machines. Going by the 1984 judgment of the
Supreme Court, parliamentary elections of 2004 and 2009 may be held
3. EVM Software Isn’t Safe.
The electronic voting machines
are safe and secure only if the source code used in the EVMs is genuine.
Shockingly, the EVM manufacturers, the BEL and ECIL, have shared the
‘top secret’ EVM software program with two foreign companies, Microchip
(USA) and Renesas (Japan) to copy it onto microcontrollers used in EVMs.
This process could have been done securely in-house by the Indian
Worse, when the foreign companies deliver microcontrollers fused with
software code to the EVM manufacturers, the EVM manufacturers cannot
“read back” their contents as they are either OTP-ROM or masked chips.
Amusingly, the software given to foreign companies is not even made
available with the Election Commission, ostensibly for security reasons.
With such ridiculous decisions, the Election Commission and the public
sector manufacturers have rendered security of the EVMs a mockery.
Adopting an open standards policy by making the software public and
allowing parties to test the software installed in the EVMs would have
4. Nor is The Hardware. The danger for EVM
manipulations is not just from its software.
Even the hardware isn’t
safe. Dr. Alex Halderman, professor of computer science in the
University of Michigan says, “EVMs used in the West require software
attacks as they are sophisticated voting machines and their hardware
cannot be replaced cheaply.In contrast, the Indian EVMs can easily be
replaced either in part or as wholesale units.” One crucial part that
can be faked is microcontrollers used in the EVMs in which the software
is copied. EVM manufacturers have greatly facilitated fraud by using
generic microcontrollers rather than more secure ASIC or FPGA
microcontrollers. Not just only microcontrollers, mother boards (cards
which contain microcontrollers) and entire EVMs can be replaced. Neither
the Election Commission nor the manufacturers have undertaken any
hardware or software audit till date. As a result, such manipulation
attempts would go undetected. To detect such fraud, the upgraded EVMs
have a provision to interface with an Authentication Unit that would
allow the manufacturers to verify whether the EVM being used in the
election is the same that they have supplied to the Election Commission.
The EVM manufacturers developed an “Authentication Unit” engaging the
services of SecureSpin, a Bangalore based software services firm.
Unit was developed and tested in 2006 but when the project was ready
for implementation, the project was mysteriously shelved at the instance
of the Election Commission. Several questions posed to the Election
Commission for taking this decision went unanswered. 5. EVMs are Sitting
Ducks. This country’s EVMs can be hacked both before and after
elections to alter election results. Apart from manipulating the EVM
software and replacing many hardware parts discussed above, discussions
with knowledgeable sources revealed that our country’s EVMs can be
hacked in many ways. I mention just two of them below. Each EVM contains
two EEPROMs inside the Control Unit in which the voting data is
They are completely unsecured and the data inside EEPROMs can
be manipulated from an external source. It is very easy to read (data
from) the EEPROMs and manipulate them. The second and the most deadly
way to hack our country’s EVMs is by inserting a chip with Trojan inside
the display section of the Control unit. This requires access to the
EVM for just two minutes and these replacement units can be made for a
few hundred rupees. Bypassing completely all inbuilt securities, this
chip would manipulate the results and give out “fixed” results on the
EVM screen. The Election Commission is completely oblivious to such
possibilities. A demonstration of these vulnerabilities is on the
6. “Insider” Fraud a Concern. Personal accounts from some well
placed political sources and experts say that there are some “insiders”
demanding vast sums (Rs. 5 Crore for each assembly constituency) to fix
election results. Who are these insiders? Unlike in the traditional
ballot system where only the election officials were the “insiders”,
electronic voting machine regime has spawned a long chain of insiders,
all of whom are outside the ambit and control of the Election Commission
of this country. There is every possibility that some of these
“insiders” are involved in murky activities in fixing elections. The
whole world—except us in this country–is alive to the dangers of insider
fraud in elections. The “insiders” include the public sector
manufacturers of this country’s electronic voting machines namely, the
Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Electronics Corporation of India
(ECIL), the foreign companies supplying micro controllers, private
players (some of which are allegedly owned by some political leaders)
for carrying out checking and maintenance of electronic voting machines
7. Storage and Counting are Concerns. The EVMs are stored at
the district headquarters or in a decentralized manner in different
locations. Election Commission’s concern for EVM safety becomes
apparent only during elections, where as security experts say that
voting machines must remain in a secure environment throughout their
life cycle. There could be many malpractices associated with electronic
counting. “Everybody watches polling closely. Nobody watches counting as
closely),” says Bev Harris, an American activist. Our Election
Commission takes three months to conduct parliamentary elections but
wants counting to be over in just three hours! In the rush to declare
results and the winners, several serious lapses go unnoticed in the
counting process. As a result, parties cannot give it the kind of
attention that this activity deserves.
Massive discrepancies between
votes polled and counted in a large number of polling stations across
the country raise serious concerns in this regard.
8. Vote of No
Confidence.The political class cutting across all sides of the divide
has just one verdict: “we don’t trust the EVMs”. This vote of “no
confidence” stems from the personal experiences of parties and leaders
as well as the nature of results thrown up by the EVMs. Parties are
looking at EVMs with great suspicion and dread the prospect of EVMs
“defeating” them.This mistrust in EVMs is not confined to any single
party and is all pervasive. Almost all mainstream political parties,
including the BJP, Congress, left parties, regional parties like the
Telugu Desam party (TDP), AIADMK, Samajwadi party, Rastriya Lok Dal
(RLD), Janata Dal (United) etc. have all expressed reservation about
EVMs in the aftermath of 2009 Lok Sabha polls. Even the Congress party
that decisively won the 2009 general elections alleged that the EVMs
have been manipulated in Orissa. Today, it is difficult to find parties
that vouch for the continued use of EVMs in Indian elections. On the
contrary, there is a flood of opposition to the EVMs from the political
9. EC is Clueless on Technology.The Election Commission has
adopted the EVM technology about which it has practically no knowledge.
As a result, it has little control over many aspects of the election
process. None of the election commissioners, neither the present
commissioners nor their predecessors, have proper understanding of the
EVM technology. The only source of technical understanding for the
Election Commission is a Committee of experts led by its chairman,
Prof. P.V.Indiresan. Even the Expert Committee seems very weak in its
capacities and understanding. Alex Halderman, professor of computer
science at the University of Michigan and an expert on the security of
voting systems who was present in New Delhi for the launch of the book,
Democracy at Risk, Can We Trust our EVMS? commented, “When I read the
2006 technical report prepared by the Expert Committee of the Election
Commission. I scribbled on it that there was a cause for alarm and
quickly decided to agree to come here.” That speaks volumes for the
quality and rigor of security testing done on the Country’s EVMs.
Trust Deficit. Election Commission’s conduct in the wake of the serious
reservations expressed by people has been unbecoming of a
constitutional body. It has uttered many lies – our EVMs are “tamper
proof”, they are “different” etc. etc. It has refused to provide any
clarifications sought to the petitioners in the Supreme Court, despite a
reference from the Supreme Court of India. It has taken several
questionable decisions for which it has refused to offer any
explanations. For instance, it does not explain why old EVMs were used
in Lok Sabha elections despite the recommendations of its own Expert
It does not explain why as many as 4.48 Lakh new EVMs
(which are more secure as per the Expert Committee) were not used in any
Congress party or UPA ruled states? Why and where it had allowed use of
state government owned EVMs? The non-transparent conduct of Election
Commission in the use of EVMs and the farce of an “enquiry” it has
conducted following serious reservations on EVMs does not inspire
confidence in its unbiased functioning.
How EVM Works and how can
changed it’s functionality Watch this video [youtube id=”ZlCOj1dElDY”
- See more at:
youtube id=”ZlCOj1dElDY” width=”620″ height=”360″ -
This country’s EVMs are
Vulnerable to Fraud-Contrary to claims by our country,s election
authorities, the paperless electronic voting systems used in India
suffer from significant vulnerabilities. Even brief access to the
machines could allow criminals to alter election results.
video, we demonstrate two kinds of attacks against a real Indian EVM.
One attack involves replacing a small part of the machine with a
look-alike component that can be silently instructed to steal a
percentage of the votes in favor of a chosen candidate. These
instructions can be sent wirelessly from a mobile phone. Another attack
uses a pocket-sized device to change the votes stored in the EVM between
the election and the public counting session, which in India can be
These attacks are neither complicated nor difficult to
perform, but they would be hard to detect or defend against. The best
way to prevent them is to count votes using paper ballots that voters
can see. indiaEVM.org
EVMs Can Be Tampered - Says Net India - Net India company says that the
Electronic Voting Machines EVMs which are used in polling stations can
be tampered in favor of the candidates. Watch this to find out
more…..To watch live news, videos subscribe to CVR News @
EVM in INDIA REALITY
EXPOSED by Dr Subramanian
Swamyhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3THfIvvxPY - EVMs can be tampered,
experts say - Electronic voting machines could be easily tampered to
manipulate elections results, a group of foreign experts said at a
seminar in Dhaka on Tuesday. A standing committee member of the main
opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, Abdul Moyeen Khan, in the
seminar said that the party would make some prototypes of the EVMs the
Election Commission made to show the people how the device could be
Non-governmental organisation Centre for Sustainable
Development organised the seminar, ‘Electronic voting machines: use and
abuse,’ at the Lake Shore hotel in the city. The organisation’s
secretary general Mahfuzullah conducted the seminar and its president
Anwar Hashim, also a former ambassador, presided over the programme.
Computer science professor in the University of California Mathew Allen
Bishop, senior software architect of Yahoo in India Shashank Shekhar and
research and development director of Hewlett Packard of the United
States Shawn Islam made presentation in the seminar highlighting how
EVMs could be tampered. All the three experts said the EVMs could be
tampered in several ways in a short span of time to manipulate the
elections results in favour of a certain candidate if the manipulators
would get physical access to EVMs. Citing an example of the flaws of the
EVM used in the United States and in other parts of the world, Bishop
said the EVMs, electronic devices which need software to function, could
be easily tampered. Bishop, however, asked the authorities concerned to
look into certain issues before using EVMs. ‘When votes are counted,
how do you know that the button pushed to vote for scales on the ballot
unit is in fact counted as a vote for scales?’ he said. Bishop also
said, ‘How do you know that the software is correct? There are no bugs
that affect the vote counting?
How do you know that the software on
the EPROM chip is the version that is supposed to be used? There was no
He said the security of the software running the EVM must be
part of the inbuilt design of the device. Earlier, Shawn Islam,m a
Bangladeshi-American, demonstrated how a vote cast for a candidate could
be stored for the candidate the voter did not vote for through software
manipulation effected beforehand. Both of the experts said that there
be a system of paper trail of the votes cast so that the voters could
see that their votes were stored for the candidate they voted for.’But,’
Shawn Islam added, ‘the EVMs developed by Bangladesh do not have any
option to add the paper trail system.’ He claimed that the EVM developed
in Bangladesh have plenty of problems. Shashank said that there was no
electronic device in the world which could not be tampered. All of the
experts said that the device must be tested by a third party before its
In reply to a question whether the EVM can be manipulated with
remote control devise without physical intervention once EVMs are tested
and certified by the experts of the political parties just before the
elections, Shawn said, ‘You must have physical interventions to
manipulate it if the EVM does not belong to any wireless
When a reporter asked Abdul Moyeen Khan whether the BNP
would accept it if EVMs were tested by their experts, the BNP leader
parried the answer saying that the party would develop some EVM
prototypes to show how they could be tampered.
the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, including its acting secretary general
Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, the chairperson’s advisers Iqbal Hasan
Mahmud, Sabiuddin Ahmed, Ruhal Alam and opposition chief whip Zainul
Abdin Farroque, attended. Speaking on the occasion, former Dhaka
University vice-chancellor Moniruzzaman Mia, BRAC University professor
Piash Karim and Sushaner Janya Nagarik secretary Badiul Alam Majumder
stressed the need for building trust among political parties before
introducing any new device in the elections process.The country’s two
major political camps are now at loggerheads over the introduction of
EVMs in the next polls. The ruling Awami League-led alliance said that
it would extend all cooperation to the E C in using EVMs in the next
general elections while the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party-led
alliance vowed to resist the move.Attachments area- Preview YouTube
video India’s EVMs are Vulnerable to Fraud
-Preview YouTube video EVMs
Can Be Tampered - Says Net India Preview YouTube video EVM in INDIA
REALITY EXPOSED by Dr Subramanian
American scientists ‘hack’ into Indian voting machines
India’s voting machines - considered to be among the world’s most
tamperproof - can be hacked, American scientists claim.
the University of Michigan connected a home-made device to a voting
machine and successfully changed results by sending text messages from a
“We made an imitation display board that looks almost exactly
like the real display in the machines. But underneath some of the
components of the board, we hide a microprocessor and a Bluetooth
radio,” the BBC quoted Prof J Alex Halderman, who led the project, as
He added: “Our lookalike display board intercepts the vote
totals that the machine is trying to display and replaces them with
dishonest totals - basically whatever the bad guy wants to show up at
the end of the election.”
Moreover, they added a small
microprocessor, which they say can change the votes stored in the
machine between the election and the vote-counting session.
right mind would yet allow the use of absolutely antiquated, completely
out-dated, easily hack-able and highly tamper-able “high school
technology” based, obsolete EVMs (electronic voting machines) in
national elections, but it was used now — in 2014
More than 80
democracies in the world have simply done away with them, dumping them
in the trash, or simply declared the usage of this simplistic voting
system susceptible to fraud, and hence declaring the same as
illegal — as the Supreme Courts of Germany and Holland indeed have done.
Even Japan, from where EVMs originated, has long abandoned its rogue
babies, and is using paper ballot system since then. All the advanced
democracies in the West, except the most dull-headed ones, have reverted
to a voter verifiable system or the ballot paper. In Canada, even at
the ,most basic school level, ballot paper voting is in use.
year, the Supreme Court of India, having been convinced of an
undeniable, edible possibility of EVMs getting tampered with and that
easily hacked — even from afar — had ordered the imbecilic Election
Commission and the indolent Government of India to provide about 1600
crore (1600, 0000000) rupees — convert this into your respective
currency! — for manufacturing these VVPAT (Voter Verifiable Paper Audit
Trail) voting machines; which show a verifiable paper receipt to the
This is the Fundamental Right of a citizen of India, as per
the laws laid down by the Constitution. However, recent newspaper
reports tell us that only 20, 000 such voting machines have been
provided for the entire country in this, 2014 election! India has 29
states now — with Telagana being the latest. In most of them, depending
upon their size etc., either about 400 VVPAT machines are being
deployed, or some such similar ridiculous number — more or less — has
been made available in the length and breadth of the country. It’s an
asinine, bland, cruel, demeaning joke we 1.25 billion voters have been
“blessed” with by the powers that be.
All “patriotic” hackers of our motherland made hay in May!
to how EVMs can be hacked into, tampered with, and results favorably
manipulated via software interference and other means — from near and
from far, far away — this can easily be found by anybody by just going
to Google etc. and filling “EVM HACKING, TAMPERING” or something to this
effect in the Search. And lo, behold! a plethora of information will
just overwhelm your overly chilled-out, lesser employed, un-billed
However, the only solace for us naive fools is that quite a
few unscrupulous politicians and every other most “honorable” political
party worthy of its “salt”, would surely be playing this comic-tragic
game of hacking into and hijacking the votes of a billion people! Thus,
one who outsmarts the other such fine folks, armed with their hacking
forks in this merry-go-around, will win.
The rest — this or that
“tsunami” or wave in favor of one or the other, poll forecasts and the
“newbie”, the over enthused, seeming game changers in the making — well,
they may well fall flat on their dumb faces, if not on their smart
That the Supreme Court of India too, while passing the order
of putting new VVAT voting machines in use in a “phased manner”, has
unwittingly shirked its duty. In fact, it committed a grave error of
judgment. Perhaps dealt a fatal blow to Indian democracy. It should have
ordered, as a caution, that till the time this newer set of about
1300ooo voting machines is manufactured in full and so deployed
throughout India, ballot paper system would be brought in. No such
precautionary measure was decreed by the apex court.
Well, crib all you
want. But don’t cry, my dear countrymen. After all, the same model of
EVMs is yet very much in use in South Africa, Bangla Desh, Bhutan,
Nepal, Nigeria, Venezuela etc. These poor folks of the said “non-techy”
countries — millions of them — too cannot figure out as to what the hell
had, yet is happening, in their dear short-circuited “developed”
democracies. Nor will you.
Don’t worry, be happy! You are not alone “out there”.
by the way, the somewhat notorious lawyer who had brought in this
case — of the present lot of EVMs being tamper-able and hack-able — and,
who, had successfully fought it so, forcing the Supreme Court to order
the installation of a fail-safe voting mechanism (of Voter Verifiable
Paper Audit machines replacing the susceptible earlier Electronic Voting
Machines) to ensure a free and fair electoral process in India — well,
this oh-so-very honorable fellow too has fallen silent, like a demure
maiden. This most vociferous gentleman had openly declared on social
websites, especially Twitter, that in case VVPAT machines do not get
installed in time for 2014 elections, then, there would be a
“constitutional crisis” — putting it out there like an Indian
“pehalwan”, a la WWW wrestler, that he would challenge the same in the
apex court. He had most emphatically underlined he would ensure that
either the new fail-safe voting machines or the old time-tested paper
ballot system will be put in use during this general election in India.
However, recently, when asked specifically on Twitter about this
matter — as to what this lovely man is doing or is going to do about
this impending doomsday electoral scenario — there was a deafening
silence from his side. May be owing to the fact that since the Supreme
Court judgement late last year, this self-righteous rightist has joined
the ultra-rightist political bandwagon.
The latter has been
projected by pollsters to overwhelmingly sweep these elections — as a
direct result of the doings of the monstrous public relations firm hired
from the land of the let-it-be, oops! free. This US firm is the same
that was used fruitfully by President Bush and Hillary Clinton for their
respective political campaigns. It has — let there be no doubt about
it — successfully projected its client as the potential winner and the
next numero uno in Indian politics.
What the majority of the Indians
have missed in fine print is that the outgoing Chief Minister of the
state of Rajasthan, in the last year elections, had officially filed a
complaint with the election commission that the EVMs used in his state
were pre-programmed and tampered with — and that the same had come from
the state of which this presently hyped-up future Prime Minister of
India, is the current Chief Minister. Now, the lawyer who had gone to
the dogs to awaken India and the rest of the world about the mischief
and malfeasance possible with the old model of EVMs — and had in fact
written a book on this subject — is in a wink-wink deep-throat “smadhi”.
A silence that speaks truths we dumb billion idiots on this part of
slippery earth cannot fathom. Perhaps it’s a precursor of the things to
Let us hope the jolly good hackers of this-that party screw-up
each other’s devilish, outright evil plans. In a dog eat dog political
crap pit we hapless billion creatures have to walk through every
election, maybe this time the ape sitting by the side — the wide-eyed
hopeful citizen of India — at least gets a tiny part of the apple pie
this messy hacking cat fight will leave behind, on the side lanes.
Perhaps these little crumbs will be enough for us to stay afloat. though
In a nutshell, simply put, whosoever “out-hacks” the other, will win.
again, we are an ancient civilization of more than 33, 0000000 gods and
goddesses — some civilized, others not so civil. Let’s hope one of
these fancied deities has a soft corner for us dumbos. Otherwise, we are
going to get screwed. A billion times over.
Therefore, I made
doubly sure I did not vote. I sat on my ass on voting day — not that I
don’t do so everyday. This voting day, I absolutely did. Not only
figuratively and metaphorically, but literally. I may have many buts in
life, but at least today I have a little sore, yet not so sorry a butt.
We are a fool’s paradise.
Long live the banana republic of India!
Security Analysis of India’s Electronic Voting Machines
Elections in India are conducted almost exclusively using electronic
voting machines developed over the past two decades by a pair of
government-owned companies. These devices, known in India as EVMs, have
been praised for their simple design, ease of use, and reliability, but
recently they have also been criticized because of widespread reports of
election irregularities. Despite this criticism, many details of the
machines’ design have never been publicly disclosed, and they have not
been subjected to a rigorous, independent security evaluation. In this
paper, we present a security analysis of a real Indian EVM obtained from
an anonymous source. We describe the machine’s design and operation in
detail, and we evaluate its security, in light of relevant election
procedures. We conclude that in spite of the machine’s simplicity and
minimal trusted computing base, it is vulnerable to serious attacks that
can alter election results and violate the secrecy of the ballot. We
demonstrate two attacks, implemented using custom hardware, which could
be carried out by dishonest election insiders or other criminals with
only brief physical access to the machines. This case study contains
important lessons for Indian elections and for electronic voting
security more generally.
Full technical paper at http://indiaevm.org/evm_tr2010.pdf
elaborate safeguards, India’s EVMs are vulnerable to serious attacks.
Dishonest insiders or other criminals with physical access to the
machines at any time before ballots are counted can insert malicious
hardware that can steal votes for the lifetime of the machines.
Attackers with physical access between voting and counting can
arbitrarily change vote totals and can learn which candidate each voter
selected. These problems are deep-rooted. The design of India’s EVMs
relies entirely on the physical security of the machines and the
integrity of election insiders. This seems to negate many of the
security benefits of using electronic voting in the first place. The
technology’s promise was that attacks on the ballot box and dishonesty
in the counting process would be more difficult. Yet we find that such
attacks remain possible, while being more difficult to detect.
is highly doubtful that these problems could be remedied by simple
upgrades to the existing EVMs or election procedures. Merely making the
attacks we have demonstrated more difficult will not fix the fundamental
problem: India’s EVMs do not provide transparency, so voters and
election officials have no reason for confidence that the machines are
India should carefully reconsider how to
achieve a secure and transparent voting system that is suitable to its
national values and requirements. One option that has been adopted in
other countries is to use a voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT),
which combines an electronic record stored in a DRE with a paper vote
record that can be audited by hand . Existing EVMs do not have
updatable software, but it would be possible to add a VVPAT by
interposing on the cable between the control unit and the ballot unit.
option is precinct-count optical scan (PCOS) voting, where
voters fill out paper ballots that are scanned by a voting machine at
the polling station before being placed in a ballot box. Attacking
either of these systems would require tampering with both the paper
records and the electronic records, provided that routine audits are
performed to make sure these redundant sets of records agree . A
third option is to return to simple paper ballots. Despite all of their
known weaknesses, simple paper ballots provide a high degree of
transparency, so fraud that does occur will be more likely to be
Using EVMs in India may have seemed like a good idea
when the machines were introduced in the 1980s, but science’s
understanding of electronic voting security—and of attacks against
it—has progressed dramatically since then, and other technologically
advanced countries have adopted and then abandoned EVM-style voting. Now
that we understand what technology can and cannot do, any new solutions
to the very real problems election officials face must address the
problems, not merely hide them from sight.
EVMs are not foolproof, says computer scientist
April 23rd, 2010
DC Correspondent, Kumar Chellappan
holes. A low-budget adversary armed with a small instrument can read
out votes cast, suppress the votes of one or several voters, and even
delete all the votes.
April 22: Electronic voting machines are
not as tamper-proof as the Election Commission of India would like us to
believe, going by the research of an Israeli comuter scientist who has
found flaws in the most advanced EVMs in the world.
Frequency Identification (RFID) EVMs developed in Israel are rated as
the most advanced machines in the world. But we have proved that they
are vulnerable to all kinds of tampering,” Avishai Wool, of the School
of Electrical Engineering, Tel Aviv University, told DC on Thursday.
can show how a low-budget adversary armed with a small instrument can
read out all votes already cast into the ballot box, suppress the votes
of one or several voters, rewrite votes at will and even completely
disqualify all votes in a single booth,” Prof. Wool says in the paper.
“These attacks are easy to mount and very difficult to detect.”
Prof. Wool refused to comment on Indian EVMs, several experts have
noted that most electronic polling devices are susceptible to tampering.
Prof. Wools’ comments follow a letter qritten by David Dill, professor
of computer science at Stanford University, to Chief Election
Commissioner Navin Chawla on Indian EVMs lacking credibility.
Swamy, former Union minister for law, said Bharat Electronics Ltd and
ECIL, who developed the Indian EVM , have withdrawn their application
for a patent for the device from the World Intellectual Property
Don’t stand on prestige, dump EVMs, save democracy
http://www.indianevm.com/videos.php?id=12 Computer Science Prof. of Stanford Univ., Dr. David Dill’s statement on Indian EVMs
http://www.indianevm.com/videos.php?id=14 (Videos, expert panel)
Election Commission concedes manipulation of EVMs
Election Commission of India has made an amazing confession: that the
security and integrity of the entire election system will be compromised
if the EVM software and the hardware design becomes known.
is what technologists, activists and political leaders have been saying
for many months now and the Commission had steadfastly refuted such
claims with a bizarre “our EVMs are fully tamper proof” claim.
above revelation was made by the Election Commission in a letter dated
March 30, 2010 to V.V. Rao, petitioner in the Supreme Court on the EVMs.
I quote below:
”…The Commission is concerned that commercial
interests could use the route of reverse engineering (a process by which
the original software and hardware configuration can be accessed) which
may compromise the security and sanctity of the entire election
“…It is once again made clear that any demonstration of
alleged tamperability cannot include reverse-engineering as it
compromises security and sanctity of the entire […]
Don’t stand on prestige, dump EVMs: Naidu
J. Balaji, The Hindu
Published: April 13, 2010 00:53 IST | Updated: April 13, 2010 02:54 IST
He seeks national debate to clear “doubts in the minds of voters”
Desam Party president N. Chandrababu Naidu doubts that electronic
voting machines (EVMs) are non-tamperable, and has sought a national
debate to “clear all the doubts in the minds of voters.”
convinced that there is scope for tampering with the EVMs,” he said here
on Monday after launching a website, www.indianevm.com, hosted by
election analyst G.V.L. Narasimha Rao and information technologist
Though he would not blame the Election Commission,
with the existing EVMs people were not sure whether the votes they cast
went to the candidates of their choice, Mr. Naidu said. When Germany,
Singapore and some European countries had gone back to the paper ballot,
as the EVMs could be tampered with and hacked, why should India alone
use such machines? “The EC should not stand on false prestige and
gracefully go in for a debate as the issue involved the fundamental
rights of the citizens.”
Mr. Naidu said he would take up the
issue with other parties. There would be nothing wrong in the country
going back to the old system of ballot votes if the machines were not
safe and susceptible to tampering.
The former Chief Secretary of
Delhi and IIT alumnus, Omesh Saigal, asked why the chip used in EVMs was
allowed to be written in the United States. “A Trojan horse is sitting
inside the machine.”
During August last, the EC said it gave
opportunities to political parties and individuals who claimed that EVMs
could be manipulated to prove their case. But “they either failed or
chose not to demonstrate,” it said.
“The EC would like to
underline that it always had a firm conviction and complete satisfaction
that EVMs could not be tampered with. Its faith in the machine has
never wavered through the conduct of elections in the last many years.”
was able to actually demonstrate that the EVMs used by the Commission
could be tampered with. “What has been demonstrated or claimed to have
been demonstrated is on a privately assembled lookalike of ECI-EVMs and
not the actual EVM, produced by the Electronics Corporation of India
Limited,” the Commission said.
EVM debate rages on, lets get rid of it.
EVM debate rages. Jump in and cast your vote on the spot poll on this blog.
personal take is that advanced countries with a longer history of
democracy like the US, UK, Australia, France, Netherlands, Norway,
Sweden and many other European countries don’t use a EVM but the good
old paper and ballot. Why should we move to a EVM.
1) The EVM
does not provide a physical evidence of a vote. Whereby a re count can
be demanded. In earlier elections it has been seen that after a re count
a loosing candidate has won. A recount in EVM will just mean adding up
of all votes which will always add up to the earlier number. How do we
know this is correct.
2) This machine does not allow for any audit
just because it has no physical evidence. So tomorrow we shall all do
corporate accounting on a calculator (no need for bills, invoice, chalan
etc) and show the auditors the final figure on the screen of the
calculator. This is what EVM amounts to.
3) This goes against the basic Right to Information Act. Where is the evidence.
4) A 10 std Physics student can rig up such a device. I wonder why you need a micro processor even.
please jump in and tell the govt that we don’t need the EVM. Why are
they scared of going back to the old system when there is a section of
the population that does not believe in the authenticity of this device.
Don’t believe in the impartiality of the EC, its fully corrupted by
भारत मैं सभ कुछ बिकता हैं हम कैसे मान ले की EC नहीं बीके, EVM यंत्र बनाने वाले नहीं बीके होवे हैं |
UPA won a surprise victory in 2004 and left many stunned about NDA’s
loss. Many never expected this but it happened. Incidentally EVM were
first used in 2004.
: EVMs are prone to tampering by both external hackers and insiders.
The danger of insider fixing of elections is recognized the world over.
Hence mere faith in companies and a host of private players handling
EVMs cannot be the basis for election results. Elections can be trusted
only if the results are verifiable and auditable. Most developed
countries have rejected or reformed direct-recording EVMs. Election
Commission of India is persisting with the voting machines ignoring the
serious concerns. Hence this effort to mobilize public opinion.
the Philippines ballot papers are used. Counting is done through voting
machines by optically scanning the ballots into the machine. Still, a
manual audit is mandated. In computing, if things can go wrong, they
always will; this is Murphy’s law of computing. I hope you have read
Stanford Univ. Prof. Dill’s letter to ECI.
The nature of the electonic counting in the Philippines
kalyan 25 Feb. 2010
EVMs and cyberlaw of the Philippines: mandated manual audit
Article posted February 24, 2010 - 09:48 PM
on Elections (Comelec) chairman Jose Melo on Wednesday rejected the
idea of conducting the random manual audit before the declaration of the
winners in the May polls, saying that it will only cause unnecessary
“(We don’t want) a simple audit (to) deter proclamation,” Melo said in a press briefing.
poll body chief issued the statement after some groups asserted that
the random manual audit be done right after the election results are
transmitted and before the winners are proclaimed. (See: More voting
machines should be audited to ensure polls’ credibility)
24 of Republic Act 9369 requires a random manual audit to be conducted
in one precinct per congressional district in each province and city.
difference between the automated and manual count will result in the
determination of root cause and initiate a manual count for those
precincts affected by the computer or procedural error,” it further
But Melo said that conducting the audit before the
proclamation would cause a great delay because the auditors would still
have to “reconcile” the marks on a ballot that were recognized and not
recognized by the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machine.
ng variation yan, magdedebate, madedelay yan. Ang mark na ganyan,
bibilangin ng manual, pero hindi binilang ng makina, sino paniniwalaan
mo (There will definitely be a variation, triggering debate, which would
delay everything. Marks like those that are counted manually, but not
counted by the machine—which would you believe),” he said.
further said that it would be fine if only the proclamation of the
winners of the local elections would be delayed, but he said that even
the national positions would have to await proclamation.
are going to delay the proclamation because of a simple concern of one
machine, bakit pa tayo nag-automate (why did we automate at all)?” he
Earlier, the National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections
(Namfrel) and the Consortium of Electoral Reforms (CER) also asked the
poll body to increase the number of voting machines that will undergo
The groups said that at least 2.5 to 3 percent of the
82,200 PCOS units or five poll machines per congressional district
should be manually audited to give enough assurance that the results of
the elections are credible. —Kimberly Jane T. Tan/JV, GMANews.TV
‘EVMs illegally being used for a decade’
Sanjay Sharma, TNN, Feb 22, 2010, 03.44am IST
The electronic voting machines (EVMs) are being used in violation of
the Information Technology Act 2000, a research paper has revealed.
of the research paper, advocate Ajay Jagga, told The Times of India, on
Sunday that as per IT Act, 2000, a verifiable audit trail has to be
provided in case of any electronic record, which is now admissible as
evidence as per Evidence Act but in case of electronic voting, the voter
does not get any receipt with regard to his voting.
research paper recently attracted the attention of experts when a
conference on “EVMs: How trustworthy?” in Chennai passed a unanimous
resolution on February 13 asking Jagga to approach the Election
Commission of India (ECI) for bringing the electronic voting procedure
in tune with IT Act, 2000.
Jagga said he would soon approach ECI
seeking formation of legal committee to remove the illegality or will
knock the doors of court.
The lawyer said, “Unless the voter
gets a receipt like the one we get in ATM or after the use of debit or
credit cards, all electronic transactions including a vote, are
illegal.” What is the evidence that the vote cast has really been
recorded and that it has been recorded in the manner the voter intended,
For the purpose and to protect the secrecy of ballot,
all such receipts, after the voter has checked his transaction, should
be put in a box which should remain with ECI to be produced as evidence
in case of a dispute, he said. The government amended the relevant laws
in 1989 to equate EVM with ballot and ballot box to facilitate
transition from ballot paper to EVM but the IT Act 2000 created a new
complication that has to be immediately resolved in the interest of
fairness of things, Jagga pointed out.
The lawyer also proved
that the machine can be tampered with which has been accepted by the
government itself in its letter to withdraw patent applications filed by
Electronics Corporation of India and Bharat Electronics Ltd, makers of
the machine. The PSUs withdrew their patent applications on the ground
that the machine may not be tamper-proof, he said, adding that America
and Germany had to return to ballot paper after their machines were
Linked on USA Today 23 Feb. 2010 http://content.usatoday.com/topics/article/Places,+Geography/Countries/India/05zF4kBeFJ47y/1
Hackers can ’steal’ ballots from electronic voting machines- 2009 Electronic Voting Technology Workshop
Indo-Asian News Service
Washington, August 11, 2009
First Published: 16:48 IST(11/8/2009)
Last Updated: 17:06 IST(11/8/2009)
scientists have demonstrated how criminals could hack an electronic
voting machine (EVM) and ’steal’ votes using a malicious programming
approach that had not been invented when the voting machine was
The team of scientists from the Universites of California,
San Diego, Michigan and Princeton employed “return-oriented programming”
to force an electronic voting machine to turn against itself.
machines must remain secure throughout their entire service lifetime,
and this study demonstrates how a relatively new programming technique
can be used to take control of a voting machine that was designed to
resist takeover, but that did not anticipate this new kind of malicious
programming,” said Hovav Shacham.
Shacham is professor of
computer science at UC San Diego’s (UC-SD )Jacobs School of Engineering
and study co-author. His study demonstrates that return-oriented
programming can be used to execute vote-stealing computations by taking
control of an EVM designed to prevent code injection.
computer scientists had no access to the machine’s source code - or any
other proprietary information - when designing the demonstration attack.
using just the information that would be available to anyone who bought
or stole a voting machine, the researchers addressed a common criticism
made against voting security researchers: that they enjoy unrealistic
access to the systems they study.
“Based on our understanding of
security and computer technology, it looks like paper-based elections
are the way to go. Probably the best approach would involve fast optical
scanners reading paper ballots. These kinds of paper-based systems are
amenable to statistical audits, which is something the election security
research community is shifting to,” said Shacham.
“You can actually run a modern and efficient election on paper,” he said.
“If you are using electronic voting machines, you need to have a separate paper record at the very least,” he added.
There findings were presented at the 2009 Electronic Voting Technology Workshop.
has to answer for the holes in the bucket identified in the book edited
by Subramanian Swamy and Kalyanaraman, Electronic Voting Machines —
Unconstitutional and Tamperable (2010)
A private co. had a project to EVMs. Are look-alike EVMs available in the market?
are EVMs being manufactured abroad (with control units burnt-in with
programs in foreign countries using Indian agents)? How can BEL/ECIL
claim IP rights for such foreign-makes? How much money has been spent
for this foreign outsourcing?
ECI should scrap EVMs which are
unconstitutional in any case and revert to paper ballots.Save democracy
which has flourished in India for over 1000 years since Uttaramerur
Inscription of Parakesari Varman of Parantaka Chola days. This was
mentioned in Constituent Assembly debates by the late T. Prakasham, CM
of composite Madras Presidency.
Editorial: E-voting needs a paper trail
Dec. 6, 2010
years after the “hanging chads” fiasco in Florida, and two months
before one of the most important presidential elections in U.S. history,
Congress still refuses to listen to the nation’s top computer
scientists and require a secure, auditable paper trail for all federal
elections. This despite the latest revelation of a serious problem with
the electronic voting machines used in 34 states — including Virginia
and Maryland — in addition to their well-publicized vulnerability to
In March, Ohio officials found a programming error that
dropped votes when the data on memory cards from multiple electronic
machines are electronically transferred to a central tabulator, as they
would be on Election Day. Dozens of lawyers are ready to file legal
challenges everywhere e-voting machines are used, even those declared
“qualified” by the National Association of State Election Directors.
Such litigation could tie up final election results far longer than it
would take to count paper ballots.
State and local government officials
have spent $1.5 billion on e-voting machines in recent years, most of
it federal funds under the 2002 Help America Vote Act. But instead of
ensuring a fast, secure way to count millions of votes, they got a
technological nightmare. Studies in Ohio and California confirmed that
e-voting machines currently in use can allow individuals to cast
multiple votes, load viruses that crash the system, produce fake tallies
and even change previously cast votes.
As recently as May, a spokesman
for Premier Election Solutions (formerly Diebold Election Systems)
blamed the Ohio glitch on state-installed anti-virus software, but
eventually admitted to a decade-old “logic error” programmed on all 19
of its touch screen and optical scan models. Computer experts say every
e-voting machine now in use has serious security vulnerabilities. Even a
piece of white tape on a scanner can block votes from being
“We don’t know how to make secure paperless voting,” says
Stanford computer science professor David Dill, founder of the Verified
Voting Foundation and author of Attackdog, a computer model that
simulates more than 9,000 ways to attack e-voting systems. Dr. Dill and
others like him have warned again and again that an auditable paper
trail is the only way to guarantee a secure election, the very bedrock
of democracy. Congress has less than two months to pass emergency
legislation requiring state election officials to add verifiable paper
trails to all voting in the November election. There is no more time to
Supreme Court asks Election Commission to implement paper trail in EVMs
Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Election Commission to
introduce in a phased manner the paper trail in Electronic Voting
Machines (EVMs) for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, saying “it is an
indispensable requirement of free, fair and transparent” polls which
will restore confidence of the voters.
The Supreme Court, which
directed the Centre to provide financial assistance to the poll panel
for introduction Vote Verifier Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) system with the
EVMs, said it will “ensure the accuracy of the voting system” and also
help in “manual counting of votes in case of dispute.”
‘paper trail’ is an indispensable requirement of free and fair
elections. The confidence of voters in the EVMs can be achieved only
with introduction of the paper trail,” it said.
“EVMs with VVPAT
system ensure the accuracy of the voting system. With an intent to have
fullest transparency in the system and to restore the confidence of the
voters, it is necessary to set up EVMs with VVPAT system because vote is
nothing but an act of expression which has immense importance in
democratic system,” the bench said.
“VVPAT is a system of
printing paper trail when the voter casts his vote, in addition to the
electronic record of the ballot, for the purpose of verification of his
choice of candidate and also for manual counting of votes in case of
dispute,” a bench comprising Chief Justice P Sathasivam and Ranjan Gogoi
The bench asked the Election Commission to introduce VVPAT
in EVMs in gradual stages or geographical-wise in the 2014 general
While asking the Centre to provide financial
assistance, the bench noted the submissions made by the Election
Commission in its affidavit that it has decided to increase the use of
VVPAT units in a phased manner and has already written to the Ministry
of Law and Justice to issue administrative and financial sanction for
procurement of 20,000 units of VVPAT (10,000 each from M/s BEL and M/s
ECIL) costing Rs. 38.01 crore.
The bench said, “Taking notice of
the pragmatic and reasonable approach of the Election Commission and
considering the fact that in general elections all over India, the
Election Commission has to handle one million (ten lakh) polling booths,
we permit EC to introduce the same in gradual stages or
geographical-wise in the ensuing general elections.”
state or actual booth(s) are to be decided by the EC and the EC is free
to implement the same in a phased manner,” it said.
The bench passed the order on two similar petitions; one of those petitions was filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy.
that EVMs were open to hacking, Mr Swamy had sought directions to the
poll watchdog to introduce paper trail to easily and cheaply meet the
requirements of proof that the EVM has rightly registered the vote cast
by a voter.
Mr Swamy had moved the Supreme Court against January
2012 order of the Delhi High Court disallowing his prayer to direct
Election Commission to incorporate the system of paper trail in EVMs.
bench noted that though initially the poll panel was little reluctant
in introducing paper trail by use of VVPAT, pursuant to its directions,
the Election Commission contacted several expert bodies and technical
advisers and held meetings with national and state level political
parties and carried out demonstrations.
It noted that after a
thorough examination, VVPAT was successfully used in 21 polling stations
of 51-Noksen (ST) Assembly Constituency of Nagaland.
information furnished by the ECI, through the affidavit dated October 1,
2013 clearly shows that VVPAT system is a successful one,” the bench