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Documents in support of Paper Ballots instead of EVMs http://indiatoday.intoday.in/…/election-resul…/1/902494.html EVMs: Mayawati has a point, many countries have banned them since they can rig elections They have been a part of India’s election process for the last 15 years.
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 7:18 pm

Documents in support of Paper Ballots instead of EVMs

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/…/election-resul…/1/902494.html

EVMs: Mayawati has a point, many countries have banned them since they can rig elections

They have been a part of India’s election process for the last 15 years.


Mayawati alleged that the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) were
managed in favour of the BJP and called for a paper ballot election, a
demand also backed by Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav.

“The
reports I got have raised the suspicion that the voting machines have
been managed… It appears that voting machines have not registered
votes cast in favour of other parties, or all the votes have been polled
for the BJP. Even Muslim votes have gone to the BJP,” she said.


Asked about Mayawati’s allegation, Akhilesh Yadav said, “If a question
has been raised on the EVMs, the government should probe. I will also
look at it on my level.”

The social media, on the other hand, is
always full of jokes and rumours whenever an election is held in India
that any button pressed on the EVMs ensures the vote goes to the BJP (or
whoever is in power).

But the fact that EVMs can be easily tampered with is no rocket science.


They have been a part of India’s election process for the last 15
years. There is enough evidence to suggest EVMs are also unsafe and
unreliable.

WHAT ARE THE THREATS?

1. EVMs can easily be hacked.

2. The complete profile of a voter can be accessed through EVMs.

3. EVMs can be used to manage the results of an election.

4. The EVMs can easily be tampered by an election official.

5. Even the election software of an EVM can be changed.


That EVMs can be hacked is a threat that has been given not only in
India, but in many other countries, which is why a number of them have
banned the voting machines.

1. Netherlands banned it for lack of transparency.

2. Ireland, after three years of research worth 51 million pounds, decided to junk EVMs.

3. Germany declared EVMs unconstitutional and banned it.

4. Italy also dropped e-voting since its results could be easily managed.

5. In the United States, California and many other states banned EVMs if they did not have a paper trail.

6. According to a CIA security expert, Venezuela, Macedonia and Ukraine stopped using EVMs after massive rigging was found.

7. England and France have never used EVMs.


Senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, along with a professor from
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, had also once said that the EVMs
could be easily tampered with and their results manipulated. Which is
why Mayawati has questioned their use in Uttar Pradesh and other states
this year.


As
the BJP won a landslide victory in Uttar Pradesh, former Chief Minister
Mayawati blamed it on largescale rigging and threatened to complain to
the Election…

LikeShow More Reactions
Comment
Comments
Navaneetham Chandrasekharan

Dr Subramanian Swamy exposes fault in Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) (हिंदी)

UP Election Results 2017: Mayawati No 3, Alleges Rigging.


As the BJP headed for a landslide victory in Uttar Pradesh, former
Chief Minister Mayawati blamed it on large scale rigging and threatened
to complain to the Election Commission and go to court and hold an
agitation till the matter was remedied.

“Modi and Amit Shah, if
they are really honest, they should get this election countermanded and
revert to the system of ballot papers,”Ms Mayawati said. “This issue is
so major now that to be silent about it is to strangle democracy.”


People don’t believe in EVMs, said Ms Mayawati, who has a huge voter
base among the state’s SC/STs. “Muslims want to know… they say ‘We
haven’t voted for the BJP, so where is the question of non-BJP voters
being transferred to them,” said Mayawati, who had fielded a large
number of Muslim candidates.

“The BJP has murdered democracy,”
she added. In Punjab — where the BJP is trailing Congress - “they would
also have done the same thing but they got scared”. “If the Election
Commission doesn’t listen, I will go to court, do ‘andolan’
(agitation),” she added.

Accusing the BJP of rigging even the
recently completed civic elections in Maharashtra, she said “Complaints
of faulty EVMs had come through there as well”. While the BJP had not
won an outright victory in the Mumbai civic elections, under the
aggressive leadership of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, it had closed
the gap with four-time winner Shiv Sena, coming to the position of a
close second.

https://www.thequint.com/…/maharashtra-civic-polls-show-evm…

Maha Civic Polls Show EVMs May Be ‘Easily Vulnerable Machines’
A storm of complaints across Maharashtra raise serious doubts about how fool-proof EVMs really are.
www.thequint.com

Murderer of democratic institutions (Modi) and Bahuth Jiyadha Psychopath chief are all CHOR GURU & CHANDAL SHISYA.


Ms Mayawati’s BSP won 80% seats in the recently concluded UP Panchayat
elections. Now after the dreaded DEMONetisation of Murderer of
democratic institutions (Modi), BSP would have won all the seats to
comeback in the state and to implement Sarvajan Hitay Saravjan Sukhay
i.e., for welfare, happiness and peace for all societies.But only in 20
constituencies the EVMs were replaced in UP Assembly election.

She has got full support of Sarvajan Samaj including SC/STs/OBCs/Minorities and the Upper castes.

Because Modi distorted the EVM in 2014 Lok Sabha elections he gobbled the Master Key.

Since Mayawati gave the best governance as CM of UP, she became
eligible to be the next PM. This was not tolerated by the congress. So they tampered the EVMs in favour of SP in 2012.

Now the whole world is aware of the fact that the EVMs could be tampered , distorted and rigged.


Sharad Yadav, stirred a controversy of electoral vote. “Ballot paper ke
bare mein samjhane ki zarurat hai…i.e., there must be an awakening on
the use of Ballot paper instead of EVMs until they are entire replaced.

http://indianexpress.com/…/need-constitutional-amendment-m…/


“We have reached a stage where people are demanding hundred per cent
deployment of paper audit trail machine. Our plan is that by 2019, the
whole country will be covered by paper audit trail machines. The budget
for this has been committed now,” Zaidi said while addressing an
international seminar today.

“The Commission, with certain
additional resources, can undertake the exercise of (holding)
simultaneous elections in future. But there are two pre-conditions.
“One, there should be an amendment in the Constitution through a process
of political consensus and we will need some additional resources in
terms of EVMs (electronic voting machines), etc,” Zaidi said.

http://www.igovernment.in/…/2019-general-elections-have-pap…

2019 general elections to have paper-trail EVMs

Instead of waiting till 2019 the CEC must conduct elections with paper ballots system.

It has been proved any doubt that the EVMs could be tampered.

http://indianexpress.com/…/up-panchayat-polls-bsp-back-to-…/
In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections Ms Mayawati’s BSP lost all the seats in
UP because of these EVMs. But after some months BSP won with thumping
majority with paper ballot system.

http://www.advocatekhoj.com/lib…/judgments/announcement.php…
the Ex CJI sathasivam had committed a grave error of judgement by
ordering that the EVMs will be replaced in a phased manner as suggested
by the ex CEC Sampath because of the cost of Rs 1600 crores involved in
the entire replacement of the EVMs. Only in 8 out of 543 seats were
replaced in 2014 Lok Sabha elections which helped the Murderer of
democratic institutions (Modi) to gobble the Master Key.

After that all state elections are using the very same EVMs that helped the BJP or Congress and their allies getting selected.

In UP elections only in 20 constituencies the EVMs are being replaced.

The CJI and CEC must order for paper ballot system till entire EVMs
were replaced. And also order for dissolving the Central and state
governments selected by these EVMs and go for fresh elections with paper ballot system.

The next general elections are due in 2019.

The paper audit trail machine or Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail
(VVPAT) was first introduced by the Commission in 2013 in order to
enhance transparency in the polls process and increase electorate’s
confidence that their vote goes without error to their desired
candidate.


Once the vote is polled, the VVPAT linked EVM immediately takes a
printout and it is preserved for later use to tally in case there is a
dispute in the final result.

Zaidi, who was speaking on the topic
‘Leveraging Technology for Transparent and Credible Elections’,
stressed that secrecy of voters will be zealously preserved.

For e-postal ballot, Zaidi said a “safe technology” has been developed and it is being “validated and tested currently….”

Zaidi said the EC has always marched along with technology despite
challenges coming its way like “controversies and opposition raised by
political parties and activists” while introducing EVMs as replacement
of the paper ballot system.

He said despite these results, the
EVMs “continued to be attacked by activists in various media and
judicial fora on account of alleged lack of transparency”.

“According to these activists, a voter does not get any physical
evidence whether his voting has gone to the intended candidate.

This in turn has led to introduction of paper audit trail machines after an order of Supreme Court in 2013,” he said.

The CEC said VVPAT machines hence acted to resolve the queries and clarifications sought by people in this regard.


He added that “not a single” dispute has been reported from the country
vis-a-vis VVPAT usage in polls and the EC has deployed more than 20,000
such paper audit trail machines till now.

While moving forward in this direction, the CEC said the most important thing to be kept in mind was the security of the data.


When the BJP was in opposition even the RSS favoured Paper Ballots but
after it came to power they prefer EVMs and gave tickets to RSS cadres
in support of its hindutva rashtra.

Bahuth Jiyadha Psychopaths
continue to harass the voters because they are not bothered about their
votes as long as the EVMs are there to select them.

And also the
Congress, SP, BJP and all their allies are vultures of a feather that
flock together feeding on the bodies of Sarvajan Samaj voters.

BJP is using Religion for votes without any action being taken. RSS a
non political party says reservation should be removed which is against
our Modern Constitution. Again no action is being taken. EVMs were
tampered in favour of Murderer of democratic institutions (Modi)

http://history.edri.org/edri-g…/number7.5/no-evoting-germany

Digital Civil Rights in Europe

No e-voting in Germany

Electronic voting

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: Keine E-Wahlen in Deutschland

Macedonian: Нема е-гласање во Германија

The German Federal Constitutional Court decided on 3 March 2009 that
electronic voting used for the last 10 years, including for the 2005 general
elections, was unconstitutional and therefore not to be used for the next
elections in September 2009.

The court ruled that the use of the electronic machines contradicts the
public nature of elections and the equipment used in 2005 had some
shortcomings. However, as there has been no evidence of errors in the
past, the results of the previous elections remain valid.

The use of e-voting was challenged by political scientist Joachim Wiesner
and his son, physicist Ulrich Wiesner who complained that the system was not
transparent because the voter could not check what actually happened to his
vote, being actually asked to blindly trust the technology. The voting
machines which are manufactured by the Dutch firm Nedap, do not print out
receipts. In the plaintiffs’ opinion, the results could be manipulated.

A petition signed by over 45 000 people in 2005, trying to ban e-voting, had
been rejected by the German Government. Now, the court ruled that the
Federal Voting Machines Ordinance having introduced e-voting was
unconstitutional because it did not “ensure that only such voting machines
are permitted and used which meet the constitutional requirements of the
principle of the public nature of elections.”

Also the court considered that, differently from the traditional voting
system where manipulations and frauds are much more difficult involving a
high degree of effort and a high risk of detection, “programming errors in
the software or deliberate electoral fraud committed by manipulating the
software of electronic voting machines can be recognised only with
difficulty.” Also, in the court’s opinion, the electors should be able to
verify how their vote is recorded without having to possess detailed
computer knowledge. “If the election result is determined through
computer-controlled processing of the votes stored in an electronic memory,
it is not sufficient if merely the result of the calculation process carried
out in the voting machine can be taken note of by means of a summarising
printout or an electronic display.”

A campaign against electronic voting has been initiated by EDRi member Chaos
Computer Club together with the Dutch foundation Wij vertrouwen
stemcomputers niet (We don’t trust voting computers) because of the risk of
electronic errors and the potential for abuse.

After a group of hackers had succeeded in tampering with similar machines in
the Netherlands in 2006, the Dutch Government imposed a moratorium on the
use of electronic voting machines and Ireland also has banned electronic
voting.

German Court Rules E-Voting Unconstitutional (3.03.2009)

http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,4069101,00.html

Federal Constitutional Court - Press release on Use of voting computers in
2005 Bundestag election unconstitutional (3.03.2009)

http://www.bundesverfassungsgericht.de/…/p…/bvg09-019en.html

Voting machines unconstitutional in Germany (3.03.2009)

http://able2know.org/topic/129942-1

EDRi-gram: Electronic voting machines eliminated in the Netherlands
(24.10.2007)

http://www.edri.org/…/number5…/e-voting-machines-netherlands

‹ IRMA tries to block websitesupEP wants a better balance between Internet security and privacy rights ›

Since Congress started distorting EVM in its favour and
then SP to defeat BSP, It has to be watched as to whose benefit
distorting, rigging and tampering will take place. Now the whole world
is aware of the fact that the EVM could be distorted.

खबरदार चुनाव जीतने के लिए भाजपा EVM से छेड़छाड़ कर सकती है | BJP may distort EMV to win election
Just
1% intolerant, violent, militant, shooting, lynching, lunatic, mentally
retarded, terrorist, horrorist cannibal chitpawan brahmin of Rakshasa
Swayam Sevaks (RSS) Jagaran had projected 300 seats for Bahuth Jiyadha
Psychopaths (BJP) and was booked for action.
When the BJP was in opposition the RSS favoured paper
ballots. Now since BJP is in power the want these EVMs to keep tampering
in their favour.

http://news.webindia123.com/…/A…/India/20100828/1575461.html

RSS favours paper ballots, EVMs subjected to public scrutinyNew Delhi | Saturday, Aug 28 2010 IST

Joining
the controversy regarding the reliablity of Electronic Voting Machines
(EVMs) which have been questioned by political parties, the RSS today
asked the Election Commission (EC) to revert back to tried and tested
paper ballots and subject EVMs to public scrutiny whether these gadgets
are tamper proof. In an editorial titled ‘Can we trust our EVMs?’, The
Organiser, the RSS mouthpiece, noted it was a fact that till date an
absolutely tamper-proof machine had not been invented and credibility of
any system depends on ‘transparency, verifiability and trustworthiness’
than on blind and atavistic faith in its infallibility. The issue is
not a ‘private affair’ and it involves the future of India. Even if the
EVMs were genuine, there was no reason for the EC to be touchy about it,
the paper commented. The Government and the EC can’t impose EVMs as a
fait accompli on Indian democracy as the only option before the voter.
There were flaws like booth capturing, rigging, bogus voting, tampering
and ballot paper snatching in the ballot paper system of polling leading
the country to switch over to the EVMs and all these problems were
relevant in EVMs too. Rigging was possible even at the counting stage.
What made the ballot papers voter-friendly was that all aberrations were
taking place before the public eye and hence open for corrections
whereas the manipulations in the EVMs is entirely in the hands of powers
that be and the political appointees manning the sytem, the paper
commented. The EVM has only one advantage — ’speed’ but that advantage
has been undermined by the staggered polls at times spread over three to
four months. ‘’This has already killed the fun of the election
process,’’ the paper noted. Of the dozen General Elections held in the
country, only two were through the EVMs and instead of rationally
addressing the doubts aired by reputed institutions and experts the
Government has resorted to silence its critics by ‘intimidation and
arrests on false charges’, the paper observed, recalling the arrest of
Hyederabad-based technocrat Hari Prasad by the Mumbai Police. Prasad’s
research has proved that the EVMs were ‘vulnerable to fraud’. The
authorities want to send a message that anybody who challenges the EC
runs the risk of persecution and harassment, the RSS observed. Most
countries around the world looked at the EVMs with suspicion and
countries like the Netherlands, Italy, Germany and Ireland had all
reverted back to paper ballots shunning EVMs because they were ‘easy to
falsify, risked eavesdropping and lacked transparency’. Democracy is too
precious to be handed over to whims or an opaque establishment and
network of unsafe gizmos. ‘’For the health of Indian democracy it is
better to return to tried and tested methods or else elections in future
can turn out to be a farce,’’ the editorial said.– (UNI) — 28DI28.xml


Now will the BJP Say ‘Take A Chill Pill’ with its lawmaker Babul
Supriyo allege the RSS. that it has become “inconsequential” and for
whose farewell it is ? Smriti Irani, too, can take a swipe at RSS,
saying it was a case of “sour grapes” when BJP was in opposition.


Now the CEC and CJI must order for dissolution of Central and State
governments selected by these EVMs and go for fresh polls with paper
ballots till the entire EVMs are replaced as we have reached a stage
where people are demanding hundred per cent deployment of paper audit
trail machine. And as the plan is that by 2019, the whole country will
be
covered by paper audit trail machines. The budget for this has been
committed now as said by Zaidi.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________



Electronic voting machines
 EVM is not tamper-free & needs rectification : Swamy to Delhi HC
PTI
New
Delhi: Janata Party president Subramanium Swamy today contended before
the Delhi high court that Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) is not
tamper-free and it needs rectification to ensure free and fair
elections.
Appearing before a Bench headed by the acting chief
justice Madan B Lokur, Swamy said EVMs should not be used without paper
receipts.

Swamy contested the Election Commission’s claim that EVMs were tamper-proof, claiming it has been proved wrong.

The
former MP said EC’s refusal to entertain his request for the dual
system forced him to approach the court for its intervention in the
matter.

He said that EVM is not a unique instrument as claimed by
the Commission since Bharat Electronics Limited and Electronics
Corporation of India Limited, who have developed the machines, have
withdrawn the application for patent before the World Intellectual
Property Organisation.

The court after hearing his arguments
adjourned the matter for April 14 as he sought time to place some more
documents before it.

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_evm-is-not-tamper-free-and-needs-rectification-swamy-to-delhi-hc_1349162

With EVMs public do NOT know if results are accurate: Prof. Dill

http://www.scribd.com/doc/26954805/Dr-Dill-Letter-to-ECI

Dr.
David L. Dill, Prof. of Computer Science, Stanford University wrote to
Mr. Navin Chawla, Chief Election Commissioner on 3 Feb. 2010 on the
ongoing debate on the usage of EVMs in India.

He writes:

[quote]…An
important function of elections is to establish the legitimacy of the
elected officials in the eyes of the public. Skeptical, untrusting
observers should be able to see that election results are correct. It is
not sufficient for election results to be accurate; the public must
KNOW that the results are accurate. Civil society is damaged if
elections are not credible, even when fraud cannot be demonstrated.

In
traditional elections, paper ballots contribute to election credibility
because voters can ensure that their votes have been properly recorded
(when they write them on the ballot), and poll workers and observers at
the polling place can ensure that ballots are not changed, added or
removed after being deposited in the ballot box. In contrast, purely
electronic voting machines do not allow voters to verify that their
votes have been accurately recorded, and do not allow observers to
witness that the ballots have not been tampered with. Electronic voting
machines provide no evidence during or after the election to convince a
skeptic that the election results are accurate.

It is not clear
that this situation would be acceptable even if electronic voting
machines could be guaranteed to be accurate and honest. But such
assurances are well beyond the current state of computer technology.
More importantly, it is not feasible to prevent malicious changes to the
machines’ hardware or software. Computers are especially vulnerable to
malicious changes by insiders such as designers, programmers,
manufacturers, maintenance technicians etc. Indeed it is not known how
to build trustworthy paperless electronic voting systems even using
EXTREME security measures. Of course, these problsms are magnified
enormously when the design of the machines is held secret from
independent reviewers.

I understand that the argument has been
raised in India that the EVMs are safe because they are not connected to
a network. All of the concerns I raise apply to non-networked machines,
since voting machines in the U.S. are also never connected to the
Internet. For example, a manufacturer or technician can maliciously
change the software or hardware on a machine whether it is connected to a
network or not.

With current technology, the only trustworthy
voting methods are those that allow individual voters to verify that
their votes have been properly recorded on a paper ballot. In the United
States, most voting systems rely on paper ballots that are filled out
directly by the voters, and counted either by hand or by machine. If the
votes are counted by machine, it is necessary to audit the performance
of the machines by choosing groups of ballots at random and counting
them by hand.

…’Computerized voting equipment is inherently
subject to programming error, equipment malfunction, and malicious
tampering.’ It is time to recognize the reality that there is no basis
for public trust in paperless electronic voting equipment.

I
would  be happy to discuss this topic with you further, including
technical issues, referring you to individuals with various kinds of
expertise whom I know, or sharing more detailed experiences with
electronic voting issues in the United States. We can converse by
telephone, email, or you would be welcome to visit me at Stanford if you
are in the United States. I look forward to hearing from you…[unquote]
EVM’s credibility questioned
URVASHI SARKAR, THE HINDU, 16 FEB. 2010
Though
electronic voting machines were used in the general elections in the
country in 2004 and 2009, there were many complaints and allegations
regarding their use, Save Indian Democracy member Satya Dosapati said
here on Tuesday.

“The problems associated with EVMs are not
unique to India, other countries such as the United States and Europe
too have experienced them. Therefore many countries are now
reconsidering the use of EVMs,” he added.

Addressing a press
conference, Mr. Dosapati said there was need for a debate on the merits
and demerits of the use of EVMs and the paper ballot system.

He
referred to a letter written by Stanford University professor Dr. David
Dill to the Chief Election Commissioner
(http://www.scribd.com/doc/26954805/Dr-Dill-Letter-to-ECI) of India. The
letter states that paper ballots contributed to election credibility
since voters could ensure that their votes had been properly recorded
when they wrote them on the ballot and poll workers and observers at the
venue could ensure that ballots were not changed, added or removed
after being deposited in the ballot box.

On the other hand EVMs
did not allow voters to verify that their votes had been accurately
recorded or allow observers to witness that the ballots had not been
tampered with. EVMs provided no evidence during or after the elections
to convince sceptics that the election results were accurate, the letter
said.

Mentioning instances of countries which had banned EVMs
for elections, Mr. Dosapati said: “The German Supreme Court has banned
EVMs while the Netherlands too has banned them despite spending millions
of dollars to operate them. About 21 States in the US have paper-backed
elections.”

He also cited an Indian organisation Voter Watch which claimed that EVMs could be tampered with.

Speaking
about why Germany decided to discontinue with EVMs, attorney Dr. Till
Jaeger said: “EVMs which were in use in Germany since 1998 were banned
by a Supreme Court order in 2009. The use of EVMs was considered
unconstitutional as long as there was no paper-based proof to show
voting activity.”

“The election process should be public and
verifiable. There is a lack of public control in using these machines,”
Dr. Jaeger added, saying that there was no way of finding out what
happened to one’s vote once it was registered by the machine.

“One
cannot see if the machine is tampered with. In the paper ballot system,
some observation is possible. If ballot boxes are stuffed, one can at
least see it happening. The use of EVMs may seem efficient but is still
not justifiable.” he said.

Email the Editor

http://beta.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/article107694.ece

 
EVM violates secrecy of ballot by booth profiling
 

This report from Sikkim about EVMs raises an important point against the use of EVMs.
Paper ballot system maintains secrecy of the vote. EVM breaches the secrecy of the vote.
When
paper ballots are used, there is a procedure to mix up the ballots from
all the ballot boxes of a constituency before counting begins.
With
the EVMs, votes polled in every booth become known, EVM control unit by
EVM control unit and thus expose the votes of a booth to intimidation by
political parties.
Kalyanaraman
 
Sikkim to suggest amalgamation of EVM data into Master EVM
Sikkim Express: www.sikkimexpress.com
 
Sikkim to suggest amalgamation of EVM data into Master EVM
GANGTOK,
January 29: Sikkim is seeking to suggest the Election Commission of
India (ECI) to introduce such a device which is capable of amalgamating
all the data fed in the EVMs at various polling booths into a Master EVM
in an individual constituency to ensure even freer and fair elections.
According
to AIR Gangtok evening news broadcasted today, Joint Chief Electoral
Officer CP Dhakal said that the Chief Electoral Officer Vijay Bhushan
Pathak will be raising the issue at the All India Conference of Chief
Electoral Officers at Jaisalmer in Rajasthan on February 4 and 5.
Dhakal
said that the Chief Election Commissioner will also be requested to
issue necessary directions to the Electronics Corporation of India
Limited (ECIL) or the Bharart Electronics Limited (BEL) for production
of such devices as to ensure a more objective polling process.
Dhakal
recalled that when the ballot papers were being used for polling, prior
to switching over to the EVMs, the ballot papers from all the ballot
boxes, from various polling booths in an individual constituency, were
used to be mixed up well before the counting of votes began at the
counting centres.
The AIR broadcast pointed that such a
recommendation from the State Election Office assumes much significance
in the light of the fact that the State had experienced post-violence in
the past. Even today some of the opposition leaders in the State
complain of alleged discrimination by the State Government and
intimidation by the ruling party workers against their supporters on the
basis of their voting choice.

http://voiceofsikkim.com/2010/01/30/sikkim-to-suggest-amalgamation-of-evm-data-into-master-evm/comment-page-1/

EVM: Parakesarivarma Chola’s intellectual property right
EVM
or secret balloting while ensuring the public nature of the elections
is as old as Parakesarivarma Chola, who, about 1000 years ago wrote the
procedure in an inscription on stone. This is also known as kudavolai
stone inscription. (kudam means ‘pot’ as ballot box; olai means
‘palm-leaf’ as ballot).

This was the basis for the Constitution
of India which has the basic feature of democratic republic. The
inscription was also discussed in the Constituent Assembly.
http://164.100.47.132/lssnew/constituent/vol4p8.pdf T. Prakasam, Member
of the Constituent Assembly, 23rd JULY 1947 stated: Adult suffrage is
not a new thing. as imagined by some of our friends, handed down to us
by Great Britain. Adult suffrage you will find inscribed on the stone
walls of a temple in the village of Uttaramerur twenty miles from
Conjeeveram, the whole structure of democracy of those days just a
thousand years ago,-many of us imagine that it is Great Britain that has
given us the democratic process of election; that is not so. You will
find ‘on the stone walls of that temple written in the Tamil language an
inscription to the effect that there was democratic election carried on
then on the basis of adult suffrage a thousand years ago. There was
adult suffrage as stated there. There were no wooden boxes which could
be used as ballot boxes, but cadjan leaves were used as ballot papers
and pots as ballot boxes. That is the way in which they carried on the
administration of the country, even in the villages; and it is the
misfortune of this country that we have fallen on evil days and came
under the rule of different kings.

Cholas had an advanced system democratic republic for local-self governance of villages.

I
am attaching photographs of the rule books of the 1000-year old stone
inscription; I request Govt. of India through Chief Election
Commissioner of India to seek an international patent for the stunning
and stable election process for a democratic republic. (Actual date of
the inscription is: mudalam parantakanin padinankavatu aandu padinaram
naal, that is, the 16th day of the fourteenth year of Parantaka Chola
king).

The kudam ‘pot’ used is the electronic machine part of
EVM. I challenge anyone to tamper with an ancient pot from Chola days.
The terracotta and palm-leaves are non-tamperable and are, respectively,
authentic ballot boxes and authentic ballots which can be preserved for
thousands of years in the vaults of the Election Commission.

Uttaramerur Inscription: Recording the Mode of Election to Village Assemblies in the Tenth Century A.D.

The text of the inscription is in V. Venkayya, Annual Report on Epigraphy, 1904

King

Parakesarivarman, who conquered Madurai.

Date

On the sixteenth day of the fourteenth year.

Royal Order

Whereas
a royal letter of His Majesty, our lord, the glorious  Viranarayana,
the illustrious Parantakadeva, the prosperous Parkesarivarman, was
received and was shown to us,

The Village

We, the members of the assembly of Uttaramerur-caturvedi-mangalam in its own subdivision of Kaliyurkottam,

Officer Present

Karanjai Kondaya-Kramavitta bhattan alias Somasiperuman of Srivanganagar in Purangarambainadu, a district of the Chola country,

Settlement

Sitting
with us and convening the committee in accordance with the royal
command, made a settlement as follows according tothe terms of the royal
letter for choosing once every year from this year forward members for
the “Annual Committee”, “Garden Committee”, and “Tank Committee”:

Wards

There shall be thirty wards;

Qualifications

In
these thirty wards, those that live in each ward shall assemble and
shall choose for “pot-tickets” ( Kudav Olai) anyone possessing the
following qualifications:

 
(a) He must own more than a quarter veli of tax-paying land;

(b) He must live in a house built on his own site;

(c) His age must be below 70 and above 35;

(d) He must know the  Mantrabrahmana, i.e., he must know it by teaching others;

(e)
Even if one owns only one-eighth  veli of land, he should have his name
written on the pot-ticket to be put into the pot, in case he has learnt
one Veda and one of the four bhasyas by explaining it to others.

 
Among those possessing the foregoing qualifications:

 
(f) Only such as are well conversant with business and are virtuous shall be taken and,

(g)
One who possesses honest earnings, whose mind is pure and who has not
been on any of the committees for the last three years shall also be
chosen.

 
Disqualifications

 
(a)  One who has been
on any of the committees but has not submitted his accounts, and all his
relations, specified below, shall not have their names written on the
pot-tickets and put into the pot;

(b) The sons of the younger and elder sisters of his mother,

(c) The sons of his paternal aunt and maternal uncle,

(d) The uterine brother of his mother,

(e) The uterine brother of his father,

(f) His uterine brother,

(g) His father-in-law,

(h) The uterine brother of his wife,

(i) The husband of his uterine sister,

(j) The sons of his uterine sister,

(k) The son-in-law who has married his daughter,

(l) His father,

(m) His son;

(n) One against whom incest ( agamyagamana) or the first four of the five great sins are recorded,

(o) All his relations above specified shall not have their names written on the pot-tickets and put into the pot;

(p) One who is foolhardy;

(q) One who has stolen the property of another;

(r) One who has taken forbidden dishes (?) of any kind and who has become pure by performing expiation;

(s) One who has committed sins and has become pure by performing expiatory ceremonies;

(t) One who is guilty of incest and has become pure by performing expiatory ceremonies.

(u)
All these thus specified shall not to the end of their lives have their
names written on the pot-ticket to be put into the pot for any of the
committees.

Mode of Election

Excluding all these,
thus specified, names shall be written for pot-tickets in the thirty
wards and each of the wards in these twelve streets of Uttaramerur shall
prepare a separate covering ticket for each of the thirty wards bundled
separately. These packets shall be put into a pot. When the pot-tickets
have to be drawn, a full meeting of the Great Assembly, including the
young and old members, shall be convened. All the temple priests
(Numbimar) who happen to be in the village on that day, shall, without
any exception whatever, be caused to be seated in the inner hall, where
the great assembly meets.

In the midst of the temple priests one
of them, who happens to be the eldest, shall stand up and lift that pot
looking upwards so as to be seen by all people. One ward, i.e., the
packet representing it, shall be taken out by any young boy standing
close, who does not know what is inside, and shall be transferred to
another empty pot and shaken. From this pot one ticket shall be drawn by
the young boy and made over to the arbitrator (madhyastha). While
taking charge of the ticket thus given to him, the arbitrator shall
receive it on the palm of his hand with the five fingers open. He shall
read out the name in the ticket thus received. The ticket read by him
shall also be read out by all the priests present in the inner hall. The
name thus read out shall be put down (and accepted). Similarly one man
shall be chosen for each of the thirty wards.

Constitution of the Committee

Of
the thirty men thus chosen, those who had previously been on the Garden
committee and on the Tank committee, those who are advanced in
learning, and those who are advanced in age shall be chosen for the
Annual Committee. Of the rest, twelve shall be taken for the Garden
committee and the remaining six shall form the Tank committee. These
last two committees shall be chosen by showing the Karai.

Duration of the Committees

The
great men of these three committees thus chosen for them shall hold
office for full three hundred and sixty days and then retire.

Removal of Persons Found Guilty

When
one who is on the committee is found guilty of any offence, he shall be
removed at once: for appointing the committees after these have
retired, the members of the Committee “for Supervision of Justice” in
the twelve streets of Uttaramerur shall convene an assembly kuri with
the help of the Arbitrator. The committees shall be appointed by drawing
pot-tickets according to this order of settlement.

Pancavara and Gold Committees

For
the Pancavara committee and the Gold committee, names shall be written
for pot-tickets in the thirty wards. Thirty packets with covering
tickets shall be deposited in a pot and thirty pot-tickets shall be
drawn as previously described. From these thirty tickets chosen,
twenty-four shall be for the Gold committee and the remaining six for
the Pancavara committee. When drawing pot-tickets for these two
committees next year, the wards which have been already represented
during the year in question on these committees shall be excluded and
the reduction made from the remaining wards by drawing theKarai. One who
has ridden on an ass and one who has committed forgery shall not have
his name written on the pot-ticket to be put into the pot.

Qualification of the Accountant

Any
Arbitrator who possesses honest earnings shall write the accounts of
the village. No accountant shall be appointed to that office again
before he submits his accounts for the period during which he was in
office to the great men of the big committee and is declared to have
been honest. The accounts which one has been writing, he shall submit
himself and no other accountant shall he chosen to close his accounts.

King’s Order

Thus,
from this year onwards, as long as the moon and the sun endure,
committees shall always be appointed by pot-tickets alone. To this
effect was the royal letter received and shown to us graciously issued
by Lord of Gods, the emperor, one who is fond of learned men, the
wrestler with elephants, the crest jewel of heroes, whose acts i.e.,
gifts, resemble those of the celestial tree, the glorious
Parakesarivarman.

Officer Present

At the royal command,
Karanjai Kondaya Kramavitta bhattan alias Somasiperuman of Srivanganagar
in Purangarambai-nadu, a district of the Chola country, sat with us and
thus caused this settlement to be made.

Villager’s Decision

We,
the members of the assembly of Uttaramerur Caturvedimangalam, made this
settlement for the prosperity of our village in order that wicked men
may perish and the rest may prosper.

The Scribe

At the
order of the great men, sitting in the assembly, I, the Arbitrator
Kadadippottan Sivakkuri Rajamallamangalapriyan, thus wrote this
settlement.

http://www.vasucv.com/tirukkovil/uttara-inscriptions_files/image002.jpg

 http://www.vasucv.com/tirukkovil/uttara-inscriptions_files/image003.jpg

Full reading is at http://www.vasucv.com/tirukkovil/uttara-inscriptions.htm

S. Kalyanaraman, Director Sarasvati Research Centre

Kalyan97@gmail.com 15 Feb. 2010

http://www.scribd.com/doc/26863214/EVM-parakesarivarmachola

Intellectual property?
There
are two types of EVMs. One with date-time stamp (introduced for 2009
polls by ECI) and another WITHOUT such stamping feature. According to
ECI website, the processor chip is imported from Japan.

In
reality, the microchips are delivered by Microchip USA and Renesas Japan
local agents to ECIL and BEL from Microchip, USA and Renesas, Japan as
masked microchips (to ECIL) or One time programmable read only memory
(OTP-ROM) microchips (to BEL).

The following is the status of the patent pending according to the World Intellectual Property Organization website:

EVM
India, BEL’s application of 2002 for patent.
http://www.sumobrain.com/patents/wipo/Electronic-voting-machine-evm/WO2002084607.html
http://www.wipo.int/pctdb/en/wo.jsp?WO=2002084607
Report
generated on: 14.02.2010
http://www.wipo.int/pctdb/iasr?IA=IN2002000043&LANGUAGE=EN&ID=0&VOL=0&DOC=0&WO=02/084607&WEEK=null&TYPE=&DOC_TYPE=IASR&PAGE=1
Intl. Application status report
http://www.wipo.int/pctdb/en/wads.jsp?IA=IN2002000043&LANGUAGE=EN&ID=09006361800979b0&VOL=17&DOC=006533&WO=02/084607&WEEK=43/2002&TYPE=A1&DOC_TYPE=PAMPH&PAGE=1
Drawings
 
Figure 18 shows the state transition diagram of voting
process. It also gives the different state of the machine and change
over from one state to other.

http://www.wipo.int/pctdb/en/wads.jsp?IA=IN2002000043&LANGUAGE=EN&ID=09006361800979b0&VOL=17&DOC=006533&WO=02/084607&WEEK=43/2002&TYPE=A1&DOC_TYPE=PAMPH&PAGE=1
Figure 18
Title:
ELECTRONIC VOTING MACHINE (EVM)
Abstract:
The
ballot unit (BU) which contains sixteen candidate buttons and indicator
lamps for each candidate button is interconnected to control unit (CU)
through a five-meter-length twenty-five core flat jacketed cable. The
control unit (CU), initially set for a particular number of contesting
candidates, activates the ballot unit (BU). The voting continues until
all the voters cast their votes. On completion of voting, operating the
close button (28) closes the control unit (CU), machine power switched
off, and control unit (CU) is packed into carrying case and taken into
the counting centers for the counting of votes. The result of the
election is displayed on the display screen (12) upon pressing of a
result button (29, 30) in the control unit (CU). The recorded votes cast
against each candidate are displayed sequentially in the display screen
(12) with a buzzer beep sound. The voting data is retained in the
memory even if power is switched off. The machine can be used for
conducting simultaneous elections using the auxiliary control unit (ACU)
along with the main control unit (CU). The entire machine is operated
by a 7.5V battery and allows the selection of a maximum of sixty-four
contesting candidates. Compartments are provided in the machine
constructed according to the invention with interlocking and thread
sealing features, the machine thus being tamper proof, error free and
easy to operate. The voting data recorded once are retained in the
memory until it is erased by operating a clear button (31). The entire
machine is constructed in injection moulded plastic for mass manufacture
and fabricated of light weight. The machine is convenient to use and
portable.
Inventors:
Rajagopalan, Jagannathan (353 11th Cross, 14th Main J.P. Nagar, II Phas, Bangalore 8 Karnataka, 560 07, IN)
Publication Date:
October 24, 2002
Filing Date:
March 13, 2002
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
BHARAT ELECTRONICS LIMITED (At Trade Center, 116/2 Race Course Roa, Bangalore 1 Karnataka, 560 00, IN)
Rajagopalan, Jagannathan (353 11th Cross, 14th Main J.P. Nagar, II Phas, Bangalore 8 Karnataka, 560 07, IN)
International Classes:
G07C13/00
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Alamelu, Vaidyanathan (451 2nd Cross, 3rd Block 3rd Stage, Basaveshwaranaga, Bangalore 9 Karnataka, 560 07, IN)
Claims:
CLAIMS
1.
An
Apparatus for conducting elections for Parliament, State Assembly,
Municipal and other local bodies on the majority voting scheme as per
constitution of India on   secret ballot and one voteronevote principle
comprising. a) A control unit having an OTP Micro controller (One time
programmable) to collect, record and store, count and display, a non
volatile data memory being interfaced serially to the Microcontroller,
the said memory stores the data during voting process, the various
control signals are generated through the shift register, a power
monitoring circuit to generate the reset to the Microcontroller, a seven
segment drivedecoder to generate display data, a ballot unit interface
along with the necessary connector, all being housed in a housing, the
top portion of the control unit being divided in to four sections i. e.,
(i) A display section consisting of two lamps ON to indicate that the
machine is ready for use and BUSY to indicate that the voter can record
his vote, and the display panelsone of 2 digits and the other of four
digits to display the   no of candidates, total number of votes polled,
individual votes for each candidate and the errors, if any, (ii)
Candidate set section divided into two parts, one having”Candidate Set
Button”to set the number of contesting candidates, the other part for
carrying the power pack, two doors, one to cover the candidate set
button individually and the other which covers the entire section, (iii)
Result section divided into two parts, one having the close button to
close the polling operations, the other part divided into three sub
sections wherein result I and Result II buttons and clear buttons are
housed, the result buttons are used to display the results and clear
button is used to clear the previous voting records, two separate doors,
one to lock the result button sub sections and another to cover the
entire section and (iv) Ballot section wherein”ballot button”to permit
the voter to cast a vote and total buttons to show the total number of
votes polled are housed, and (b) a ballot unit having a base which
encloses a printed circuit board and a cover thereof, a connector box
for inter connecting cables to the control unit, sixteen push button
voting switches (one switch for each contesting candidates), an
indicator lamp which glows when the voter is permitted to vote, a slide
switch to indicate the ballot unit number.
 
2.
Apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein multilevel thread sealing provision is made to protect against any possible tampering.
 
3.
Apparatus
as claimed in claim 1, wherein the control unit and ballot unit are
made by injection moulded plastic parts, fastenerless heat sealing
assembly technique, which provides consistent quality for mass
production at economical cost.
 
4.
Apparatus as claimed in
claim 1, wherein said base comprises of rectangular moulded base
providing locating latches, guides for inserting PCB, self tapping
bosses to fix PCB, heat sealing pipes to seal door II & III, cutout
for accommodating rear door and pips with depression for fixing serial
number plate.
 
5.
Apparatus as claimed in claim 1, including
cover, rectangular moulded part contains   compartments for ballot,
total, close, result I, result II, cand. set and clear buttons, a cavity
to accommodate doors II, door III & door IV, a compartment for
power pack, windows for ON, Serial number, Votes and busy indication,
protrusion to hold the rear door, counter bore to fix cover to base at
the four locations with selftapping screws.
 
6.
Apparatus as
claimed in claim 1, wherein said door I is a moulded cover including
cutouts to reach result keys form cover, latches to open from inside,
lugs for thread   sealing to the cover.
 
7.
Apparatus as
claimed in claim 1, wherein said door II is a cover hinged to base and
enclosing the close, results and clear button, Slots for latching to
base, and slant surface with hole to thread seal to the base.
 
8.
Apparatus
as claimed in claim 1 including door III comprising moulded panel
hinged to base enclosing cand. set switch, power pack compartments, slot
for latching to base, and slant surface with hole to thread seal to the
base.
 
9.
Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 including door IV,
comprising moulded cover hinged to the main cover and enclosing cand.
set swich and lugs for thread sealing to the cover.
 
10.
Apparatus
as claimed in claim 1, wherein a panel enclosing the out going
connector compartment, rotates and opens out for interconnection, latch
and thread sealing lugs on both sides. 1I.
 
11.
Apparatus as claimed in claim 1, including spacers for sandwich mounting of PCB between base and cover.
 
12.
Apparatus
as claimed in claim 1, including the construction of recessed switch
knob to ensure deliberate pressing by voter to record the votes.
 
13.
Apparatus
as claimed in claim 1, wherein said base is a rectangular moulded panel
with self tapping holes to fix PCB, provision for fixing stand,
compartment for connector interconnecting and sealing pipes to fix
serial number plate.
 
14.
Apparatus as claimed in claim 1,
wherein said base is a rectangular moulded panel with self tapping holes
to fix PCB, provision for fixing stand, Compartment for connector
interconnecting and sealing pipes to fix serial number plate.
 
15.
Apparatus
as claimed in claim 1 including cover, rectangular moulded panel with
oblong cutouts to operate switch knob to register the vote, stepped slot
to fit cover ballot sheet, slots to hold right and left flops at
extreme corners and pips for fixing hinges at the bottom side.
 
16.
Apparatus
as claimed in claim 1 including PCB cover, rectangular panel enclosing
the PCB and provided ing holes for inserting sixteen sets of switch and
close knobs.
 
17.
Apparatus as claimed in claim 1, including
cover ballot sheet, transparent cover for inserting paper containing
name, serial number and election symbol of contesting candidates, fixed
to cover with round latch for easy rotation.
 
18.
Apparatus as
claimed in claim 1, including switch knob and closing knob constructed
in that form to operate one at a time in the oblong opening, the
construction of movement of one knob brings other knob into position.
 
19.
Apparatus
as claimed in claim 1, including flap right and left enclosing latch of
main cover and provided with thread sealing slots to cover and base to
protect against possible tampering by the voters.
 
20.
Apparatus
as claimed in claim 1, including door connector box, moulded cover
enclosing rear compartment to protect cascading connector and cable.
 
21.
Apparatus
as defined in claim 1, including the signal integrity established
between   Microcontroller, Data memory and ballot unit so that these
three will work in unified manner.
 
22.
Apparatus as claimed
in claim 1, including the construction of Battery pack in moulded case
with polarised plug, which is unique and fool proof that different
battery cannot be used along with Low battery indication means to
facilitate replacement of battery at any stage of polling process and
the process can be continued without any loss of voting data.
 
23.
Apparatus
as claimed in claim 1, including the powering scheme of ballot units
from the control unit, which gives a unique nature of signal integrity
(Scanning process) for the machine, high current drivers used to drive
the ballot unit to cater to the twentymeter distance between the polling
officer and voting compartment and the slide switch setting in ballot
unit makes it unique and cannot be interchanged during poll.
 
24.
Apparatus
as claimed in claim 1, including the method MicroController (OTP) used
to store the firmware, which cannot be changed or modified once fused,
the non volatile data memory (EEPROM) is tightly coupled to the
microcontroller through unique protocol to store the data during the
voting process, and every time the microcontroller checks the check sum
of the data memory (EEPROM) to establish link to proceed with the voting
process, in case of mismatch the machine displays Er message, which
eliminates the tampering the micro controller of EEPROM by replacement
of external components.
 
25.
Apparatus as claimed in claim 1,
including the scheme of data memory written in encrypted form and has
been split into two banks and the ballot counting is stored in both
banks, at every instance of a change in the data memory, the data is
stored in two different ways and both are verified to check the
correctness of the operation and the data can be decrypted only by the
firmware in the micro controller, hence it is not possible to corrupt
firmware of data by any known means.
 
26.
Apparatus as claimed
defined in claim 1, including the implementation of effective  
redundancy scheme with two independent nonvolatile memory devices
(EEPROM) to store the data, effectively four banks are used to store
data and at every operation all the four banks are checked and atleast
two banks should contain the correct data as per the firmware’s
expectations and if data are not found in atleast any of the two banks
then a fatal error is declared and the whole unit is unusable at this
state.
 
27.
Apparatus as defined in claim 1, including the
printing of stored data memory through a printer interface module at any
number of times in the life of the machine unless deliberately erased
by operating the clear button. This emulates the manual ballot paper
method as per the constitutional requirements.
 
28.
Apparatus
as defined in claim 1, including the unidirectional operational sequence
of Machine in which a) Contesting candidate setting cannot be changed
unless the   result is seen once, b) Votes cannot be cast on the machine
unless it is in the cleared condition (Previous voting data erased), c)
Votes cannot be added to the machine once it is closed (by pressing the
close button), d) Result cannot be seen unless the machine is closed,
e) The machine cannot be cleared unless the result is seen at least once
and the clearing operation requires the ballot unit inter connection,
which eliminates accidental erasing.
 
29.
Apparatus as defined
in claim 1 including the regulation of voting in which the machine
accepts maximum of 5 votes per minute and this feature discourages
rigging and both capturing.
Description:
This Invention relates to
an Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) PREAMBLE The prior art is known as
manual ballot paper voting method in which every voter is provided with a
ballot paper containing serial number, names of the contesting
candidates, their election symbol and space to record votes. The
recording of vote is done by putting’X mark using rubber stamp in the
space provided against the candidate in the ballot paper. After
recording vote, the voters deposit the ballot paper in a sealed metallic
box (Ballot box). On completion of voting, the ballot papers are taken
to the counting centers. The seals of ballot box is opened in the
presence of candidates/agents and the votes are counted manually by
identifying’X’stamp mark against the candidate. The candidate who
secured highest number of votes is declared winner as per the
constitution of India.
The shortcomings of the prior art (manual ballot paper voting method) are 1. Involves printing of huge volume of ballot paper.

2. Storage and distribution of ballot paper requires large manpower and security.

3. Accounting and issue of ballot paper is a tedious work and error prone.

4. Manual counting of votes requires large manpower, time and prone to human error.

5. Re-counting is time consuming and costly.

6. Segregation of invalid votes is cumbersome and leads to disputes lfights, among candidates.

7. Manual voting is prone to mal-practices, booth capturing-not tamper proof.

Due
to the ever increasing population and frequency of elections, there is a
definite need to bring out improvement over manual ballot paper voting
method, which is 1. Fool proof, trouble free and cost effective.

2. To conduct election, paper less and count the votes automatically, so that the result can be declared immediately.

3. To eliminate the invalid votes so that the dispute of segregation of invalid votes eliminated.

4.
Reduce the overall election expenditure, to the government (The
election expenditure is increasing due to the frequent elections).

5.
Reduce drastically the volume of Ballot paper printing from the current
requirement of more then 70 million papers for manual voting for one
general election (Papers less system) The Electronic Voting Machine
(EVM) of the present invention is provided with all the \ above needed
improvements over the manual ballot paper voting method which are
explained in the succeeding paragraphs.

Summary of the invention.

The
present invention relates to an Electronic Voting Machine (EVM)
consisting of Control Unit (CU) and Ballot Unit (BU) for conduct of
elections in place of conventional manual ballot paper voting method.
The invention totally replaces the existing manual

method by the
use of apparatus constructed in accordance to the invention and
operational requirements as per the constitution of India for fool
proof, error free and cost saving way to conduct elections for electing
members of state assembly, parliament and other municipal bodies based
on majority voting scheme. The apparatus of the invention is convenient,
simple to operate and portable. Another important feature of this
machine is the facia construction of the control unit and ballot unit,
which is as per the constitutional requirement of India. Use of this
machine eliminates invalid voters, cumbersome procedure and disputes in
segregation of invalid votes as in manual ballot voting scheme. By the
use of EVM, the labour can be minimized at poling centers as well as
counting centers. The feature of the machine are illustrated below.

The
Electronic voting machine of the present invention consists of two
units, i. e. a balloting unit which the voter operates to exercise
his/her franchise and a control unit which controls the polling process.
It is operated by the Presiding Officer or the First Polling Officer.

The
Control Unit (CU) constructed in accordance with a invention is built
around a Micro - Controller [One time Programmable (OTIR)]. The control
unit is divided into four sections, i. e. a. display section, b.
candidate set section, c. result section and d. ballot section. The said
sections, are provided with seven control buttons namely cand. set,
ballot, close, result I, result B, total and clear buttons. Light
emitting diode (LED) indicates ON and BUSY condition of the machine. Six
digits of seven segment LED is

provided for the display of
result and error messages. Operation of cand. set switch sets the number
of contesting candidate in control unit. Ballot switch operation
energizes the ballot unit, receives and records one vote in control
unit. Close button operation ends the voting process, The machine
records the total number of votes polled and votes against each
contesting candidate during the polling. On the operation of Result
switch, the vote recorded against every contesting candidate is
displayed sequentially. Clear operation erases all previous voting data
stored in the machine. Print of recorded voting data is obtained through
a printer interface unit.

The Ballot Unit (BU) constructed in
accordance with the invention has sixteen (16) push button voting
switches and indicator lamps. The voting buttons are provided in a
recessed oblong cutout in the cover so that the buttons are deliberately
pressed by the voters for recording of votes and not by accidental
pressing. The top cover has a transparent cover for inserting ballot
paper to display the names of contesting candidates, their serial number
and election symbol. This cover can be sealed inside the panel by
thread seal to protect the ballot paper against any tampering. Green LED
lamp is provided for indicating the energized condition of the machine
to the Voter. Five meter flat cable provides interconnection to the
control unit to receive the signal. Slide Switch is used to indicate the
ballot unit number, which is set depending on the number of contesting
candidates. The rear compartment receives the interconnecting cable of
the cascading ballot unit when the machine is used for more than sixteen
contesting candidates.

The machine is constructed using
injection moulded plastic parts, which provides consistent quality, high
volume output for mass production. Fastnerless assembly of plastic
components used in the construction of machine to achieve consistent
quality and cost effective product. The voting machine designed with
injection moulded carrying cases for movement/transportation to any
location for usage. The machine constructed to operate with 7.5V battery
power source. It can be deployed in places where no electrical power is
available. Machine construction with multilevel interlocking
panels/section makes it fool proof, easy to use by common man.

Other
features and advantages of the machine will be apparent from the
following description, the accompanying drawings and the appended
claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS: Fig. 1 shows the
perspective view of control unit to control the polling process, which
is constructed in accordance with the invention.

Fig. 2 is a fragmentary perspective view showing hinging arrangement of Door I & Door II to the Base of the control unit.

Fig. 3 is a fragmentary perspective view of showing the rear door of the control unit.

Fig 4 is a fragmentary perspective view of the control unit base showing the assembly of Printed Circuit Board (PCB).

Fig
5 is a perspective view of the control unit in fully assembled
conditions showing four sections, of the control unit namely A) Display
section B) candidate section, C) Result section D). Ballot section.

Fig 6 is an exploded view of control unit showing parts constructed in accordance with the invention.

Fig 7 shows view of switch knob and closing knob of Ballot Unit constructed in accordance with the invention.

Fig 8 is a fragmentary perspective view illustrating the arrangements of hinge, flap right, cover LED red.

Fig. 9 is a perspective view of Ballot unit, which is constructed in accordance with the invention.

Fig. 10 is a perspective view of internal construction of ballot unit.

Fig.
ll is a fragmentary perspective view illustrating door connector box
with cable clamp, lockingpin with flaps and rubber stand Fig. 12 is an
exploded view of balloting unit constructed in accordance with the
invention.

Fig. 13. is a diagram of Auxiliary Control Unit (ACU) constructed in accordance with the invention.

Fig. 14 is a schematic block diagram of Control Unit constructed in accordance with the invention.

Fig. 15 is a schematic block diagram of Ballot Unit constructed in accordance with the invention.

Fig. 16 is the connectivity scheme EVM for single poll mode.

Fig. 17 is the connectivity scheme of EVM for dual poll mode.

Fig. 18 is the state transition diagram of Electronic Voting Machine constructed in accordance with the invention.

DESCRIPTION
OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT : Referring the drawing of the Control Unit
illustrated in Fig. l includes an aesthetically designed plastic molded
base 2 which enclosed Printed Circuit Board 35 (PCB) shown in Fig. 4
and cover 1 consists of four sections Display Section, Candidate
Section, Result Section and Ballot Section as shown in fig. 5. a)
Display Section consists of two lamps ON, Busy, and two display panels,
one of 2 digits and other of 4 digits. (Fig. 5) b) The Candidate Section
(fig. 5) has a cover, which opens from, left to right. On opening its
cover by pressing the latch on the left-hand side, two compartments are
seen. The left compartment is for the battery 34 rated 7.5V, 2Ah. In the
right compartment, a Candid button is located. The Candidate Set
Section is closed and sealed by Door I as shown in (fig. 1). c) The
cover of the Result Section has an elliptical aperture on the left hand
side through which the close button is seen. The left portion of the
Result Section

houses a black close button. The right portion
contains an inner compartment with its own door. The door of the inner
compartment has two elliptical apertures through which buttons marked
Resuft I and Resuft H is seen. The inner door can be opened by inserting
the thumb and a finger through the two apertures above the Result I and
Result II’buttons’and then pressing the inner latches simultaneously
slightly inwards. On opening the door of the inner compartment by
inserting forefinger and thumb through the holes which are marked Result
I and Result H and pressing the latches and pulling the cover up, there
are two frames around the two apertures for fixing green paper seals.
The inner compartment has three sub-sections with two yellow buttons
marked Result I and Result Il and a white Aearbutton. d) In the ballot
section, there are two buttons-a Grey Total button 32 (fig. 6) and a
large blue ballot button as indicated in fig. 5.

The cover 1
(fig. 5) defines four sections namely a. Display section, b. Candidate
section, c. Result section and d. Ballot Section.

The base 2
(fig. 6) has provision to mount printed circuit board 35 (PCB) using
self tapping screws 37. It has also a compartment with rear door 3 (fig.
6) This rear door is hinged in the bottom and opens swinging downwards,
when the latch in the middle is pressed downwards. This has a provision
for thread sealing. The rear door when opened will reveal a socket on
the left hand side for plugging the interconnecting cable from the

ballot unit and a toggle switch 36 in the middle for switching the EVM ON or OFF (Fig. 3).

The
door I 4 (fig. 5) is a protection cover for result section. Door I when
opened reveal knob (Result I) 29; Knob (Result II)30 ; and knob (clear)
31 (fig. 6) & has provision for thread sealing. The insert 16 (Fig.
5) is used for the thread sealing of the result section.

Two elliptical cutouts are provided in the door 4 to access Result I, Result II and Clear - buttons.

The
door II referred by reference numeral S (fig. 5) is the top cover of
the result section having an elliptical cutout for the knob (close) 28
{fig. 6). The elliptical cutout is sealed by plate-paper seal 26 (fig.
5) and green paper seal. The door in indicated by reference numeral 6
(fig. 5) is a protection cover for candidate set section with provision
for thread sealing. The door in when opened will reveal battery
compartment and candidate compartment. The candidate set compartment is
accessed by opening door IV (cand. set) 7 (fig. 5) by removing thread
sealing. The knob (cand. set) 27 (fig. 6) can then be operated.

The hinge 8 (fig. 4) shows the hinging action of the door It 5 & door in 6 with the cover.

The
plexy glass display 12 (fig. 6) is a red acrylic sheet to view the
digits of 7-segment display mounted on the Printed Circuit Board (PCB).
There are 2 digits for serial number and 4 digits for number of votes.
There are seven knob bases 11 (fig. 6) used for the seven different
knobs such as knob 27 (cand. set). Knob 28 (close), knob 29 (result I),
knob 30 (result 1I), knob 31 (clear), knob 32 (total) and knob 13
(Ballot) (Fig. 6). The

knob (ballot) 13 (fig. 6) is a dark blue colour plastic button to register vote. Cover 38 is provided for the green LED.

The
bush short 14 (fig. 6) and bush long 15 (fig. 6) are assembled after
mounting the Printed Circuit Board (PCB) on to the base of the control
unit. The pin (door IV) 22 and hinge (door IV) 23 (Fig. 5) are required
to assemble door IV onto the cover of the control unit. At first hinge
and door IV are assembled by using pin (door IV) and then the door IV
assembly is fixed to the cover by heat sealing as shown in fig. 6.

The
washer 24 (fig. 6) are used along with five knobs namely knob (cand.
set). Knob (close), knob (result I), knob (result II) and knob (clear)
It gives cushioning effect to the knobs. It is made out of foam. The
washer 25 (fig. 6) are used to fix display Printed Circuit Board (PCB)
rigidly on to the base of the control unit. After mounting the display
board on the base, washer is placed and then fixed by screws. Rubber cap
33 (Fig. 6) is fixed to cover screw head.

Referring to the
drawings, the ballot unit illustrated in fig. 10 includes a rectangular
plastic moulded base 39, which encloses PCB cover & PCB (not shown).
It also encloses door connector box 64 (fig. 11) for interconnecting
cable. The base has got a rubber stand 40 as shown in fig. 7. The cover
42 (fig. 10) defines cover ballot sheet 62 for inserting the ballot
paper of the sixteen contestants, cover (ready Light Emitting Diode
(LED) 44 (fig. 10) & Light Emitting Diode (LED) cover 45 (fig. 10).
It protects ballot paper. The cover 42 & base 39 of the ballot unit
are assembled with two numbers of

plastic hinges 46 (fig. 8) and
the cover ballot sheet is assembled with locking pins 47 and 48 (fig.
11). The hinges are assembled to the base and cover by heat sealing
process.

The Printed Circuit Board (PCB) cover 49 (fig. 12) is a
rectangular plastic moulded part, dark Grey in colour having provision
for sixteen closing knobs 50 (fig. 7), sixteen switch knobs 51 (fig. 7).
This protects Printed Circuit Board (PCB) 63 (Fig. 12) from tampering.

It
is fixed to the base by screws. The closing knob 50 (fig. 7) used for
blocking the switch knob 51. In order to access the switch knob 51 one
has to open the closing knob.

This is used during polling depending on the number of contestants in fray.

Locking pin 52 (fig. 12) used for closing & opening the cover and base of the ballot unit.

Flap
right 53 (fig. 11) and flap left 54 (fig. 11) are used for covering
locking pin 52 after latching the cover to base. Bracket 55 (fig. 10)
used for clamping the interconnecting cable at two places after crimping
the 25 core flat cable to the 25-pin dip header, which is soldered to
the Printed Circuit Board (PCB). Support LED 56 (fig. 12) is a plastic
moulded part in which ready LED assembly is mounted in order to avoid
damage during operation and transportation of the Ballot Unit.

Rubber Stand 40 (Fig. 7) supports the ballot unit while placing on table during operation.

It is a plastic moulded part having provision for fixing serrated rubber stand 41 (fig. 7).

Rubber
foot 57 (Fig 11) prevents sliding of the ballot unit from the table
while the unit is in operation. Clamp cable 58 (fig. 11) clamps the
interconnecting cable of the cascading

Ballot unit (incase of
more than sixteen contesting candidates), 25 contact sub connector)
inside the connector box compartment of the ballot unit.

Interconnecting
cable 59 (Fig. 9) is a sheathed 25 core flat cable, one end of which is
permanently attached to the Ballot unit. The other end is with 25
contact D-sub connector with hood for connecting it to the control unit.
Ready lamp 60 (Fig. 9) is on the top left side of the Ballot unit. This
lamp glow when the presiding officer presses the’Ballot button3 on the
control unit enable the voter to record his vote. It goes off when the
voter has recorded his vote.

Slide switch 61 window (Fig 10) is
on the top right side of the Ballot unit. The slide switch inside the
Ballot unit is used to set the Ballot Unit for 1-16, 17-32, 33-48 or
48-64 positions in cascading configurations. Sixteen candidates button
51 (Fig. 7) provide convenient access for the voter to record his/her
vote by pressing the candidate’s button against the name and symbol of
the candidate of his 1 her choice. When the button is pressed the lamp
on the left side of that button glows and voters choice is recorded.

Provision
for insertion of ballot paper 43 (fig. 12) is provided on the top cover
of ballot unit. The ballot paper contains serial number, names and
symbols of the contesting candidates. A transparent polycarbonate sheet
62 covers the ballot sheet 43 (Fig. 12) to protect the said ballot
paper.

Referring to the diagram 13, Auxiliary control unit is
constructed by means of cover 65, base 66, Printed Circuit Board (PCB)
67, inter-connecting cable 68 to connect to the main

control
unit. The PCB is held by self-tapping screws 69, cover and base is held
by screws 70, ballot knob 71 is inserted into the packet in the cover
and knob base 72 is fitted from inside. Partition box 73 is used to
control light dispersion on indicator. Rear door 74 provides access to
connect Ballot Unit and Cable Clamp 75 is used to Clamp the Cable.

Referring
to the diagram 14 which shows the block level details of hardware
construction of control unit built around a Micro-controller (One Time
Programmable). The non- volatile data memory is interfaced serially to
the Micro controller. All the required control signals are generated
through the shift register. In order to have an orderly power up and
power down sequence, power monitoring circuit (DS1231) is used. To
protect EEPROMs during power up and power down, the low voltage detector
in the power monitor is used. Additionally, the reset signal also
inhibits the write operation under low voltage condition. A
seven-segment drive-decoder is used to generate display data. In order
to reduce the hardware complexity, these displays are driven in a
multiplexed mode using an 8-digit, high current display driver.

Minimum
numbers of components have been used to construct the machine to keep
cost and power consumption at optimum. Industrial grade and surface
mount technology have been used to achieve high reliability. The total
hardware has been populated in only three PCBs with minimum number of
interconnections to provide high field reliability and serviceability.
Signal integrity is established between Micro-controller, Data memory
and

ballot unit so that these three will work in unified manner. Without connecting the ballot unit the voting is not possible.

The
battery is packaged in moulded case with polarized plug, which is
unique and fool proof that different battery can not be used. Low
battery indication is provided in the machine to facilitate replacement
of battery at any stage of polling process and the process can be
continued. The ballot units are powered from the control unit, which
gives a unique nature of signal integrity (Scanning process) for the
machine. High current drivers are used to drive the ballot unit to cater
to the twenty-meter distance between the polling officer and voting
compartment. The slide switch setting in ballot unit makes it unique and
cannot be interchanged during poll.

Micro-controller (One Time
Programmable) is used to store the firmware, which cannot be changed or
modified once fused. The non-volatile data memory (EEPROM) is tightly
coupled to the micro-controller through unique protocol to store the
data during the voting process. Every time the micro-controller checks
the check sum of the data memory (EEPROM) to confirm data integrity,
otherwise the machine displays Er, which eliminates the tampering the
micro-controller or EEPROM by replacement of external components.

The
data memory is written in encrypted form and has been split into two
banks and the ballot counting is stored in both banks. 2 Nos. are used
for redundancy and hence voting data is stored at 4 locations. At every
instance of a change in the data memory, the data

stored in 4
locations are verified to check the correctness of the operation. The
data can be decrypted only by the firmware in the micro-controller.
Hence it is not possible to corrupt the firmware or data by any known
means.

To have effective redundancy, two independent non-volatile
memory devices (EEPROM) are used. Effectively four banks are used to
store data and at every operation all the four banks are checked and
at-least two banks should contain the correct data as per the firmware’s
expectations. If data are not found in at-least any of the two banks
then a fatal error is declared and the whole unit is unusable at this
state.

The stored data can be read and printed through a printer
interface module at any number of times in the life of the machine
unless deliberately erased by operating the clear button. This emulates
the manual ballot paper method as per the constitutional requirements.

Figure 15 shows switch and LED matrix interfaced to Control unit.

Figure 16 shows the connectivity details of electronic voting machine for single poll mode.

Figure
17 shows the connectivity details of electronic voting machine for dual
poll mode where in the EVM is deployed for parliament and assembly
elections simultaneously.

Figure 18 shows the state transition
diagram of voting process. It also gives the different state of the
machine and change over from one state to other. The state transition
has

been done to prevent mal-practices and to strictly follow the procedure of voting as per the constitutional requirements.

OPERATION
: Before the Electronic Voting Machine is sent to the Polling Stations,
the Ballot Unit has to be prepared by the Officer-in-charge as given
below: a) Inserting the Ballot paper, b) Masking the Candidate’s
buttons, which are not required to be used, c) Setting the Slide Switch
at the appropriate position, i. e. 1,2,3, or 4 as the case may be
according to the number of such units which are to be used depending
upon the number of candidates and the sequence in which, they are to be
used and d) Sealing the unit.

After taldng out the Ballot Unit
from the carrying case, the top cover of the unit may be opened
carefully by pressing simultaneously, towards the right, the latches at
the top and bottom on the right edge of the unit (fig. 11), and swinging
the cover up. (fig. 13).

OPENING OF BALLOT PAPER SCREEN Open the
Ballot Paper Screen, which is a transparent acrylic sheet, hinged to
the top cover on the extreme left side. The release latches of the
screen are inside the top cover (Fig. 9). By pressing the latches
simultaneously, first slightly towards right and then pushing them
downwards, the Ballot Paper Screen will become free for opening on the

upper side of the said top cover. While opening the screen care should be taken to ensure that it is not damaged.

FIXING
OF BALLOT PAPER Place the Ballot Paper in the space provided for the
purpose on the upper side of the top cover. Align the Ballot paper
properly so that each candidate’s name and his symbol are in line with
the corresponding Candidate’s lamp and button. After ensuring this
alignment, close and press fit the Ballot Paper Screen to secure the
Ballot Paper firmly underneath that screen.

After the Ballot
Paper has been firmly fixed and the Ballot Paper Screen has been pressed
fit on the upper side of the Top Cover, the screen is to be sealed on
the inner side of the Top Cover. This is to be done by passing the
thread through the two holes on the screen specially provided for the
purpose and by putting the thread seal on the prescribed address tag
showing the particulars of the election with the seal of the Returning
Officer.

MASKING OF CANDIDATES’BUTTONS If the number of
Candidates on the ballot paper is less than 16, the white masking tabs
should be moved onto the Candidates’buttons not required to be used.

SETTING
OF SLIDE SWITCH Inside the Ballot Unit on the top right side, there is a
Slide Switch, which has four positions 1, 2,3 and 4. If only one Ballot
Unit is to be used, set this Switch to the position marked ‘1′. If two
ballot Units are to be used, set this Switch to the position marked ‘1′
in the Ballot Unit in which the names of the Candidates at Sl. Nos. 1 to
16 appear, and in the second Ballot Unit set this Switch to the
position marked’2′. If three Ballot Units are to be used, the Slide
Switch will be set to the position marked’1′in the first Ballot Unit in
which the names of candidates at Sl. Nos. 1 to 16 appear, to the
position marked’2′in the second Ballot Unit in which the names of
contesting candidates at Sl. Nos. 17 to 32 appear, and to the position
marked’3′in the third Ballot Unit. Likewise, if the 4* Ballot Unit is
also to be used if the number of contesting candidates exceeds 48, then
the Slide Switch will be sent to the position marked’4′in the last
Ballot Unit.

Position 1 Position 2 Position 3 Position 4

SEALING
OF BALLOT UNIT Close the Ballot Unit by bringing the top cover back to
its original position. Pass two threads, one through the three holes at
the top and the other through the three holes at the bottom provided for
the purpose and seal each thread with Returning Officer’s seal.

CONTROL
UNIT The Control Unit is to be prepared by the Returning Officer by- a)
Installing the Power Pack. b) Setting the number of contesting
candidates and c) Sealing the Candidate Set Section POWER PACK 
INSTALLATION Open the cover of the Candidate Set Section by pressing
slightly inward the latch provided on the left side. Install the Power
Pack specially supplied by mating the socket of the Power Pack to the
plug. Ensure that Power Pack is pressed tight.

SETTING THE NUMBER
OF CONTESTING CANDIDATES After connecting the Power Pack, open the
compartment at the bottom of the Control Unit as explained above, and
proceed as follows for setting the Number of contesting candidates :

a)
Connect the Ballot Unit to the Control Unit by plugging the connector
of the Interconnecting Cable in the socket in that compartment. As the
connector and the plug are multi-pin connectors, it will need some
practice to plug them properly.

The EVM will work only when this
connection is made properly. b) After plugging the connector properly,
push the’Power’switch to’ON’position.

It will give a beep sound
and the”ON”lamp on the Display Section of the Control Unit will glow
GREEN. c) After the’ON’lamp glows GREEN, press the’Cand Set’button in
the Candidate Set Section. There upon the 2 digit Display Panel in the
Display Section will now flash the letters’Cd’. d) When the
letters’Cd’start flashing on the Display Panels on the Control Unit,
press the Candidate’s button against the last contesting candidate in
Ballot Unit.

For example, if there are 9 contesting candidates, press the 9i candidate’s button.

On
that button being pressed, the Display Panels will stop flashing the
letters ‘Cd’. Instead, the full panel will start displaying the
following information sequentially-

This way the machine is set
for 9 contesting candidates. e) Switch OFF the EVM by pushing
the”Power”switch downwards to OFF position and disconnect the
Interconnecting cable from the control unit. For this purpose, the
spring type clips on both sides of the connector hood should be pressed
inward simultaneously and then the connector pulled out. Then close the
door of the compartment at the bottom of the Control Unit.

SEALING
THE CANDIDATE SET SECTION Close the flap which houses the Cand Set
button and pass a thread through the two holes provided on the left side
and seal with the seal of the Returning Officer. Then close the
candidate set section and do the thread seal. While sealing take care
that direct flame does not come in contact with the Control Unit and
molten wax does not fall on any part of the Control Unit.

Put
back the Ballot Unit and the Control Unit in their respective carrying
cases. They are ready for transportation to the Polling Station.

On
the day of Election, the presiding Office shall make the following
preparations: The Ballot Unit sill be checked to see if the Ballot Paper
is properly fixed in ballot display panel under the ballot paper screen
and that the two seals are intact.

In the Control Unit, the
presiding officer will check if the Candidate Set Section is intact and
then connect the Ballot Unit to the Control Unit by plugging the
connector of the

interconnecting cable, put the’Power’switch
to’ON’position and then close the bottom compartment. Then open
the’Result’Section in the Control Unit and press the’Clear’ button to
set all counts to’ZERO’. On completion of the clearing process, the
display panel will start displaying that all counts are set
to’ZERO’sequentially (i. e. one by one, the display panel will show the
total number of candidates, total votes polled and number of votes for
each candidate). If need be the presiding officer will conduct a”MOCK
POLL”in the presence of some polling agents & others.

During
the actual poll, the’Result Section’should be sealed, using special
security paper serially numbered. This paper seal has to be firmly fixed
in the inner cover frame of the Result Section. Here is also a
provision for making a thread seal on the left side of the inner door.
After this, the outer cover of the Result Section has to be pressed for
closing this section.

PROCEDURE DURING POLL The Poll shall
commence at the hour fixed for such commencement. After all procedural
requirements relating to identification of voter, application of
indelible ink on his/her forefinger and obtaining his/her
signature/thumb impression in the Register of Voters have been completed
with regard to the first voter, the voter concerned has to be allowed
for recording his vote. For that purpose, press the’Ballot’button on
Ballot Section of the Control Unit which would make the Ballot Unit
ready for recording of the vote by that voter as has been explained
herein above. Repeat that procedure every time the next voter

is
to be allowed to record his vote. It should be ensured that only one
voter goes inside the voting compartment to vote. Special care should be
taken to ensure that a voter goes in that compartment in the same order
in which his Name is entered in the’Register of Voters.’Also ensure
that the Ballot button is pressed only when the earlier voter has come
out of the voting compartment. At any time, if the total number of votes
polled has to be ascertained,’Total’button should be pressed. The
Display panel will then show the total number of votes polled by that
time. Please remember that the’Total’button is to be pressed only when
the’Busy’lamp is OFF.

After the close of the poll, the close
button will be pressed. When this button is pressed the display panel
will show the total number of candidates and the total number of votes
polled during the day.

On the day of counting, after making the
necessary checks, the Result button I in the Control Unit pressed to
start the Result computation process. On completion of the result
computation process, the total number of candidates, the total number of
votes and the total number of votes for each candidate will be
displayed in the’Display Panel’ sequentially. 

While the form of
apparatus herein described constitutes a preferred embodiment of the
invention, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to
this precise form of apparatus, and that changes may be made therein
without departing from the scope and sprit of the invention as defined
in the appended claims.

http://www.sumobrain.com/patents/wipo/Electronic-voting-machine-evm/WO2002084607.html

 

EVM AND CYBER LAW (PPT SLIDES IN PDF FORMAT): PRESENTATION MADE IN THE INTL. CONF. HELD ON FEB. 13, 2010 IN CHENNAI

Swamy for expert panel on secure EVMs

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT , The Hindu

CHENNAI, February 13, 2010
http://beta.thehindu.com/multimedia/dynamic/00031/TH14SWAMY_31679f.jpg 
Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy during a press meet in Chennai
on Saturday. Photo: R. Ravindran

Janata Party president
Subramanian Swamy on Saturday demanded that an independent expert
committee be appointed to find out how electronic voting machines could
be safeguarded securely.
Talking to journalists after an
international conference on ‘Electronic voting machines: How
Trustworthy?,’ convened by the Centre for National Renaissance, New
Delhi, he said several countries had banned the use of EVMs. The
international consensus was that EVMs were a danger to democracy as they
were not trustworthy. The Election Commission had not demonstrated that
EVMs could never be rigged. If the Commission wanted to continue their
use, it should give a printed receipt to every voter just as people used
to get in automated teller machines after cash withdrawal. This receipt
was a requirement under the Information Technology Act of 2000, which
the Commission was “adamantly and obstinately” refusing to comply with.
He
said renowned computer experts were ready to demonstrate that EVMs
could be rigged, and stressed the need for an in-built safeguard.
Dr.
Swamy said the next date of hearing of his public interest litigation
petition on the use of EVMs in the Delhi High Court was scheduled for
February 17. He would urge the court to appoint an expert committee to
find out how EVMs could be safeguarded securely.
About 35 experts
from India, Germany, the Netherlands and the U.S. took part in the
conference. Questioning the reliability of EVMs, they said even advanced
countries were reverting to paper ballots as they felt that EVMs were
not trustworthy.
Till Jaeger, Attorney, Supreme Court, Germany, said
the German Supreme Court had said it did not matter that electronic
voting machines were efficient. Their use was a violation of the
fundamental right to information as the voter was unable to see clearly
to whom he was casting his vote and how it was being counted. It was a
constitutional principle in German law that the transparency of
elections was more important than the efficiency of conducting
elections.
Rop Gonggrijp, computer hacker specialist from the
Netherlands, said the Election Commission’s claim that it had invented
EVMs that could not be rigged was ridiculous. At no international
meeting had the Commission proved the transparency of the EVMs. He felt
there was no such thing as ‘unriggable or untamparable.’
J. Alex
Halderman, Professor of Computer Science, University of Michigan, said
that in the beginning, U.S. citizens were enamoured of the EVMs’
efficiency and modernity. Now they felt elections ‘could be stolen’ and
were demanding paper ballots.
David L. Dill, Professor of Computer
Science, Stanford University, in his letter to the Chief Election
Commissioner, had said: “Computerised voting equipment was inherently
subject to ‘programming error, equipment malfunction and malicious
tampering.’ It was time to recognise the reality that there is no basis
for public trust in paperless voting equipment.”
Charge against EC
Hariprasad,
and V.V. Rao, software engineers, said the Commission did not allow
them to complete their demonstration of the tamperability of EVMs.
Commission officials abruptly aborted their demonstration, stating that
they could not be allowed to continue as it involved the patent rights
of the Electronic Corporation of India.
The conference unanimously
resolved that in the interest of free and fair elections, the EVMs
should provide a voter verifiable paper trail, and if it was not
feasible, the Commission should return to the paper ballot system.
http://beta.thehindu.com/news/states/tamil-nadu/article106271.ece

By Express News Service
14 Feb 2010 03:22:00 AM IST
 
Swamy for panel to check if EVMs can be tampered
CHENNAI:
In an effort to put an end to the ongoing controversy over electronic
voting machines’ (EVMs) tamperability, Janata Party president
Subramanian Swamy on Saturday said he would seek a court direction on
forming a committee to look into the issue.

Speaking to reporters
after a day-long international conference on EVMs here, Swamy said the
hearing of his public interest litigation (PIL) on use of EVMs was
scheduled to come up in Delhi High Court on February 17 where he would
press for constituting an apt committee on the issue.

Reacting to
questions on credibility of EVMs, Swamy said, “The machines can be
tampered with at any level (regional and national level) during the
polling season, and if there were no safeguards, the system itself
should be scrapped and the country revert to the ballot paper system of
voting.” Suggesting more transparency in EVMs to end controversies of
tampering, Swamy said, “Voters casting their votes in EVMs should be
given a receipt to show that the vote reached the intended candidate,
which can be stored for future reference.” Challenging the Chief
Election Commissioner Navin Chawla to prove credibility of EVMs in
international forums, Swamy said, “ While all along he is saying that
EVMs can’t be tampered with, the CEC never demonstrated the
untamperability of EVM machines publicly.” “While many countries
(including the electronically advanced nations) have banned the use of
EVMs in their elections due to its vulnerability of tampering and due to
lack of transparency in polling of votes, our CEC is propagating its
usage here without allowing them for public scrutiny,’’ Swamy added.

Though
Swamy had sent an invitation to Navin Chawla to attend the
international conference here, he received a letter from the Election
Commissioner that he was unwell and would not be able to attend it.

http://epaper.expressbuzz.com/NE/NE/2010/02/14/index.shtml

http://epaper.expressbuzz.com/NE/NE/2010/02/14/photographs/004/14_02_2010_004_002_002.jpg
 
Can’t rule out electoral rigging, warn foreign experts
Chennai, New Indian Express, Feb. 13, 2010
 
IN
the first of its kind inter national conference on elec tronic voting
machine (EVMs) organised by th Centre For National Renais sance here on
Saturday, ex perts who participated from countries like Ger many
Netherlands, USA and Sr L a n k a m a i n t a i n e d t h a EVMs are
tamperable an that was why many advance countries have now reverte to
the old system of ballo papers in elections.
Dr Till Jaeger, Attorney
i the Supreme Court of Ger many, and who presente cases related to
bannin EVMs in the country, set th tone of the conference with his
successive persuasion on court in ordering its ban in - the country . He
narrated how - the Supreme Court finally s banned using EVMs in Gere
many’s general elections say - ing its usage was unconstitu - tional
since it limited citizens from verifying their votes.

, Besides
Jaeger, experts i from the Netherlands (Dr t Rop Gonggrijp) and the USA d
(Prof J Alex Halder man) d proved with their presentad tions that
revolved around t how these EVMs could be tampered with and affect the n
results at large.

- Several countries in the d West have already
banned g the use of EVMs in elections e and most recently, Italy and
Japan also decided against using them due to lack of transparency and
preferred to use the old  system of ballot papers in casting votes which
according to them was transparent.

In the interest of the
electoral process remaining free and fair, transparent and accountable
to the voter, the 50-odd participants unanimously resolved that the EVMs
should provide a voter verifiable paper trail, and if not feasible,
then the country should return to the paper ballot system.

The conference also decided to go for an action plan and for setting up a dedicated website to propagate the flaws in EVMs.

http://epaper.expressbuzz.com/NE/NE/2010/02/14/index.shtml

Resolution adopted by the participants at the above mentioned Conference on February 13, 2010

     
At the International Conference on EVMs, the participants consider in
detail the current international practice and law relating to the
deployment of EVMs, the evidence on and the scope for their tamper
ability and the safeguards that are necessary to ensure that the
deployment of EVMs, does not, in any manner, compromise the central
requirements of transparency and accountability to the voter, at each
and every stage of the election process.

      In the interest
of the electoral process remaining free and fair, transparent and
accountable to the voter, the participants unanimously resolved that the
EVMs should provide for an voter verifiable paper trail, and if not
feasible then we should return to the paper ballot system.    

     
The participants further resolved that, without such an auditable paper
trail, the two essential requirements, namely transparency and
accountability to the voter and the related requirement of verifiability
of the validity of the votes cast by the voters envisaged under
sections 100 and 101 of the Representation of People Act,  1951 will
stand and seriously compromised as well as infringing Sections 11 to 14
of the Information Technology Act (2000) and the Indian Evidence Act
(1872).

 Third Front’s candidate to take EVM matter to court
STAFF WRITER 20:27 HRS IST
Aurangabad,
Oct 17 (PTI) Alleging manipulation of Electronic Voting Machines
(EVMs), the Republican Left Democratic Committee (RLDC) candidate from
Latur City Assembly Constituency said today that he will take the matter
to court.

The candidate, Anna Patil alleged that the EVMs
were manipulated and the software of the machines was altered in such a
fashion that whenever any button was pressed by voters, the vote went to
the Congress candidates’ account.

The Congress candidate from Latur City Assembly Constituency is Amit Deshmukh, son of former chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh.

After
his allegations, the Returning Officer Vishambar Gawande held a
demonstration yesterday in the presence of four candidates including
Patil and BSP candidate Qayyum Khan.

He tried to explain how it
is impossible to manipulate the EVMs. Patil, not satisfied by the
demonstration, demanded to show the demonstration on the machines that
were used on the polling day, and not on blank machines.
http://www.ptinews.com/news/335856_Third-Front-s-candidate-to-take-EVM-matter-to-court
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2F0UHrBWaHM

EVM fraud in AP: video on YouTube. Thanks to Senthil Raja for the link.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2F0UHrBWaHM

EVM fraud in AP: video on YouTube. Thanks to Senthil Raja for the link.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2F0UHrBWaHM

Stop press: EVM fraud on Oct. 13, 2009: YouTube video
EVM fraud on Oct. 13, 2009: YouTube Video.

EVM fraud in AP: video on YouTube. Thanks to Senthil Raja for the link.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2F0UHrBWaHM

Kalyanaraman

EVM Tampering demonstrated in Arunachal Pradesh on Oct. 13, 2009
 
HTTP://PSENTHILRAJA.WORDPRESS.COM/2009/05/17/TAMPERING-EVMS-SOME-REFERENCES/
ON
THIS SENTHIL RAJA’S BLOG A COMMENT HAS BEEN POSTED BY AINGKU INVITING
REFERENCE TO THE URL
http://friends-of-ziro.blogspot.com/2009/10/evm-tampering.html
The
demonstrated tampering on a 1min. 18 sec video, is simple and dramatic.
The sequence in which the four candidates were listed on EC documents
were modified on the EVM polling unit. BJP-TMC candidates sequence was
switched; INC-NCP candidates sequence was switched. IntenT? Simply to
register BJP votes to TMC and vice-versa and INC Votes to NCP and
vice-versa.

Did a similar switch take place during the Lok Sabha
Elections in, say, select 100+ constituencies? If so, the EC should be
made accountable in HC/SC to stop using the EVMs in future polls, until a
proper audit trail is put in place and controls as in the case of ATMs
of Banks.

kalyanaraman

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2009
EVM Tampering
History
of sorts was created on October 13, 2009 when repolling was ordered in
two polling stations at Ziro Assembly election. This is so unexpected of
the people of Ziro who are known to be honest and peace-loving. I don’t
recall a single occasion when there was a repoll in Ziro-Hapoli
constituency. It is shameful.

A sticker, exactly similar to the
original one with the names of the candidates and the party symbols was
printed and pasted over the EVM. The orders of the BJP and TMC
candidates on the EVM was exchanged while those of the INC and NCP was
exchanged. This manipulation does not seem to benefit either the INC or
the TMC candidates who are considered the two strongest ones. Is it a
case of an attempted cheating of the electronic machine by a candidate
or just a mischief by a prankster? Whatever is the answer, it has cost
the government dearly and caused lots of hardships to the voters.
Especially this time of the year - the  entii pillo.

On the
other hand, this single incident exposes one of the hitherto overlooked
drawbacks of the much acclaimed electronic voting machine (EVM)
introduced in India recently. Possibilities of tampering the EVM has
been discussed in many  forums, but no one had anticipated this
seemingly simple one. One more agenda has been added to the training
curriculum for the polling officers in the next election.

Cheating the machine. The case of tampering the Electronic Voting Machine. See Cheating or Mischief video at the website.

Evidence

  

 
People
are now talking about the ‘brains’ of the Apatanis. Well, I like to
take that as a compliment. At the same time, I like to take that as a
challenge - the challenge to show the right direction to young people
with such ‘brains’, as they can either be used or misused.

I  dream that we use them.
http://friends-of-ziro.blogspot.com/2009/10/evm-tampering.html

 

 

ECIL Engineers Test EVMs. 8.6% defective
September 26th, 2009
SEPPA:
A first level checking of the EVMs was conducted at Seppa Election
office, by the highly skilled team of ECIL Engineers headed by S.C
Sarkar from Hydrabad.

Out of total 347 checked control unit 30
were found defective. At least 3 EVMs have been issued to the AROs of
the various circle of the district so far- one each to ARO Seijosa, ARO
Pijirang, ARO Bameng. Meanwhile a board has fixed Rs 200 per day for the
porters.

http://arunachalnews.com/ecil-engineers-test-evms.html

EVM: Incompetence or Intent?

Recap from yesterday (Sept. 16, 2009):

The serious questions being asked include:

If the polling was not even complete how could “votes polled” data be available for all but 47 of the 8071 candidates?
If
EVM’s were secure with DEO/district collectors, and elections were not
even held in many constituencies, how was the data for 8023 candidates
or all but 47 of the 8071 candidates available to the ECI on files
downloaded between these dates?
…If this is a Mistake, Why No Clarifications from the ECI?

Read on:

On
the 6th of May Anupam and Prof Nalapat asked the ECI to clarify whether
the spreadsheet that had “votes polled” for each candidate contained
test data, actual votes polled or was it a wrong file?

On 31st May, they made another formal request to the ECI specifically asking:

Can
you kindly indicate what the data in the CandidateAC downloaded from
http://eci.nic.in/candidateinfo/frmcandidate.aspx file between the 6th
and 15th is? Why is the Final votes polled data not uploaded till date
at this location? When do you plan to upload it?”

On the 7th of July 2009, they sent another, more detailed request for clarification.

The response of ECI?

Nothing…no comment at all.

This
is hardly reassuring and raises all kinds of questions. The most
important - however outrageous it may sound - being: “Were the results
of some Lok Sabha constituencies decided even before polling?”

.

As
Anupam and Prof Nalapat noted in their article in Covert, there are not
too many ways in which the information about “votes polled” in the
spreadsheet on the ECI website could have changed BEFORE the results
were actually announced.

Realistically, this could have only happened if:

1.     Someone had hacked the file.

2.     The data from various EVMs had been uploaded to the private database, and this was used to create the public file.

3.     Someone who had access to the private database had actually added the data.

In their own words (emphasis mine):

The
first possibility is serious, as it implies that the databases hosted
by the ECI are not secure and can be compromised. The second is a
violation of the ECI’s rule that no counting was to begin till 16 May.
It also constitutes a breach of security, as the EVMs were supposed to
be in safe custody in a strong room of the DEO [district election
officer]. The third would imply that the election results were being
decided by whoever had access to the private database. If the results
were to be read only from the EVMs, why was a coded spreadsheet
prepared? How could this spreadsheet have the data on “votes polled”?

Sceptics
might say that the coded data containing information on the votes
polled was test or dummy data. If so, why was this test or dummy data
prepared? What was being tested? How was  this test data generated? What
were the results of the tests? Why was the data generated after the
first three phases of polling, but before the fourth and fifth phases?
Why was the data removed when there was no intention of loading real
data into the file? Why was the dummy data coded? How do 108 winning
candidates in the dummy data match the eventual winners?

If you are still not convinced that something has gone wrong somewhere, this last bitwill probably clinch the argument:

The
various versions of the files downloaded from ECI website by
Nalapat-Saraph on 6th, 7th and 11th May and the data were merged
together along with the final results found on ECI site on June 2nd…

2.
Candidates in every constituency were ranked as 1, 2 and 3 on the basis
of the votes seen in ECI excel sheets on 6th, 7th and 11th May.
3. Then the same candidates were ranked within each constituency based on the votes recorded on June 2nd spreadsheet by ECI.

The Result?

1.     Out of 543 constituencies, we find 106 winning positions (rank 1) matched for all four dates

2.     80 candidates matched for the rank 2 and

3.     59 for the rank 3…

Basic probability theory suggests that such a coincidence is practically impossible…So what exactly was happening?

Will we ever find out? I am not hopeful.

Interestingly, buried within the avalanche of “breaking stories”, I found this snippet in the ET last week (emphasis mine):

CPM
leaders (Prakash Karat and Sitaram Yechury), accompanied by member
secretariat V Srinivasa Rao and a technical expert Prabir Purkayastha,
told the commission and technical experts present at the meeting that
both hardware and software should be in public domain. Further, it said
the chips manufactured by ECIL, BEL should be allowed for yearly random
third-party inspections either by NIC or IITs.

…They said these
steps were necessary to ‘restore the ‘confidence’ in EVMs as there have
been “reporting of errors in some machines and discrepancies in
results”.

On EVMs and Some Unanswered Questions

A few
weeks ago, during my last visit to Bharat, I met Anupam Saraph, Pune’s
Chief Information Commissioner. I was introduced to Anupam via a chain
triggered by Barun Mitra.

I was keen to meet him, especially as
his profile seemed to be very very intriguing.  Anupam and I met on a
rainy evening at ShivSagar restaurant (the best coffee for its price in
Pune, I think!) and it was only around 10pm that I realised we had been
talking for 3 hours!

What Anupam told me that day was
unbelievable…So I asked him to email me more information. Within two
days, Anupam sent me a bunch of links - all pointing to something that
had gone seriously wrong with either EVMs, data upload by the Election
Commission - or both (and possibly something else)

I hurriedly
glanced through some of the links but decided to write about it on the
blog only after I had gone through them in some detail.

I am glad
I did. Below is a story about EVMS and some unanswered questions…in the
words of Anupam and Prof M Nalapat. Do read and think about it. Reading
about what they uncovered made me feel very uneasy…

I am now
pretty sure that there is something that has gone wrong which we do not
know about (yet).  Most of you will not be surprised that Anupam was
hounded when he went public with his fears…and no mainstream newspaper
would touch their report or findings (sole exception: Mid-Day in
Mumbai).

If it was not for the internet, the story would have been censored and buried - never to see the light of the day.

In
view of this report, the concern raised by Vidhya on one of my previous
posts - ought to be taken seriously (Like most other readers, I too was
guilty of dismissing the concerns as mere conjecture and a bit of “sour
grapes”. I may have been very wrong). Read on:

.

From Tracking the Elections 2009 (emphasis mine):

Elections
were held in 5 phases across India. The last phase of polling was
completed on the 13th of May 2009. The counting of votes was to begin on
the 16th of May 2009.

The data of various candidates could be
obtained from the Election Commission of India’s website. In order to
track the elections and upload candidate and constituency information
onto this wiki, we accessed this website and regularly downloaded the
CandidateAC file from there. This spreadsheet had various columns
containing information of all candidates including their political
affiliations, age, address etc. There was also a column for “votes
polled” and some “coding” called “DECODE(FINALISED,’YES’,’FINALISED’,)”.

By
virtue of the Election Rules no votes polled data/exit poll was to be
available before the 16th of May 2009, least of all on the Election
Commission of India Website.

The excel spreadsheets on
candidate information for all India downloaded from the ECI website
between the 6th and 15th of May had “coded” Candidate Names, Party Names
and votes polled. Despite repeated queries the ECI has not clarified
the meaning of this data. This has resulted in widespread speculation
and raised serious questions about the the management and integrity of
the democratic process.

The serious questions being asked include:

What
was the coded data in the “votes polled” column in the versions of the
spreadsheet downloaded between the 6th and 11th of May?
Why were the spreadsheets between these dates “coded” all of a sudden?
If the polling was not even complete how could “votes polled” data be available for all but 47 of the 8071 candidates?
If
EVM’s were secure with DEO/district collectors, and elections were not
even held in many constituencies, how was the data for 8023 candidates
or all but 47 of the 8071 candidates available to the ECI on files
downloaded between these dates?

If data in these files was
test/dummy data, how does it match the winners in 108 constituencies or
106 according to another analysis?

If the the data in these
files was test/dummy data, what was it testing? Why was this test taking
place during the polling period?
What tests were these that required only some data to keep changing and others to remain unchanging?
*** To be continued ***

Rahul
Mehta in Ahmedabad, has been raising similar issues for a long time
now. Rahul is ex-IIT Delhi (Computer Science), founder of a political
party/social movement and also contested from Gandhinagar this time.

Checkout his EVM related effort here:

http://www.orkut.com/Main#Community?cmm=92705561

http://rahulmehta.com/evm1.pdf

http://satyameva-jayate.org/2009/09/16/evms-questions/

http://www.opednews.com/articles/PAPERLESS-ELECTRONIC-ELECT-by-William-J-Kellehe-090907-39.html

September 10, 2009 at 13:19:29

PAPERLESS ELECTRONIC ELECTION UPHELD BY GERMAN SUPREME COURT

By William J. Kelleher, Ph.D.

In
a ruling handed down earlier this year, Germany’s highest court, the
Federal Constitutional Court, upheld the constitutionality of recent
elections to the German legislative branch known as the Bundestag
(similar to the US Senate). An English translation of the ruling is now
available.

Two of the losing candidates sued for “a scrutiny of
the election,” in the hope of having it invalidated. They first
challenged the election in the Bundestag. After the Bundestag rejected
their claims, they appealed to the High Court.

The Controlling Law

The
Court declared the constitutional principles that it follows in cases
like this. These principles are derived from the German Constitution, or
“Basic Law.” Article 38, section one, of the Basic Law states, in part,
that “Members of the German Bundestag shall be elected in general,
direct, free, equal, and secret elections.” This has traditionally been
interpreted to mean that elections should be conducted in ways that are
consistent with the highest principles of democracy. Since the end of
WWII, German law has developed and articulated these principles.

The
Court stated, for example, “The public nature of elections is a
fundamental pre-condition for democratic will-formation.” Such public
elections are also a “major precondition for the well-founded trust of
citizens in the correct operation of the elections.” (Para 107 et seq)

Public
monitoring of elections is necessary “so that manipulation can be ruled
out or corrected and unjustified suspicion can be refuted.” Trust in
elections is best assured only if they are carried out “before the eyes
of the public.” (Para 108) Hence, the conduct of elections should not
require any specialized knowledge on the part of the voters.

The Complaints of the Challengers

The
complainants contended, among other things, that the use of electronic
paperless “computer-controlled voting machines” in this election
violated Germany’s Basic Law.

They argued, in effect, that to be
democratic, at best elections should consist of voters marking paper
ballots, which are then placed in boxes, counted by hand, and stored
securely in case a re-count was called for. If voting machines are
allowed, they should have a voter-verified paper audit trail to ensure
the integrity of the election, and in case a re-count is needed.

One
of the legal briefs filed in the case was by The Chaos Computer Club.
(Para 86 et seq) They vehemently opposed the use of computer-controlled
voting machines. They also argued that a voter-verified paper audit
trail was essential for an honest vote count, and for a reliable
re-count. Electronic machines do not give an actual re-count, but only
the same count repeated. Besides that, the computer-controlled machines
can be programmed prior to an election to adjust the vote and alter the
outcome in ways that are undetectable. The “fix”can be programmed into
the source code before the machines are used. During, or immediately
after, the election the votes can be changed by a remote computer, or a
nefarious insider. These suspicions are aggravated because Nedap, the
company supplying the machines, insists on its right to keep their codes
secret; hence, the entire election cannot be trusted.

Applying the Law

The
Court explained that several factors are needed to satisfy the
requirement of the “public nature” of elections. This includes that
elections be based on laws written and passed according to the Basic
Law, and supervised by public officials. Also, an election is “public in
nature” because the public is participating in it. (Para 140-144) The
Court noted that in a representative democracy, the people do not have
to be directly involved in every detail. So long as they feel they have a
satisfactory understanding of the process, and sufficient confidence in
those who conduct the elections, the requirements for a public nature
and public monitoring of elections are met.

The Court agreed that
some of the misconduct alleged by the parties might be possible in
theory. However, it also agreed with the ministry in charge of elections
that these claims are “an over-evaluation of technical security
requirements as to the voting machines.” (Para 87-88) Nothing in these
claims justified even a partial invalidation of the election. (Para
162-164) Indeed, compared to marked paper ballots put in a ballot box,
or voting by mail, the electronic machines are at least as secure, if
not more so. These conclusions were also reached by the Committee for
the Security of Elections, and their report was unanimously accepted by
the Bundestag. (Para 90-100) The Court declined to substitute its
judgment for that of the legislature.

However, the Court did
agree that the voting machines used were so complex that they were “not
compatible with the principle of the public nature of elections.” Only
the manufacturer’s technicians could understand and monitor the
functioning of these machines. Hence, the public was not adequately
represented in the monitoring of the machine usage by officials from the
elections ministry. But this constitutional shortcoming was not so
severe as to require a re-run of the election. There was no evidence of
mechanical error, or of manipulation of the votes cast or counted.

Although
the Court did not specify this, it seemed to imply that if the agency
in charge of the elections had had personnel sufficiently knowledgeable
to monitor the operations of the machines, the constitutional
requirement would be satisfied. With such personnel working in the
public agency, sufficient public monitoring of the equipment could be
conducted. The voters only need to know how to vote, not how source
codes record votes.

The Court also held that a regulation made by
the ministry in charge of administering the election was
unconstitutionally vague. (Para 145 et seq) While the Court offered some
suggestions as to how the inadequate language could be tightened up,
the errors in the regulation were not so bad that the election should be
invalidated because of them.

Conclusion

After its lengthy
and minutely detailed discussion, Germany’s Supreme Court upheld the
constitutionality of this election. The inadequacy of the agency
regulation, and the shortcomings of the machines, were harmless errors.

This
opinion, upholding paperless electronic voting in Germany, has
far-reaching implications. The arguments and conclusions made in that
opinion can also be applied to the use of Internet voting – another
form  of paperless electronic voting. Thus, this ruling paves the way
for Internet voting in Germany.

While German law, of course, has
no precedent value in the US, it can have considerable persuasive value.
That is, the legal reasoning and conclusions of the German Supreme
Court can be a model for US courts and law-makers to emulate.

In short, this opinion may one day prove to be a milestone in the history of Internet voting in the US.

William J. Kelleher, Ph.D.

InternetVoting@gmail.com

http://ssrn.com/author=1053589
PMK team tries its hand on EVMs in New Delhi
By Express News Service
28 Aug 2009 03:05:00 AM IST
CHENNAI:
The PMK team led by its president G K Mani on Thursday inspected the
electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the presence of full Commission
comprising three Election Commissioners — Navin Chawla, V S Sampath and S
Y Qureshi — in New Delhi. However, the party has requested the
Commission to provide an opportunity on September 7 to prove their
contention that the evms could be tampered with.
The team comprising
retired IAS officer MG Devasahayam, advocate K Balu, Supreme Court
advocate Dugar Rai and Pune-based IT expert Vijayendra Gupta inspected
the EVMs in the presence of a 10-member expert team of the Election
Commission.
The team was given EVMs and tools required to operate
them. PMK sources said the members were satisfied with the EC’s approach
in this regard. The EC had asked the PMK to provide technical
information about how the EVMs could be tampered with and it would be
considered seriously.
During their meeting, Navin Chawla said the PMK
would be given sufficient time to prove that the EVMs could be tampered
with and that the team could even open the spare parts of the machines.
The PMK has sought for another opportunity on September 7. PMK sources
said the party would go there with more software and hardware experts to
inspect the EVMs.
In its memorandum, the PMK team told the
Commission that “We would like to demonstrate the tamperability of the
EVM in the presence of an ‘independent committee of experts comprising
EC and party nominees’. The ECI should constitute such a committee and
provide EVMs to us for demonstration.”
In this connection, the PMK
team submitted a memorandum to the EC in which it said the ECI should
provide a few EVMs randomly picked from various polling booths in the
country by their experts team. The PMK team said, “Our team would tamper
3-4 machines and would request ECI technical committee to identify the
tampered machines.”

http://www.expressbuzz.com/edition/print.aspx?artid=/6GSNgFEkPM=
Voting machines: hackable, crackable, hijackable

August 19, 5:15 PM · Garry Reed - Dallas Libertarian Examiner

According
to a Raw Story write-up from August 12, 2009, a party of profs and post
grads from Cal – San Diego, Michigan, and Princeton universities hacked
into an electronic voting machine and tainted the tall. They wanted to
prove that criminals (their euphemism for Democrat or Republican Party
operatives?) could start from scratch with no source codes or inside
info, find a weakness, hack the security, and develop their own attack
software.

They proved that someone could easily break into the
machines the night before an election and install hacking software that
would alter the results on election day – all without detection.

Their educational caper cost $100,000; a pittance compared to most politicians’ political campaign purses.

And yet the brainiac “experts” keep telling us voting machines are spoof-proof.

If
you don’t believe that everything is hackable, crackable or hijackable,
vote counters included, consider just a scant handful of recent
reports:

From Fox News, August 17, 2009 – Three hackers were
indicted in an identity theft case that netted over 130 million credit
and debit card numbers, along with other account info, stolen from three
corporations, including the Dallas-based 7-Eleven convenience store
chain. This easily eclipsed the previous American Indoor Hacking
record…

From InfoWorld, July 27, 2009 – Internet hosting
company Network Solutions announced that someone dipped their illicit
software snares into the company’s digital pool and fished out half a
million of their customer’s credit card numbers.

A letter sent to
merchants who use their Ecommerce Hosting services admitted that
somebody gained “unauthorized access to credit card account numbers,
names and addresses of some of your customers.”

From Wired, July
31, 2009 - Pentagon hacker and 9/11 truther Gary McKinnon is set to be
extradited back to the U.S. from England where he faces trial for
hacking into 97 computers, including 53 Army, 26 Navy, 16 NASA, and 1
each Department of Defense and Air Force, between February 2001 and
March 2002.

He’s also accused of crashing some systems, deleting
critical files, shutting down the Army’s Military District of Washington
network of over 2,000 computers for 24 hours, and in general causing
over $700,000 in  damages.

McKinnon, whose hacker handle is
“Solo,” insists he was on a moral crusade in search of evidence of a UFO
cover-up by the military.

From LewRockwell.com, August 13, 2009 –
In an article on the libertarian website, Paul Green tells the tale of a
teenaged boy jailed for “swatting” his online-gaming adversaries.
First, he tracked down a person’s IP address. Next, he hacked his
intended victim’s internet provider for personal details. Then, spoofing
(faking) his target’s telephone number, he made an emergency call that
resulted in armed SWAT teams invading his opponent’s house.

And for local readers…

From
Dallas Business Journal, September 19, 2008 – Ready for another hacking
term? Reflashing. Dallas was a “hotbed of hackers” last year when
TracFone filed 13 lawsuites against 50-plus Dallas-area businesses and
individuals who bought the phones in bulk, reflashed them so they could
be used on other wireless networks, and resold them for a profit.

If
every kind of giga-gadget and digital widget from military mainframes
to remotely started keyless-entry security-encoded nose hair trimmers
can be hacked, is it any wonder that libertarians have long looked
askance not only at electronic voting machines but at the very concept
of voting itself? Some still check a box for the perceived “lesser of
two evils” while others pull nothing but the Libertarian lever.

But why bother when your choice of Charlie can be changed to Charlene without you ever knowing it?

The
state mandating more electronic voting machines just gives more props
to libertarians who refuse to vote at all on the principle that voting
only serves to encourage the out-of-wedlock reprobates who run for
public power.

Working within the system means getting grifted by the system.

So figure it out for yourself:

1.
It has long been proved by constant hacks and virus attacks that any
good geek with off-the-shelf gear is light years ahead of the
government-academic-corporate rocket scientist security experts,
including the colossal computer corporations who stand to make millions
by selling vulnerable voting devices to the politicos.

2. Every electronic voting machine in the nation is under the control of some government entity at some level.

3. Trust them like you trust the dope-smoking mope next door who wants to diddle your daughter.

http://www.examiner.com/x-1449-Dallas-Libertarian-Examiner~y2009m8d19-Voting-machines-hackable-crackable-hijackable

A boycott to stem ‘vote for money’

By Anbumani Ramadoss
19 Aug 2009 11:49:00 PM IST

When
the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), Pattali Makkal
Katchi (PMK) and Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) announced
their boycott of the assembly by-elections in Tamil Nadu, they were
spurred by memories of the recent parliamentary elections. The elections
in Tamil Nadu witnessed the gross misuse of science — electronic voting
machines (EVMs) were manipulated and systematic rigging was resorted to
by officials showcasing blatant use of money power to the advantage of
the ruling party, handing them stupendous victory on a silver platter,
defying all principles of democracy, ethics and logic. The entire
election drama was staged with such shocking impunity and lack of
compunction that the opposition parties and the conscientious public
watched with benumbing horror. The spectacle of the democratic process
crumbled down like a pack of cards.
Elections in Tamil Nadu were held
on May 13, 2009. Till May 9, the AIADMK front was thought to be well on
its way to a winning streak. Abruptly, the situation changed —
dramatically. I surmise the cartwheel turned due to the tsunami of money
that raised its ugly head and gobbled up the gullible.
After two
corrections, when the final polling percentage of 73 per cent was
announced the day after the elections, it clearly suggested two
possibilities. Such an increase in polling meant that either people
voted in large numbers in support of the Sri Lankan issue or the
inconceivable had happened due to manipulated rigging by the ruling
party. Sadly, the latter emerged to be true. Any increase in polling
percentage over that of the previous elections has always gone against
the party in power. Defying all electoral predictions and norms, an
unprecedented 12.2 per cent increase in polling over the last elections,
in 2004, has given a resounding victory to the ruling Dravida Munnetra
Kazhagam (DMK), contrary to the predictions of the media, private
surveys, Intelligence Bureau reports etc, which predicted a clean sweep
for the AIADMK front.
West Bengal recorded the highest polling
percentage of 81.3 per cent, an increase of 3.3 per cent over that of
2004 and the opposition garnered 25 seats, more than it had ever managed
to garner in the long past. Kerala, with the second highest polling
percentage of 73.3 per cent registered an increase of 1.8 per cent over
the last elections, handing 15 seats out of 20 to the opposition
coalition. Tamil Nadu was the lone exception. The state recorded 73 per
cent polling and had the third highest polling percentage in the
country. The increase of 12.2 per cent over the previous elections gave
28 out of 40 seats to the ruling coalition, a clear deviation from past
trends.
What is surprising is that when the DMK front swept 40 out of
40 seats in the 2004 parliamentary elections, the polling percentage
was only 60.8 per cent. The polling percentage of all the seven
constituencies where the PMK contested this time was around 80 per cent,
that points towards massive rigging by the ruling party.
During his
press meet, the chief electoral officer of Tamil Nadu, Naresh Gupta,
mentioned that one polling booth, which had a PMK contestant, recorded
100 per cent polling. He said that nearly 725 polling booths had
recorded more than 90 per cent polling. According to political
scientists and experts, the probability of a polling booth recording a
100 per cent turnout is next to impossible. Incidentally, when some of
the polling booths had more than 80 per cent polling during the last
elections, re-polls were ordered. The logical question that arises now
is: What or who stopped the election commissioner from doing an encore
this time, announcing a re-poll in these booths?
No doubt that a
combination of various factors led to the thumping victory of the DMK
front during the current Lok Sabha elections. Money power, muscle power,
blatant misuse of government machinery, rigged EVMs and the flouting of
all Election Commission norms helped the esteemed members of the DMK
front to be ensconced comfortably in their coveted seats.
Devious
machinations by the DMK front went into the scheming of the rigging to
make the results appear genuine. The DMK front could have won all the 40
seats contested by its members on the strength of these malpractices.
Yet, to give an impression that the results were genuine, they willingly
gave 12 seats to the opposition. However, those who were not in the
good books of the DMK were all ignominiously defeated. The fate of E V K
S Elangovan, R Prabhu, K V Thangabalu, Manishankar Iyer, Vaiko and all
the PMK candidates was decided well in advance by the DMK.
The PMK
was the hardest hit in this conspiracy. It is alleged that the DMK spent
anywhere between Rs 40 to 70 crore in each of the PMK constituencies.
The highest amount was spent in the Arakkonam constituency which is
estimated to be around Rs 70 crore where the PMK candidate R Velu and
erstwhile minister of state for railways contested. R Velu, a retired
IAS officer, who has an exemplary reputation not only in Tamil Nadu but
also in the entire country, lost out to S Jagathrakshakan, currently MoS
(I& B) who is the owner of a distillery, a hotelier and the
chancellor of a deemed university (which was in the news recently for
being caught on tape demanding capitation fees for an MBBS seat).
The
clandestine operations were carried out during the dark hours of the
night, for distributing money from house to house. The upshot of these
undesirable developments was that a case was filed in the Supreme Court
against the use of EVMs by V V Rao and in the high court by the PMK.
Almost all national and regional parties including the BJP, CPI(M), CPI,
SP, RJD, BSP, TC, JDU, TDP, LJP, AIADMK, PMK, MDMK, and DMDK have come
down heavily against the use of EVMs for future elections.
The
responsibility of infusing confidence among the public and the parties
regarding the reliable use of the EVMs lies with the judiciary and the
Election Commission. In the context of the miserable failure of the EVMs
during the recent elections, it makes sense to go back to the
traditional ballot system. In fact, most of the developed countries are
going back to the traditional ballot system due to the undependability
of the EVM. The recalcitrant attitude of the Election Commission, with a
preconceived mindset in continuing with the EVM seems incomprehensible.
The election commissioner’s argument is that in India we use a
standalone EVM whereas the developed countries use a centrally linked
EVM. Ironically, according to experts the standalone EVM system is
easier to manipulate than a centrally linked EVM system.
It is
believed that the media was threatened and gagged so that free and fair
reporting was not done. I am not writing this out of a sense of
frustration because we lost, but out of a fervent desire for free and
fair elections that uphold the democratic principles of the largest
democracy in the world — at least in the future.
Among other gimmicks
employed to lure the public, the ruling DMK doled out a lot of freebies
to the general public like TVs, LPG connections, rice for one rupee,
etc. Apart from this, the DMK government took advantage of the dismal
plight of the indigent and bought votes for a ‘fee’ ranging from Rs 100
to Rs 2,000 per vote. The DMK front has created ‘history’ whipping up a
frenzy of mass scale corruption enticing the public to accept bribe for
their votes, thereby creating a new culture.
Officials manning the
polling booths were handpicked by the government in the seven
constituencies where the PMK candidates contested and were allegedly
asked to poll between 100 and 200 votes illegally, without arousing
suspicion of large-scale rigging, but effectively ensuring victory to
the ruling front. Strict instructions were given not to poll more than
200 illegal votes per booth to obliterate the suspicion of rigging,
Computing the statistics on this basis, 100 votes on an average in 1,300
polling booths per constituency will count up to 1,30,000 votes and 200
votes per polling booth is 2,60,000 votes per constituency. No wonder
PMK and other parties were hit very hard.
During the parliamentary
elections money was inundating the state like uncontrollable floods. It
has been alleged that an inspector of police was paid Rs 25,000, a sub
inspector Rs 15,000, a polling officer got Rs 10,000 and  a party booth
agent pocketed Rs 5,000, apart from Rs 100 to Rs 2,000 per vote that the
general public received. The Election Commission was in a trance of
‘Masterly Inactivity’. All complaints by the opposition fell on deaf
ears.
Innumerable complaints against election code transgressions
went unheeded. When the PMK party cadre caught persons belonging to the
opposition party distributing money red-handed, and took them to the
authorities, cases were filed against the PMK cadre rather than against
the perpetrators of malpractice. The district collectors and district
superintendents of police exhibited their allegiance to the DMK
blatantly. Even my meeting with the Big Three — the chief election
commissioner Navin Chawla, Quareshi and Sampath, turned out to be a
formal meeting without any outcome.
It is beyond doubt that the EVMs
were pre-programmed for the DMK’s victory. Numerous complaints about the
malfunctioning of the EVMs also went unheeded. It has been said that
when the voting button was pressed against the PMK symbol, the light was
blipping against the DMK candidate’s name. Amidst all this, the common
man and his rights have been conveniently forgotten. Every individual
has the right to know to which candidate his/her vote was cast, but who
cares?
While our alliance worked round the clock for door-to-door
election campaigns at all levels with senior leaders like J
Jayalalithaa, Ramadoss, Vaiko, Varadharajan of CPI(M),  Nalla Kannu
(CPI), Prakash Karat and others personally visiting villages, towns and
cities of Tamil Nadu, there was hardly any campaign in the opposite
camp, with the exception of the present deputy chief minister, M K
Stalin. Without exaggeration, I would like to disclose that during the
five weeks I campaigned for elections, I did not come across any DMK
leader or party worker campaigning in any village or town.
It was
alleged that the ruling party threatened to stop the NREGS in the
villages if the people did not vote for them. Till the time of
elections, the ruling party paid Rs 120 over the wages of Rs 80 per day
under the scheme. It was also alleged that self help groups were paid Rs
2,000 to Rs 20,000 almost throughout Tamil Nadu, depending on their
power of persuasion.
The money plundered by the sand mafia, rice
mafia, sugar mafia, liquor mafia and other unscrupulous elements was
used freely by the ruling party to systematically create a new culture
of ‘vote for money,’ whether the candidate is a competent leader or not.
In future, economically deprived candidates or political parties cannot
even think of contesting elections due to the advent of this new
culture. It is the duty of the Election Commission to restore the
confidence in the electoral system for a free and fair election and
uphold the democratic and constitutional values and principles.
Otherwise, the general public would soon lose faith and shun these types
of farcical elections.
If such a large-scale electoral scam can be
planned and executed so systematically and scientifically during the
massive parliamentary elections, a by-election is simply a walk over.
Thirumangalam was the starting point for the commencement of the new
culture of ‘vote for money,’ which has been perfected during the recent
parliamentary elections in Tamil Nadu. This made even the former CEC
Gopalaswami castigate the DMK government saying that Tamil Nadu was
worse than Bihar. The by-election may just happen to be a repetition of
this objectionable trend. Is there any necessity to waste people’s time
and money in conducting a farce? Why not announce the winner right away
and eschew all the drama?
After all, the recent parliamentary
elections do not reflect the true defeat of the PMK nor is it a true
victory for the DMK. When justice and fair practice prevail, there will
be true victory.
(The author is a former Union health minister)

http://tinyurl.com/ou5jlx

Poll panel allows petitioners to show EVM’s tamperbility

Ians

August 17th, 2009

NEW
DELHI - The Election Commission Monday met petitioners who have filed
cases in courts across the country challenging the efficacy of
electronic voting machines (EVMs) and agreed to offer machines so they
could demonstrate their claims of tamperability.

We met the
Election Commission and demanded it offer us EVMs to demonstrate that
these can be tampered with. The commission has agreed and will tell us
tomorrow (Tuesday) of the time to give this demonstration,” Hari Prasad,
managing director of Net India, a Hyderabad based software company,
told IANS after the meeting.

Two engineers of Net India are also petitioners in this case.

All
three Election Commissioners were present along with their expert
committee at the meeting with the delegation which included observers
from political parties and technical experts.

Prasad said he has
asked for 20 EVMs that he will pick randomly from different booths to
demonstrate that these can be tampered with.

The commission has reiterated several times that the machines were tamper-proof.

The
first attack against the EVMs came from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)
leader L.K. Advani. Later, other political leaders also voiced their
concerns about the reliability of the EVMs used during the April-May
Lok  Sabha polls.

Since many cases were filed on the matter in
various courts, the commission invited those who had approached the
courts and political parties to its headquarters in New Delhi to discuss
the issue.

http://blog.taragana.com/n/poll-panel-allows-petitioners-to-show-evms-tamperbility-141837/

AIADMK, SP leaders meet EC to prove EVM tampering
PTI 17 August 2009, 08:16pm IST

NEW
DELHI: A delegation comprising leader of two political parties and
technical experts today met Election Commission officials and discussed
with them the possibility of tampering of EVMs.

The delegation,
comprising leaders of AIADMK and Samajwadi Party, said the Commission
has asked them to demonstrate at a later date that the machines can be
tampered with. 

“The Election Commission wants the demonstration
be done on their EVMs and they will fix a date later,” AIADMK
spokesperson V Maithreyan told reporters after meeting the three-member
commission. 

However, Commission sources said no dates have been fixed. 

“Our
team was ready to demonstrate with a sample machine how the EVM can be
tampered. But the EC was not prepared to undergo that exercise”, he
said. 

“The EC wanted us to prove that the EVMs used by them (EC) can be tampered with,” Maithreyan said. 

“We have accepted the challenge of EC and will “prove that EVM can be tampered with,” he added. 

The
EC had earlier in a statement said that “it remains entirely satisfied
that EVMs cannot be tampered with and are fully tamper-proof.”

 

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/news/india/AIADMK-SP-leaders-meet-EC-to-prove-EVM-tampering-/articleshow/4903491.cms
Oldest PSU to develop first biometric EVM
Maneesh Chhibber Posted online: Monday , Aug 17, 2009 at 0338 hrs
New
Delhi : The country’s oldest public sector undertaking (PSU) is all set
to play a major role in ushering in a new era in the way elections are
conducted in the country. Bangalore-based ITI Limited is on the verge of
developing what could be the country’s first biometric electronic
voting machine (EVM).
With concerns over whether the EVMs that the
Election Commission of India (EC) presses into service during elections
can be hacked, the biometric EVMs could effectively end all debate about
the fairness of the electoral process. In October last, the then Chief
Election Commissioner, N Gopalaswami, had said that the EC was
considering introduction of biometric EVMs. Last week, the EC held a
meeting with Nandan Nilekani, recently-appointed chief of the UID
project, where the issue of biometric EVMs was also discussed.

The
biometric EVMs, which the ITI Ltd is developing, would identify voters
by their fingerprints, thereby putting an end to all bogus voting and
impersonation. When contacted, Lt Col A M Uniyal (retd), General Manager
(R&D), ITI Ltd, confirmed that the company was working on the new
type of EVMs. “Beyond that I can’t tell you anything,” he said.

A
source in the EC said with the Government of India having already set
up an authority to provide unique identity cards to the citizens, the
problem of a database of biometric prints of the voters would
automatically be solved.
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/Oldest-PSU-to-develop-first-biometric-EVM/502868

E-Voting Takes Another Hit

August 16, 2009 Mike Pearson
 
The design requirements for e-voting are high, preventing not-yet-discovered attacks.
 
A
group of computer scientists have shown how voting results, held in
electronic voting machines, can be changed using a novel hacking
technique. It’s yet another reason why we need to have a verifiable,
auditable, paper-trail for electronic voting machines.
 “This
research shows that voting machines must be secure even against attacks
that were not yet invented when the machines were designed and sold.
Preventing not-yet-discovered attacks requires an extraordinary level of
security engineering, or the use of safeguards such as voter-verified
paper ballots,” said Edward Felten, an author on the new study; Director
of the Center for Information Technology Policy; and Professor of
Computer Science and Public Affairs at Princeton University.

 

http://mikepearsonnz.amplify.com/2009/08/16/e-voting-takes-another-hit/

 

From a statement:

To
take over the voting machine, the computer scientists found a flaw in
its software that could be exploited with return-oriented programming.
But before they could find a flaw in the software, they had to reverse
engineer the machine’s software and its hardware—without the benefit of
source code.

Essentially, return-oriented programming is a
technique that uses pieces of existing system code to exploit the
system. In this demonstration, the researchers successfully performed a
buffer-overflow.

The team of scientists involved in the study
included Shacham, as well as researchers from the University of Michigan
and Princeton University. The hacked voting system was a Sequoia AVC
Advantage electronic voting machine.

Shacham concluded that paper-based elections are the ay to go. I wouldn’t go that far, but he did:

“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.”

I’d settle for verifiable paper-based audit trail.
Professor Edward Felten, a long-time observer of electronic voting systems also commented:

“This
research shows that voting machines must be secure even against attacks
that were not yet invented when the machines were designed and sold.
Preventing not-yet-discovered attacks requires an extraordinary level of
security engineering, or the use of safeguards such as voter-verified
paper ballots,” said Edward Felten, an author on the new study; Director
of the Center for Information Technology Policy; and Professor of
Computer Science and Public Affairs at Princeton University.

In
February 2008, Felten demonstrated how he was able to access several
electronic voting systems at multiple locations in New Jersey.

http://www.informationweek.com/blog/main/archives/2009/08/evoting_takes_a.html;jsessionid=ZAEAADKKKRDW3QE1GHPSKH4ATMY32JVN?cid=RSSfeed_IWK_ALL

EVM hacking: EC accountable under cyber law: IT Act 2000

I
have collated and summarised arguments demonstrating EVM hacking and
the imperative of subjecting EC to a forensic audit by an independent
agency under the directions of the Supreme Court. The splendid
contributions made by Prof. J Krishnayya, Dr. Anupam Saraph, Prof. MD
Nalapat, Sri Rajeev Srinivasan, Prof. Sohan Prabhakar Modak, Sri Senthi
Raja are gratefully acknowledged.

Freedom we have earned has to be defended resolutely. Eternal  vigilance is the price of liberty.

EC
like caesar’s wife should be above suspicion. Now, EC is tainted as it
has entered the complex cyber world,  has to justify its constitutional
status before the peoples’ court and explain fully the measures taken to
guard against cyber frauds in the wireless technology age exemplified
by a chip the size of a pencil head can transmit and receive messages
when buttoned on to a device like the EVM.

Our ancestors
of the 10th century (919 CE) seem to have conducted elections — with
secret ballots using pots — much more efficiently as recorded in the
Uttaramerur (near Kanchipuram) inscription of King Parantaka chola .
This was mentioned during the Constituent Assembly debates by T.
Prakasam (who was CM of Madras Presidency) while referring to the
democratic traditions of our nation.
http://parliamentofindia.nic.in/ls/debates/debates.htm(Constituent
Assembly Debates) This inscription which refers to adult suffrage and
secret ballot, was cited during Constituent Assembly deliberations for
drafting the Constitution of independent Bharat. “Shri T. Prakasam
(Madras: General): The Honourable Mr. Madhava Rau said that the ballot
box and ballot paper were not known to our ancestors. I would like to
point out to him, Sir, that the ballot box and the ballet papers were
described in an inscription on the walls of a temple in the villages of
Uttaramerur, twenty miles from Conjeevaram (Kanchipuram). Every detail
is given there. The ballot box was a pot with the mouth tied and placed
on the ground with a hole made atthe bottom and the ballot paper was the
kadjan leaf and adult franchise was exercised. The election took place
not only for that village but for the whole of India. This was just a
thousand years ago. It is not known to my honourable Friend and that is
why he made such a wrong statement – a grievously wrong statement and I
want to correct it.”
http://parliamentofindia.nic.in/ls/debates/vol7p5b.htmhttp://parliamentofindia.nic.in/ls/debates/vol4p8.htm

http://www.thehindu.com/fr/2008/07/11/stories/2008071151250300.htm Constitution 1000 years ago

namaskaram. kalyanaraman

EC accountable under cyber law: IT Act 2000

How can an accused become a judge?

All
parties have expressed concerns about functioning of EVMs (Ghulam Nabi
Azad about Orissa polls, Advani about Lok Sabha polls, PMK/MDMK in Tamil
Nadu etc.) EC is going through a make-believe, non-transparent
exercise. How can the accused become a judge?

EC has not explained who manufactures the chips in the EVMs

The
manufactures of the CHIPs are still not revealed by the EC, and most
probably the manufacturer of the chip would be a foreign company. 
Again, this is another national security issue, where we mortgage our
credibility of our election process to a foreign company.  Ultimately we
never inspect the foreign company premises too.

There are also
reports that ECIL/BEL have outsourced the making of the EVMs to private
parties thus introducing another trojan horse. EC has to confirm the
situation.

Introduction of timer device in EVMs violates secrecy of ballot

The
latest EVMs record the time of each vote.  This violates the
fundamental principle of secret voting.  When the polling booth agent,
notes down the time a particular voter had voted, he will be able to
find which party he voted for, if he has access to EVM vote logs.  This
is a violation of constitutional rights, which can invalidate the last
loksabha election itself, since about 16% of EVMs had time details.

Use
of two types of machines — one with timer (introduced in Jan. 2009
first in Delhi Assembly polls) and another without timer device. EVMs
with timer devices are said to be about 2 lakh in number (out of a total
of  about13 lakh EVMs). Thus in 16% of the constituencies or about 80
Lok Sabha constituencies the timerdevice EVMs were used rendering them
to internet frauds because timer device makes the device non-local and
directly amenable to internet crime. There is a good possibility that
the 80 constituencies selected for manipulation were in Tamilnadu,
Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, UP and Delhi. EC is accountable to provide
info. on how the timer-device EVMs were distributed and how they were
certified by manufacturers , audited by
EC, before being deployed.
Party polling agents should be allowed access to such regular system
audits to ensure transparency and accountability of EC.

The possibility of embedding wireless Feature in the Chip:

Since
the early days of electronic devices such as Read Only Memory (ROM)
chips, there have been dramatic advances including wireless
technologies.

UC SanDiego Prof writes about having been able to reverse engineer the software of
(American)
EVMs, without opening them up at all. His programming style suggest
that there have been many changes in the capability of software hackers.

The first question is how will we know, if a chip contains
wireless feature or not?  It is impossible to find the architecture of
the chip, after it is manufactured.  This wireless feature can be be
made passive, so that it gets activated only upon receiving a specific
signal in a specific frequency.

A simple analogy is that, our
mobile phone rings only if the call is intended for it..  All the GSM
waves are available to the mobile phone, but it activates only when a
particular signal (corresponding to its mobile number or set code) is
detected.  IT rejects all other waves, even though it can read those.

In
a similar case, the wireless feature will remain passive, unless
activated by the known person.  And this can be done, through satellite
from any part of the world.

Or it can be done at a distance of 200 - 300 metres outside the polling booth..  The possibility is wide here.

Failure to audit the design integrity of EVM’s and embedded software

Beep sound can NEVER be a confirmation of the vote:

The
EC claims that when a voter presses the particular party’s button,
there will be a beep sound to confirm his vote.  But in practical
perspective, a beep sound confirms only the pressing of the button, but
it does not confirm whether the vote has been delivered to the
particular party.

This is just like giving our vote to a third
person, who in turns puts in to ballot box.  We never know if that third
person puts our vote correctly or he changes it and puts a different
vote or he may not even deliver the vote itself.

So, direct and
secret voting itself is violated, which is available in the ballot
paper, where we know which party symbol we are marking, and we ourselves
ensure the voting by directly putting the paper in the ballot box
ourselves.

- Closed source proprietary design- If it is a mere
calculator and completely secure, why the secrecy about its design and
software, why not allow use of any EVM’s that confirm to a standard? We
do not restrict to using HP calculators and ban the use of any other
calculator for number crunching.

- EVM’s cannot work without
elaborate supervised pre and post-poll process involving observers,
agents and security paper seals. This is a huge risk and cost. Like a
calculator that cannot work unless scientists, teachers and examiners
certify that the calculator is secure and not fraudulent.

- There
is no verification of software on the EVM - no checksum or debug
programs to confirm identity and version of software - besides black-box
testing. What can distinguish an authentic EVM from an unauthentic one?

An
extraordinary statement was made by EC that from now on ECIL/BEL
(makers of EVMs) will be asked to certify the EVMs supplied by them. It
is amazing that such certification and audit by EC did not occur for the
13 lakhs + EVMs in use now and for the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.

Trojan Code:

Secret
Trojan code embedded right at the manufacturing stage.  This trojan can
be activated, by combination of special keys known only to secret group
of people.  This trojan need not know the candidate or his serial
number or his party symbol.  What it needs is to know the exact button,
to which the benefeciary party belongs to, so that it can either
simulate that button press, or transfer votes from other buttons to the
beneficiary party’s button code.

This point is very important,
because the Indiresan committee report claims that the candidate serial
number is not known till two weeks of commencement of election. This is a
false claim, because, candidate serial number is only for human
reference, and all the internal workings are based on machine codes.

Even
if cadidate serial number claim is to be accepted, there should be a
mechanism to feed or map the button to the serial number, and that can
be done only by humans..  who are they?

Absence of standards for EVM data storage and retrieval

-
There are no standards and procedures for data-storage, data-retrieval,
archiving, data-transfer, data-verification. In fact the BEL and ECIL
machines are not even compatible when it comes to obtaining, storing
retrieving, archiving or transferring data. What is the standard? Why
are there no third party designs? Who are the OEMs? This is like NTSC
and PAL- only the manufacturers benefit.

- There is a manual
process for reading the votes - Why is there no print-out of the votes
recorded on the machine with the machine id? Why can the entire data not
be transfered to public website instantaneously? Why must the form 17C
and form 20 be manually filled? Why can it not be printed by the EVM?

Absence of EVM audit procedures

-
There is no standard for maintaining a transaction trail and statutory
independent audit by anyone who wishes to audit an EVM or entire
constituencies. This is like allowing pass-books to be updated without
entries in registers and without payment slips or cheque-book entries in
the registers. This is like trusting the system because it runs, not
because there is a mechanism to check for points of malfunction or
misuse.

- There is no transaction slip to the voter. For the
voter, the vote is untraceable once it is cast. This is like depositing
money without a deposit slip. It is like a bank that has no pass-book
updates or ways to check that the money is still in your account.

EC gets results on 6 May 2009 before Voting is completed (last date of polling May 13)

-
Coded “results” were available on the ECI website in the versions of
the spreadsheet CandidateAC.xls downloaded between the 6th and 11th of
May. They contained “results”  for all but 47 of the 8071 candidate. If
EVM’s were secure with DEO/district collectors, and elections were not
even held in many constituencies, how was did the ECI have this data?

- Was this data not in control of the ECI? Was their site hacked? Or was data from various EVM’s uploaded in advance?

- How can the ECI distinguish between real and dummy data?

EC in violation of Supreme Court order of 19 Jan. 2009

-
The existence of the poll results data as early as May 6 (one week
before May 13 the final date of polling) contravenes the Order passed by
the Supreme Court on 19-01-2009, in writ petition ( C) No. 207 of
2004th See http://eci.nic.in/press/current/pn140409.pdf reproduced
below:

ELECTION COMMISSION OF INDIA

Nirvachan Sadan, Ashoka Road, New Delhi – 110 001

No. ECI/PN/ 23 /2009 Dated : 14th April, 2009

PRESS NOTE

Subject : Prohibition on Publication and Dissemination of Results of Opinion

polls/Exit polls.

In pursuance of the Order passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court on 19-01-2009,

in
writ petition ( C) No. 207 of 2004, the Election Commission issued
Guidelines, on 17th February, 09, to be followed in the matter of
publication/dissemination of results of opinion polls and exit polls in
connection with the current elections to the Lok Sabha and State
Legislative Assemblies. As per the guidelines, result of opinion/exit
polls carried out at any time, cannot be published, publicized or
disseminated in any manner, during the period starting from 48 hours
before the hour fixed for conclusion of poll in the first phase of
election and till the conclusion of poll in the last phase of election.
The period referred to in the guidelines starts from 3 PM today, the
14th April, 09 (as the hour fixed for conclusion of poll in some of the
constituencies in the first phase of election on 16.4.09 is 3 PM ), and
will continue till the conclusion of poll in the last ( the fifth) phase
of election.

(K.F.WILFRED) SECRETARY

 Use of Genesys software by EC to consolidate vote counts

Counting of votes using Genesys software

EC
has not publicized, NOR audited the flow of information after the EVMs
have been used for the polls.  There are so many places along the route
(not to mention the idea of using E-mails to collect vote totals!) where
errors can creep in.  (In fact, the Genesys programme mentioned by EC
to Anupam and Nalapat has NOT been publicised.  Has it been checked out
by the technical  group led by Indiresan?

- If this data is
generated as test/dummy data by “Genesys” software that collects and
transfers data from districts to the ECI then:
  * Why did this happen during the poll process?
  * Why did the ECI not put up notice to the effect on its website?
 
* Why did it not react to the alert to this data sent to them on the
6th of May by NIC and Dr Anupam Saraph? Why is there no response to
date? Why is there no clarification on this?
  * If the purpose of
the test is to match names with votes, why were the names coded to match
the order in which they appear on the EVM?
  * If it is just meant to tally the match, why was the data changing for at least some constituencies in this period?

Votes polled by 108 winners in 2009 Lok Sabha polls tally with May 6 spreadsheet data of EC

Nalapat’s
discovery of EC working with spreadsheets on May 6 when the final count
and results were due only on May 10. Prof. SP Modak has found that 108
constituency results match with the numbers used in the spreadsheets.
This is a serious issue requiring CBI inquiry. EC cannot be allowed to
brush this under the carpet; this is comparable to a cyber crime of
fraudulent of use of ATMs of Banks. An external agency should audit the
use of Gensys software for gathering info. On counted votes from the
state Election Commission officials.

  * Why do 108 winners tally with winners as per this data?
  * Why do the ranks of 662 candidates match the finally declared?
 
* In many cases multiple ranks in the same constituency match - this is
a highly non-random event considering each of the ‘n’ candidates in a
constituency would have ‘1/n’ chance of making it to any position and p
positions matching is a low probability chance with probability
1/(n)**p.
  * If previous years data is used to generate “dummy
data”, why are there only 108 matches? Also where does the data for
those who did not contest previously come from?
  * Why was this data “sanitized” on the 15th of May?
  * Why were the final results never uploaded onto the spreadsheet?
  * Why was the link to the spreadsheet removed on the 15th of July when the media asked the ECI questions about it?

EC has not replied to the notes sent by Anupam and Nalapat

 
* Why has the ECI not replied to the mails and minutes of the meeting
with ECI sent to them by Dr Anupam Saraph and Prof Madhav Nalapat?

- Why does the voters and votes polled data reported by the ECI in different documents on its own website differ significantly?

EC contravenes Cyberlaws in India

SC
should direct that EC be made accountable under the Information
Technology Act 2000 since EC is using a computer/computer
network/computer resource/computer system as defined in the Act.

EVMs
are computers/computer networks/computer resource/computer system under
the definitions included in The Information Technology Act, 2000 (No.
21 Of 2000)Of India

http://www.legalserviceindia.com/cyber/itact.html (For the full text of the Act)

Amendments
have also been made to the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860) to recognize
electronic records and to the Indian Evidence Act 1872 (1 of 1872) and
Reserve Bank of India act 1934 (2 of 1934).

In the Reserve Bank
of India Act, 1934, in section 58, in sub-section (2), after clause (p),
the following clause shall be inserted, namely:-

“(pp) the
regulation of fund transfer through electronic means between the banks
or between the banks and other financial institutions referred to in
clause (c) of section 45-1, including the laying down of the conditions
subject to which banks and other financial institutions shall
participate in such fund transfers, the manner of such fund transfers
and the rights and obligations of the participants in such fund
transfers;”.

This is an Act to provide legal recognition for
transactions carried out by means of electronic data interchange and
other means of electronic communication, commonly referred to as
“electronic commerce”, which involve the use of alternatives to
paper-based methods of communication and storage of information, to
facilitate electronic filing of documents with the Government agencies
and further to amend the Indian Penal Code, the Indian Evidence Act,
1872, the Bankers’ Books Evidence Act, 1891 and the Reserve Bank of
India Act, 1934 and for matters connected therewith or incidental
thereto.

1 (2) It shall extend to the whole of India and, save
as otherwise provided in this Act, it applies also to any offence or
contravention thereunder committed outside India by any person.

2
) “computer” means any electronic magnetic, optical or other high-speed
data processing device or system which performs logical, arithmetic,
and memory functions by manipulations of electronic, magnetic or optical
impulses, and includes all input, output, processing, storage, computer
software, or communication facilities which are connected or related to
the computer in a computer system or computer network;

(j)  “computer network” means the interconnection of one or more computers through—

(i) the use of satellite, microwave, terrestrial line or other communication media; and

(ii)
terminals or a complex consisting of two or more interconnected
computers whether or not the interconnection is continuously maintained;

            (k)  “computer resource” means computer, computer system, computer network, data,computer data base or software;

(l)
“computer system” means a device or collection of devices, including
input and output support devices and excluding calculators which are not
programmable and capable of being used in conjunction with external
files, which contain computer programmes, electronic instructions, input
data and output data, that performs logic, arithmetic, data storage and
retrieval, communication control and other functions;

The act defines in Section 2 (ze) a  “secure system” means computer hardware, software, and procedure that-

(a) are reasonably secure from unauthorised access and misuse;
(b) provide a reasonable level of reliability and correct operation;
(c) are reasonably suited to performing the intended functions; and
(d) adhere to generally accepted security procedures;

Sections 65 and 66 of the IT Act 2000 prescribe penalties for tampering/hacking:

65. Tampering with computer source documents.
Whoever
knowingly or intentionally conceals, destroys or alters or
intentionally or knowingly causes another to conceal, destroy or alter
any computer source code used for a computer, computer programme,
computer system or computer network, when the computer source code is
required to be kept or maintained by law for the time being in force,
shall be punishable with imprisonment up to three years, or with fine
which may extend up to two lakh rupees, or with both.

Explanation.-
For the purposes of this section, “computer source code” means the
listing of programmes, computer commands, design and layout and
programme analysis of computer resource in any form.

66. Hacking with computer system.

(1)
Whoever with the intent to cause or knowing that he is likely to cause
wrongful loss or damage to the public or any person destroys or deletes
or alters any information residing in a computer resource or diminishes
its value or utility or affects it injuriously by any means, commits
hack:

(2) Whoever commits hacking shall be punished with
imprisonment up to three years, or with fine which may extend upto two
lakh rupees, or with both.

Procedures governing ATMs which
require printout of transaction as an audit trail for the customer
should be followed in EVM operations.

Just as an ATM produces a
receipt, EVM should produce a receipt which can be deposited in a
separate box for verification in cases of  EVM malfunction/complaints.
Secrecy of the ballot will not be vitiated. The voter is free to inform
others of how he voted; there is no law prohibiting this freedom. He
should also get a copy of the EVM receipt. Even as of now, since an EVM
can accommodate only 3000 votes, secrecy of ballot has already been
violated; it will be possible to know which ward voters voted for which
candidates.

A note on cyberlaws is provided in a separate
document. Just as a Bank is accountable for  preventing potential ATM
frauds, EC will have to be answerable to the possibility of crimes
committed on EVMs which are computing devices. RBI regulates the
operation of the ATMs of banks. Similar regulatory mechanism is needed
for EVMs operated by EC. Elections are high-stake democratic exercises.

Why EVM should be declared unconstitutional by SC

Voter
cannot be expected to be able to understand the systems audit
requirements for complex computing devices. Elections as a public
exercise should be simple and intelligible to the voter. This is the
’simplicity’ criterion on which German Supreme Court declared use of
EVMs unconstitutional.

Nontranparency of EC about vote counting

EC
is not transparent about the election counting procedure. See also the
episode about EC admitting the use of Genesys Software to maintain
spreadsheets of election results. This software had been used to keep
the count on May 6 itself even before the final counting date of May 16
in serious violation of all canons of propriety. EC has promised to
explain this issue to Anupam Saraph and Nalapat. Response from EC 
awaited.

Dangers of erroneous counting or manipulated counting or tally of votes

The possibility of changing the values at the last minute:

All
the votes are electronically stored, most probably in a flash memory.
(Similar to pen drive).  This memory should be rewritable, otherwise,
the votes cannot be entered in this memory.  The EC claims only the
controlling unit is one time writable.   But not the storage chip.

When there is a mechanism to read the total number of votes, cant there be a secret mechanism to alter the reading? 

In the case of Chidambaram episode, the EVMs seem to have been modified somewhere in the middle.

To
give an idea on how to change the values, we can refer to digital FM
radios available now, where the frequency can be either incremented or
decremented, just using two buttons.

The focus on Election Counting Machine:

EVM’s
are NOT manually counted.. rather, they are connected to a counting
machine, which reads the bulk of EVM machines.  Why can’t the counting
machine be hacked?  Since the counting machine gives a consolidated
total, it would be possible to change values through the counting
machine, since what it displays tends to be the final result.

Surely,
EC has to provide a lot of answers instead of issuing Press Notes
declaring that EVMs are tamper-proof. No one buy this declaration in
this electronic, wireless age. Else, there would have been no need for 
an IT Act 2000 as a cyberlaw of India.

EVM: no paper trail; CEC cites secrecy doctrine. Isn’t EC a creature of the citizens’ will?

Does
secrecy over-ride accountability of a functionary under the
constitution? EVM is a mystery wrapped in electronics which an ordinary
voter has reason to mistrust.

What is the objective of an
election? Counting peoples’ will. If the count is flawed, the democracy
is rendered meaningless by the EC.

Paper trail is needed to make the EC accountable and to audit the accuracy of the count by the machine.

k

EVMs are tamper-proof: Election Commission

STAFF WRITER 19:0 HRS IST

Mumbai,
Aug 13 (PTI) In the backdrop of allegations by certain political
parties that Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) could be hacked, the
Election Commission today said EVMs were and are tamper proof.

“In
the view of the Election Commission, EVMs were and are tamper proof.
Nobody has been able to demonstrate that they can be tampered with,”
Chief Election Commissioner Naveen Chawla told reporters here.

On
the demand by some parties for paper printouts of ballots, Chawla said
“we believe a paper trail would foil the essence of democracy, which is
secrecy of individual ballot, and it would be seriously compromised.”

“The
whole purpose of democracy is that individuals’ preference must be
secret and it is the whole pillar of free, fair and transparent 
election process,” he said.

http://www.ptinews.com/news/228283_EVMs-are-tamper-proof–Election-Commission

PMK
to demonstrate its claim on EVMs tampering before EC Published by: Noor
Khan Published: Wed, 12 Aug 2009 at 19:38 IST Chennai, Aug 12 The
Election Commission and the PMK today reached an understanding before
the Madras High Court under which the party would demonstrate to EC on
August 27 how the EVMs could be “manipulated” as claimed by it. A
Division Bench comprising Chief Justice H L Gokhale and Justice D
Murugasen recorded the submission by counsels for EC and PMK on the
understanding to hold the demonstration at the commission’s office
premises in New Delhi. “The petitioner is expected to remain present and
point out whatever defects he finds in the Electronic Voting Machines,”
the judges said. PMK President G K Mani had moved the court for a
direction to the EC to afford an opportunity to experts identified by
the party to demonstrate on how EVMs could be “manipulated”. The party
had also sought an interim injunction, restraining the EC from using
EVMs in the August 18 by-elections to five assembly seats in Tamil Nadu.
PMK, which drew a blank in the May Lok Sabha elections in Tamil Nadu
despite contesting seven seats, had claimed that according to experts
EVMs could be tampered with so that votes polled in favour of one
candidate could be registered in the name of another.
http://www.samaylive.com/news/pmk-to-demonstrate-its-claim-on-evms-tampering-before-ec/646305.html
PMK to show Election Commission how EVMs can be tampered Ians August
12th, 2009 CHENNAI - The Madras High Court Wednesday permitted political
party PMK to demonstrate to election commission officials how the
electronic voting machine (EVM) can be manipulated. Hearing a public
interest litigation (PIL) filed by PMK’s G.K. Mani, a division bench of
the high court asked the PMK leader to show to the election commission
on Aug 27 how the EVMs could be manipulated. In his petition, Mani had
said several software experts had opined that the EVMs could be
manipulated. Alleging the EVMs were tampered with in the recent Lok
Sabha elections, he prayed to the court to order setting up of a
committee comprising software experts from the government and private
sector to look into the issue. He sought the court’s permission to let
his party demonstrate to the election commission how the EVMs could be
tampered with.
http://blog.taragana.com/n/pmk-to-show-election-commission-how-evms-can-be-tampered-137519/

Expert: EC silent on EVM tampering
Rajaram Satapathy, TNN 10 August 2009, 11:01pm IST

BHUBANESWAR: Election watch group functionary V V Rao, who is now on a
countrywide tour making public demonstration to prove that EVMs used
in elections could be tampered with easily to the advantage of
interested parties and candidates, on Monday accused the Election
Commission of India of showing not much interest for transparency in
the existing voting system.

Rao’s reaction came after failing to get ECI’s response for a
demonstration of the EVM before it. “We requested the ECI to invite us
for a live demonstration at its office and sent reminders as well. We
waited in New Delhi several days. But no call came”, Rao, who recently
conducted a mock public voting here to prove the danger of EVMs, said
in a release.

The IT expert said the ECI in a communication dated August 8 has
stated that it had invited us but we did not turn up for doing the
demonstration. “It is blatant lie. The ECI did not call us, but has
issued a statement to the contrary. It is a completely false
statement”, he said.

Rao said he along with two others, Arun and Vasavya, had moved the
apex court on the issue which advised them to approach the ECI. “It
was at the Supreme Court’s order we had gone to the ECI, but the
latter seems trying to sweep the matter under the carpet. It is saying
one thing within the four walls of its office, but making a different
statement in public”, Rao said over phone from Chennai where he made a
similar demonstration before people from different strata of society,
including lawyers, retired bureaucrats and politicians. “Our
apprehensions mentioned before the Supreme Court about the ignorance
of the ECI towards any concerns on the EVMs or the entire process
involved in the elections using EVMs has come true. This clearly shows
the intentions of ECI not to listen to the genuine concerns on the
vulnerabilities in the EVMs. Such a stand not only violates the order
of Supreme Court but also avoid questions which are extremely relevant
and important for free and fair elections which can alone strengthen
the democracy”, Rao remarked.

He demanded the ECI to withdraw its statement forthwith and said they
would soon approach it again on the same issue. “For the greater
interest of democracy in India and creating ground for fair elections
we will approach the ECI again. If the ECI does not accept our demand
we will have no option but to move the Supreme Court”, he pointed out.
Rao said a ‘Forum for promoting verifiability, transparency and
accountability in Indian elections’ (VeTA-India) had since been
constituted to carry forward the nationwide campaign on the election
issue, including the liability of EVMs. “More than 15 noted
personalities, including retired bureaucrats and technocrats, have
given their consent to join this mission”, he said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/news/city/bhubaneswar/Expert-EC-silent-on-EVM-tampering-/articleshow/4879003.cms

 August 16, 2009
EVM expose
Is electronic ‘rigging’ subverting electoral mandate?
By GVL Narasimha Rao
Shockingly, of the 13.78 lakh EVMs deployed in the 2009 Lok Sabha
polls, only 4.48 Lakh are either new or upgraded machines, while as
many as 9.3 Lakh EVMs (or over 2/3rd of all EVMs) deployed are old
machines. The Commission has furnished this information in reply to a
RTI query dated July 21 to V. Venkateswara Rao, the main petitioner
who filed a PIL in the Supreme Court on the issue.

Political parties now suspect that something has wrong but appear
woefully short in understanding the rigging possibilities of
electronic voting machines. Most of them have nagging doubts about the
tampering of the EVMs, but have not raised these concerns in an open
manner for fear of retribution and ridicule. The Supreme Court in its
order in disposing the writ petition on EVMs had stated last month
that the issue raised are of vital concern and the political parties
may approach the Commission to clarify their doubts about the EVMs.
The debate over the unreliability of the EVM that raged over the last
two months is reaching a crescendo as many new facts come to light,
even as Election Commission officials continue to carp ad nauseam that
the EVMs used by the Election Commission are infallible, without any
substantive proof, whatsoever.

On the other hand, there is now enough verifiable and circumstantial
evidence to show that there is something amiss about the EVMs. The
true story of the EVMs is beginning to unfold and it would be a
tragedy if the political parties do not get to the bottom of the truth
about these allegations and apprehensions. The poll panel is betraying
signs of nervousness as it has no convincing explanations to a number
of emerging concerns and the political parties owe it to the millions
of the voting public to investigate and arrive at proper conclusions
to show that their votes have not been robbed by unscrupulous
individuals and to restore the public faith in our voting system.

Shocking verdicts
As someone who has analysed and predicted many parliamentary and
assembly elections in the past, let me add a new perspective to the
raging EVM debate. The only two parliamentary elections where the
pollsters in general have gone horribly wrong in India’s parliamentary
history are the Lok Sabha elections of 2009 and 2004. Consider this
fact these are the only two national elections that were totally
electronic.

In stark contrast, the Lok Sabha election results of 1991, 1996 and
1999 which were manual could be accurately predicted by most
pollsters. For instance, my own Lok Sabha predictions for the Times of
India and Doordarshan for all these elections were bang on target.
(See box for these predictions and actual results).

That brings up the relevant question: Has the voter mood in the Lok
Sabha elections that we were able to gauge very accurately until 1999
become so complex after the Election Commission made them totally
electronic employing the EVMs?

Poll predictions vs. Actual results
* Polls by G.V.L. Narasimha Rao for Times of India/Doordarshan

Interestingly, we could accurately predict various assembly elections
(held using EVMs) held between 2004 and 2009 general elections
including the elections of Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya
Pradesh and Delhi. How is it that the same electronic voting machines
turned in voting results that we could capture accurately in assembly
polls, but not in national elections?

Is it the case that these voting machines per se are reliable when
they are properly handled (which explains why there were no problems
in assembly elections), but have been tampered with in the Lok Sabha
polls producing startling results both in 2004 and 2009?

Lest the cynics argue that my theory of “electronic rigging” in
national elections based on this circumstantial evidence is a figment
of my imagination and rubbish it on the promise that the BJP would not
have performed creditably well in states like Bihar and Chhattisgarh
in 2009 general elections if that were the case, let me substantiate
my claims with some pertinent information and questions.

EC owes explanation
The Election Commission is less than truthful in claiming that the
EVMs deployed in general elections are tamperproof, when its own
technical committee led by Prof. P.V. Indiresan held otherwise. The
Expert Committee in its September, 2006 report (points 3.6 and 3.7)
recommended that the old EVMs should be upgraded with suggested
modifications, testing and operating precautions to make them tamper
proof.

Shockingly, of the 13.78 lakh EVMs deployed in the 2009 Lok Sabha
polls, only 4.48 Lakh are either new or upgraded machines, while as
many as 9.3 Lakh EVMs (or over 2/3rd of all EVMs) deployed are old
machines. The Commission has furnished this information in reply to a
RTI query dated July 21 to V Venkateswara Rao, the main petitioner who
filed a PIL in the Supreme Court on the issue. (Copy of the ECI reply
enclosed)

New, improved EVMs were deployed in the states of Bihar, Chhattisgarh,
Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, and some UT’s and all north
eastern states except Assam. In all others states, old EVMs, which do
not meet the technical specifications, were used.

Why is it that these new, improved machines were not deployed in any
of the key Congress-United Progressive Alliance (UPA) ruled states?
Who were the persons responsible in making these decisions and what
was the rationale in making the choice of states with the new,
improved EVMs?

Curiously, while many states seem to have been selected following some
alphabetical sequence, the UPA ruled states like Andhra Pradesh,
Assam, Haryana, Maharastra and Tamil Nadu (which fall in the same
sequence) have been left out systematically.

Naturally, the following questions arise and the EC is duty bound to
answer them satisfactorily. What considerations guided the deployment
of the old EVMs, more susceptible to tampering in all the states ruled
by the ruling combine at the Centre? Why all the EVMs were not
upgraded or replaced as recommended by the Expert Committee? Isn’t the
Commissions guilty of misleading the political parties and the public
opinion that it’s EVMs are tamper proof when it is fully aware of
their limitations and shortcomings? All these serious questions
warrant convincing answers from the Commission.

Latest statements from Commission officials reveal that they
themselves seem to entertain doubts about the functioning of the old
EVMs deployed in Lok Sabha elections. The Commission officials now say
that only new, improved and ‘certified’ EVMs will be deployed for
by-polls due shortly in Tamil Nadu where the opposition parties led by
the AIADMK have decided to boycott by-elections. Does it not amount to
admission of guilt that the old EVMs used in the Lok Sabha polls in
Tamil Nadu were not reliable and prone to tampering?

‘Stand alone’ EVMs
Election Commisison officials have time and again argued that the EVMs
cannot be tampered as they are stand alone machines without being part
of any network and are not based on operating systems as the EVMs used
elsewhere in the world.

That is an erroneous argument. The stand alone EVMs can be hacked on a
selective basis; in any state, constituency or polling station of
one’s choosing. Granted, this cannot happen without tampering with the
individual EVMs deployed for election duty at some stage of their
handling in the manufacture or election operations. That brings up the
relevant question as to who can actually be involved in tampering.

It may be difficult or even impossible to influence lakhs of
government functionaries deployed for election duty to tamper all the
EVMs. But, it appears that there are a number of private players
involved in gaining access to the EVMs at various stages, starting
from their manufacture to their operations and maintenance at various
stages of elections. Evidently, they are a huge potential security
hazard.

Role of private players
Election Commission officials now claim that the EVMs are tamper proof
and this confidence stems merely from the certificates of authenticity
given by their manufacturers namely the ECIL and BEL, both in the
public sector. Is that a valid ground for unbridled optimism about
their tamper proof reliability? Is there any way that the officers on
election duty or political party representatives to verify that these
EVMs are indeed not tampered with? The answer is a no.

In addition to the manufacturers, there are a number of private
players and individuals who are engaged in handling these machines at
several crucial stages. There is not much information available on who
these people are, who hires them, what duties they perform, what
process is adopted to hire them and what are the terms of their
engagement?

Preliminary enquiries show that they include chip manufacturers,
service maintenance staff, manpower suppliers, outsourcing agencies,
transporters of EVMs etc., who have unlimited access to the EVMs. What
prevents them from tampering with the EVMs at some stage of election
operations? In some states, we found reports suggesting that the
maintenance and EVM handling work has been done by people belonging to
the ruling parties. Does that not give ample scope to these parties to
manipulate these machines?

A few authorised, unscrupulous elements gaining access to the machines
can play havoc with them. No one would even get a hint of such
manipulation as most officials are completely ignorant of the
technology manipulation possibilities. Experts allege that these
manipulations are so simple and devious that these could be done even
without any knowledge on the part of the operational staff engaged in
such manipulations who will mistake these activities to be part of the
operational procedures.

EC operations in mystery
The biggest problem is that all the operations of the Election
Commission of India are shrouded in mystery and there is a veil of
secrecy that surrounds them, while as a public institution; it is
expected to function in a transparent manner. India’s democracy cannot
be held hostage to the whims and fancies of a few high ranking and
well meaning officials of the Election Commission who would like us to
simply believe that under their watchful supervision, nothing can go
wrong.

Most senior officials of the Election Commission and those engaged in
the polling process at various levels seem blissfully unaware of the
manipulation possibilities of the EVMs. Worse, ECI officials see any
doubts raised against EVMs as attacks on their personal integrity.

But, in a country where the election commissioners are appointed owing
to their known political affiliations and former election
commissioners are rewarded with positions and ministerial berths for
‘services’ rendered, doubts are bound to be raised about their
impartiality. It is the duty of the Commission to reveal all facts to
show that it has little to hide.

The Election Commission has the responsibility to initiate a national
debate to discuss all issues threadbare. In stead of addressing valid
concerns, it has been asking everyone to prove that their EVMs are
tamper prone. Granted, no tampering can be done without physically
manipulating it. Experts are challenging that the EVMs used in the
elections can be tampered if one has physical access to them and the
commission is not willing to take the challenge. The Commission
perhaps wants the petitioners to perform some magic skills in
manipulating their machines without gaining any physical access.

In the wake of serious concerns and the emerging potential
possibilities for manipulation at various stages, it is the onerous
duty of the poll panel to demonstrate basis for their oft repeated
claims that their EVMs cannot be tampered with and not anyone else.
The Commission should take voluntary steps in promoting a healthy
debate and remove all hurdles to restore public faith in a system that
has been junked by most western democracies rather than attempt to
muzzle all opposition by making unsustainable claims.

Political parties must demand accountability
Most political parties now suspect that something has wrong but appear
woefully short in understanding the rigging possibilities of
electronic voting machines. Most of them have nagging doubts about the
tampering of the EVMs, but have not raised these concerns in an open
manner for fear of retribution and ridicule. The Supreme Court in its
order in disposing the writ petition on EVMs had stated last month
that the issue raised are of vital concern and the political parties
may approach the Commission to clarify their doubts about the EVMs.

At stake is not just the fate of the political parties but the
sanctity of our electoral process and the essence of our democracy.
Parties must vociferously raise their concerns in public domain and in
Parliament and ensure that the poll panel is held accountable to the
millions of its electorate and conduct future elections in a manner
that enhances the confidence of the electorate and that of the
political parties in their outcomes.

(The author is a leading political analyst and a member of the BJP.
Views expressed here are his own.)
-       -       Forecast        Actual
1996    BJP+    188     189
-       Congress+       142     132
-       Others  212     215
1998    BJP+    252     252
-       Congress+       140     147
-       Others  145     138
1999    BJP+    287     298
-       Congress+       174     135
-       Others  77      105

http://www.organiser.org/dynamic/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=304&page=28

EVMs: “doubters must present their case before poll panel”

Special Correspondent (The Hindu, Aug. 11, 20090)

CHENNAI:
Former Chief Election Commissioner T.S. Krishnamoorthy has advised
those having doubts on the infallibility of electronic voting machines
to present their case before the Election Commission and stop
“misleading people.”

Mr. Krishnamoorthy, who was among those
invited to witness a demonstration on how EVMs could be tampered with,
initially began to walk out as the organisers of the function, along
with leaders of some Opposition parties began casting aspersions on the
conduct of the Election Commission.

He relented to watch the
demonstration after the organisers cut short their speeches and began
the demonstration. The event, ‘Reliability of EVMs and its
demonstration,’ was organised by the Advocates Forum for Social Justice
and a national forum for transparency and accountability in Indian
elections.

In the demonstration, the organisers, using a
Net-India made EVM (not an ECI EVM – the organisers said they had
requested the EC for a few EVMs, which was turned down) initially showed
how there was no problem during the mock poll. They said that after the
mock poll the district-level officials certified that the EVMs were in
working order.

They later conducted a ‘poll’ to prove how if a
software programme is written into the EVM chip, it will show more votes
for the candidate who managed to manipulate the machine.

Mr.
Krishnamoorthy pointed out to the audience, comprising mostly members of
Opposition parties, that only a technically qualified person could
assess if a chip was burnt and whether there was a ‘Trojan’ programme in
it. But, given the fact that there were as many as six safeguards in
the machine, the “question of a Trojan does not arise.”

Detailing the poll process, Mr. Krishnamoorthy said that for every election, EVMs were rotated from State to State.

Conceding
that there could be some technical apprehensions for the organisers
which needed clarification, Mr. Krishnamoorthy said it was “unfair” to
make allegations that the “EVMs could be tutored.”

http://www.hindu.com/2009/08/11/stories/2009081160700700.htm

EVM: Hacking demo

Public release date: 10-Aug-2009

Contact: Daniel Kane
dbkane@ucsd.edu
858-534-3262
University of California - San Diego

Video
at http://www.eurekalert.org/multimedia/pub/15858.php?from=142265
Caption: Computer scientists led by Hovav Shacham, a UC San Diego
professor, hacked an electronic voting machine and stole votes using a
malicious programming approach that had not been invented when the
voting machine was designed. The computer scientists employed
“return-oriented programming” to force a Sequoia AVC Advantage
electronic voting machine to turn against itself and steal votes.

Computer scientists take over electronic voting machine with new programming technique

Voting
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

Computer scientists demonstrated that criminals
could hack an electronic voting machine and steal votes using a
malicious programming approach that had not been invented when the
voting machine was designed. The team of scientists from University of
California, San Diego, the University of Michigan, and Princeton
University employed “return-oriented programming” to force a Sequoia AVC
Advantage electronic voting machine to turn against itself and steal
votes.

“Voting 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, a
professor of computer science at UC San Diego’s Jacobs School of
Engineering and an author on the new study presented on August 10, 2009
at the 2009 Electronic Voting Technology Workshop / Workshop on
Trustworthy Elections (EVT/WOTE 2009), the premier academic forum for
voting security research.

In 2007, Shacham first described
return-oriented programming, which is a powerful systems security
exploit that generates malicious behavior by combining short snippets of
benign code already present in the system.

The new study
demonstrates that return-oriented programming can be used to execute
vote-stealing computations by taking control of a voting machine
designed to prevent code injection. Shacham and UC San Diego computer
science Ph.D. student Stephen Checkoway collaborated with researchers
from Princeton University and the University of Michigan on this
project.

“With this work, we hope to encourage further public
dialog regarding what voting technologies can best ensure secure
elections and what stop gap measures should be adopted if less than
optimal systems are still in use,” said J. Alex Halderman, an electrical
engineering and computer science professor at the University of
Michigan.

The computer scientists had no access to the machine’s
source code—or any other proprietary information—when designing the
demonstration attack. By 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 that does not look like the
Florida 2000 Presidential election,” said Shacham. “If you are using
electronic voting machines, you need to have a separate paper record at
the very least.”

Last year, Shacham, Halderman and others
authored a paper entitled “You Go to Elections with the Voting System
You have: Stop-Gap Mitigations for Deployed Voting Systems” that was
presented at the 2008 Electronic Voting Technology
Workshop.”http://cseweb.ucsd.edu/~hovav/papers/hrsw08.html

“This
research shows that voting machines must be secure even against attacks
that were not yet invented when the machines were designed and sold.
Preventing not-yet-discovered attacks requires an extraordinary level of
security engineering, or the use of safeguards such as voter-verified
paper ballots,” said Edward Felten, an author on the new study; Director
of the Center for Information Technology Policy; and Professor of
Computer Science and Public Affairs at Princeton University.

Return-Oriented Programming Demonstrates Voting Machine Vulnerabilities

To
take over the voting machine, the computer scientists found a flaw in
its software that could be exploited with return-oriented programming.
But before they could find a flaw in the software, they had to reverse
engineer the machine’s software and its hardware—without the benefit of
source code.

Princeton University computer scientists affiliated
with the Center for Information Technology Policy began by reverse
engineering the hardware of a decommissioned Sequoia AVC Advantage
electronic voting machine, purchased legally through a government
auction. J. Alex Halderman—an electrical engineering and computer
science professor at the University of Michigan (who recently finished
his Ph.D. in computer science at Princeton) and Ariel Feldman—a
Princeton University computer science Ph.D. student, reverse-engineered
the hardware and documented its behavior.

It soon became clear to
the researchers that the voting machine had been designed to reject any
injected code that might be used to take over the machine. When they
learned of Shacham’s return-oriented programming approach, the UC San
Diego computer scientists were invited to take over the project. Stephen
Checkoway, the computer science Ph.D. student at UC San Diego, did the
bulk of the reverse engineering of the voting machine’s software. He
deciphered the software by reading the machine’s read-only memory.

Simultaneously,
Checkoway extended return-oriented programming to the voting machine’s
processor architecture, the Z80. Once Checkoway and Shacham found the
flaw in the voting machine’s software—a search which took some time—they
were ready to use return-oriented programming to expose the machine’s
vulnerabilities and steal votes.

The computer scientists crafted a
demonstration attack using return-oriented programming that
successfully took control of the reverse engineered software and
hardware and changed vote totals. Next, Shacham and Checkoway flew to
Princeton and proved that their demonstration attack worked on the
actual voting machine, and not just the simulated version that the
computer scientists built.

The computer scientists showed that an
attacker would need just a few minutes of access to the machine the
night before the election in order to take it over and steal votes the
following day. The attacker introduces the demonstration attack into the
machine through a cartridge with maliciously constructed contents that
is inserted into an unused port in the machine. The attacker navigates
the machine’s menus to trigger the vulnerability the researchers found.
Now, the malicious software controls the machine. The attacker can, at
this point, remove the cartridge, turn the machine’s power switch to the
“off” position, and leave. Everything appears normal, but the
attacker’s software is silently at work.

When poll workers enter
in the morning, they normally turn this type of voting machine on. At
this point, the exploit would make the machine appear to turn back on,
even though it was never actually turned off.

“We overwrote the
computer’s memory and state so it does what we want it to do, but if you
shut off the machine and reboot from ROM, the exploit is gone and the
machine returns to its original behavior,” explained Checkoway.

The
computer scientists tested a machine that is very similar to machines
that are used today in New Jersey and Louisiana. These New Jersey and
Louisiana machines may have corrected the specific vulnerabilities the
computer scientists exploited, but they have the same architectural
limitations. The researchers highlight the possibility that current
voting machines will be vulnerable to return-oriented programming
attacks similar to the attack demonstrated in this study.

“This
work shows how difficult it is to design voting machines that will
remain secure over time. It’s impossible to anticipate what new kinds of
attacks will be discovered in the future,” said Halderman.

###

Watch
a four minute video interview with Hovav Shacham, professor of computer
science at UC San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering
at:http://www.jacobsschool.ucsd.edu/news/news_video/play.sfe?id=40
orhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Me3oMlAZ4Qo

County by county
information on voting machines is available, via Verified Voting.org
at:http://www.verifiedvoting.org/verifier/searched.php?model%5B%5D=AVC+Advantage&rowspp=20000

This
return-oriented programming development comes less than one year after a
pair of UC San Diego computer science graduate students both extended
return-oriented programming to RISC computer architectures and automated
much of the necessary low level programming.
http://www.jacobsschool.ucsd.edu/news/news_releases/release.sfe?id=788

“Can
DREs Provide Everlasting Security? The Case of Return-Oriented
Programming and the AVC Advantage” by Stephen Checkoway,University of
California, San Diego; Ariel J. Feldman, Princeton University; Brian
Kantor, University of California, San Diego; J. Alex Halderman,
University of Michigan; Edward W. Felten, Princeton University; Hovav
Shacham, University of California, San Diego.

The computer
scientists presented this work on August 10, 2009 at the 2009 Electronic
Voting Technology Workshop / Workshop on Trustworthy Elections
(EVT/WOTE 2009), the premier academic forum for voting security
research.

Related publications:

J.A. Halderman, E.
Rescorla, H. Shacham, and D. Wagner. “You Go to Elections with the
Voting System You Have: Stop-Gap Mitigations for Deployed Voting
Systems.” In D. Dill and T. Kohno, eds., Proceedings of EVT 2008.
USENIX/ACCURATE, July 2008.
http://cseweb.ucsd.edu/~hovav/papers/hrsw08.html

R.
Roemer, E. Buchanan, H. Shacham, and S. Savage. “Return-Oriented
Programming: Systems, Languages, and Applications.” 2009. In review.
http://cseweb.ucsd.edu/~hovav/papers/rbss09.html

E.
Buchanan, R. Roemer, H. Shacham, and S. Savage. “When Good Instructions
Go Bad: Generalizing Return-Oriented Programming to RISC.” In P.
Syverson and S. Jha, eds., Proceedings of CCS 2008, pages 27–38. ACM
Press, Oct. 2008.
http://cseweb.ucsd.edu/~hovav/papers/brss08.html

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-08/uoc–csh080609.php#

The
ECI said that tests are conducted on the “Gensys” software that
transmits the results to the website. These tests are to ensure that the
candidate name and results columns match. They also sad all such tests
are clearly labeled as tests on the website. They were unable to explain
why the data available on the 6th of May through the 15th of May on the
ECI website was not labeled test, was changing, was coded, did not
display the candidate name and why the results were not uploaded on to
the spreadsheet. They agreed that they would send a written
communication about this serious issue.

Meeting with the ECI

 

On
the 7th of August 2009, at the request of Kirit Somayia, Dr Anupam
Saraph visited the ECI along with several technology experts. Security
Expert Vijay Mukhi pointed out that the ECI should change its language
that EVM’s cannot be hacked as there is no technology that is hack
proof. He also pointed out several holes in the EVM that can be used to
compromise an EVM. Kirit Somayia highlighted the need to keep making
improvements in the election process by seeking open and inclusive
dialog with all stake-holders. He also highlighted the lack of audit of
the votes or voters, as would exist in the finance profession. He asked
the ECI to immediately switch to paper trail to EVMs.

Here is the summary of the points Dr Anupam Saraph raised with the ECI:

Trust
in EVMs: When people transact on an ATM and trust the machine in the
wall with their hard earned money, the machine does NOT require any
“observers”, micro-observers”, “agents of the bank”, “agents of the
Reserve Bank of India”, “Representatives of the Account holder” etc.
along with seals fixed on the machine by various persons, countersigned
by others on specially printed paper from Nasik to build trust.
Unfortunately, as indicated by the ECI during the meeting itself, the
EVM has to be viewed in its totality, including the administrative
checks and balances and the various processes. These include a
paraphernelia of observers, micro-observers, polling agents, returning
officers, counting agents etc. as well as several seals on paper printed
at the government press in Nasik to ensure and create the perception of
trust. The transaction slip that the ATM generates, the ability to
check the balance anytime on the ATM or on a counter in the bank- even
update a “passbook”- creates trust. The EVMs, however leave no such
transaction trail and ability to build trust. They are purely faith
based on the entire machinery and it is painful that the ECI is not
giving adequate reasons to even build the faith in the machinery. The
banking system also has a statutory Audit by a third party, not the
manufacturer of the ATM or the bank. The EVM has no transaction trail,
no audit and cannot be checked by anyone without the direction of the
court. How many times had any audit been undertaken and where, by whom?
Which of the “upgrade” features of EVMs were used on a regular basis and
what were the results? Why instead was there no focus on simplifying
the EVM to make it more trustable?

 

Consolidating
databases: The election commission is required to track information on
voters, constituencies, candidates, votes etc. This information is
collected, stored and maintained in various databases of the ECI in
multiple formats, multiple copies and multiple locations. There is no
way to tell the authentic one. A query to one may generate a different
answer from the other. There needs to be a broader open and
inclusivetechnology reform agenda beyond the EVMs.

 

Tests
and dummy data: The ECI must make public any tests, their schedule, the
nature of such tests, the data used for such tests, the results
obtained from such tests and the names of the persons and organizations
responsible for such tests. Kirit Somayia asked the ECI to particularly
comment on the queries raised by Prof Madhav Nalapat and Dr Anupam
Saraph about the data available from the 6th of May.

 

ECI Responses

The
ECI agreed that the simplification of the EVM was needed- the need for
such an elaborate machinery should be done away with. They agreed to
compile the list of audits undertaken, if any, and make them available.
While conceding that none of the upgrade features had been used to
generate reports, they said they were there in-case of direction by the
court.

The ECI agreed that it had need to consolidate the
databases and ensure that the system would be less error prone. They
agreed to create a “technology reform agenda” beyond the EVMs.

The
ECI said that tests are conducted on the “Gensys” software that
transmits the results to the website. These tests are to ensure that the
candidate name and results columns match. They also sad all such tests
are clearly labeled as tests on the website. They were unable to explain
why the data available on the 6th of May through the 15th of May on the
ECI website was not labeled test, was changing, was coded, did not
display the candidate name and why the results were not uploaded on to
the spreadsheet. They agreed that they would send a written
communication about this serious issue.

The ECI conceded to the
existence of holes, “easter eggs” in the software and the absence of any
process other than “black-box” testing to confirm the source code on
EVMs and rationalized saying that the proprietary nature of the
technology, the elaborate administrative procedure and the seals made
sure that the EVM was unhackable and safe.

Even while arguing
that the EVM was not a computer, but just a calculator, the ECI was
closed to releasing the source or making the technology open-sourced.
Their argument: open source will generate clones that compromise the
process.

 

Actionable Points

 

An open and
inclusive dialog on process simplification to include transaction trail
and independent auditability to be initiated by the ECI. The ECI should
participate in the technology reform wiki already set up by the various
stake-holders.

The ECI to provide a detailed response on the
manner it conducts tests and specifically the questions raised due to
the availability of the 2009 results data in coded form between the 6th
and 15th of May.

 

The wiki community to list out case
with examples of how open-source or closed-source technologies can
create more trusted, highly secure and contemporary voting processes.

The ECI to move to a paper trail to the EVM for all elections beginning immediately.

The
paper trail to be used as an audit record that must be counted
independently at different locations by third parties during the
counting process.

 

References:

Tracking the elections

Questions about Indian democracy raised by the data on the ECI website

Voting Reforms: Options in an imperfect world

Copy of letter sent to the ECI requesting clarifications

Researching the coded database

Case for Election Reforms

Review the 2009 Lok Sabha Election Process: Promises and Reality

Results before Voting?

Facts about Meeting with the ECI

 From: http://government.wikia.com/wiki/Meeting_with_the_ECI

Press Information Bureau Government of India Saturday, August 08, 2009                                                      

ELECTRONIC VOTING MACHINES- REGARDING

20:58 IST           

             
The Election Commission had, in an extraordinary measure, invited those
who have recently expressed reservations about the Electronic Voting
Machine (EVM) to come and demonstrate the points made in their
allegations from 3rd to 8th August 2009. Those invited included
political parties, petitioners before various courts and some
individuals who had been writing to the Commission on this issue. One
hundred EVM samples were obtained on random basis from ten states
namely, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh,
Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh. These were
kept at the Commission’s office in readiness for scrutiny and for any
application to establish its alleged fallibility. The EVMs were offered
for such demonstration in the presence of a technical experts group as
well as engineers representing the EVM manufacturers, BEL and ECIL.
These engineers were especially called from Hyderabad and Bangalore and
stationed in ECI’s office for a whole week for this specific purpose.
The outcome of this exercise is that none of the persons, who were given
the opportunity, could actually demonstrate any tamperability of the
ECI-EVM, in any of the hundred machines put on display. They either
failed or chose not to demonstrate.

The Election Commission
would like to underline that it always had a firm conviction and
complete satisfaction that EVMs could not be tampered with. Its faith on
the machine has never wavered through the conduct of elections in the
last many years including the nation-wide general elections in 2004 and
2009 and over 30 general elections to state assemblies during the last
five years. In the past, no one has been able to actually demonstrate
that EVMs used by the Election Commission can be tampered with or
manipulated. What has been demonstrated or claimed to have been
demonstrated is on a privately assembled “look-alike of ECI-EVMs” and
not the actual ECI-EVM. However, the aforesaid extraordinary measure was
undertaken by the Election Commission in fulfillment of its
responsibility not to allow even a small shade of doubt about any aspect
of its operation and in order to set at rest any misgiving anywhere.
Today, the Commission once again completely reaffirms its faith in the
infallibility of the EVMs. These are fully tamper-proof, as ever.

Dr.
Kirit Somaiya, Vice-President, BJP, Maharashtra, accompanied by some
others, visited the Commission on 7 August 2009 responding to the
Commission’s invitation. He categorically stated that he was not opposed
to the use of EVMs and he had never wanted to do any demonstration
about the tamperability of EVMs. He however made certain suggestions for
consideration of the Commission in line with his earlier correspondence
with ECI. Ms. Veena Singh, a candidate in recent Parliamentary election
in Madhya Pradesh also visited the Commission and made certain general
points regarding physical handling of EVMs. It was explained to her that
there are sufficient safeguards to take care of such problems. Shri
Satinath Chaudhury, a petitioner in the Supreme Court in 2004 on the EVM
issue, came on 8th August 2009 and after making some attempts, failed
to demonstrate that the EVM could be tampered with.

Shri Omesh
Saigal, who visited the Commission on the same day, accompanied by some
others, refused to demonstrate the points earlier raised by him, using
any of the 100 actual ECI-EVMs, he was offered to choose from. In a
letter, addressed to the Chief Election Commissioner and handed over to
EC officials, he in turn wanted certain arrangements for him and his
team of hardware and software professionals from a private company
before coming to demonstrate about the tamperability of the EVM. He also
offered to show what he claimed as possibility of tampering using his
personal computer and a ‘look alike’ of the ECI-EVM, that was privately
manufactured, and is also seen on several TV channels. It was pointed
out to Shri Saigal that the ECI-EVM was not at all comparable with what
he had brought. Based on this, the EC officials declined to deal with,
what appeared to be an imitation machine, so as to avoid creating any
confusion in public mind. Shri Saigal made also a request to the
Commission to consider pre-poll audit of the EVMs.

The Supreme
Court of India, while disposing of a petition filed by Shri V. V. Rao
and three others belonging to the Jan Chaitanya Vedika, raising
questions about use of Electronic Voting Machines in the elections, on
27 July 2009 observed that the petitioners could approach the Election
Commission in the matter. Similar petitions were filed before three High
Courts in the country. These are the Madras High Court, the Bombay High
Court and the High Court of Madhya Pradesh ( Jabalpur bench). These
petitions also raise allegations about the possibility of tampering with
the EVMs. The Mumbai High Court has since dismissed the petition asking
the petitioner to approach the Election Commission. The Election
Commission has invited all these petitioners to come and demonstrate
their points before the Commission. But none of them turned up for
making a demonstration from 3rd August 2009 to 8th August 2009.

EVMs
have served the country’s elections well. These were introduced after
long ranging political, technical and administrative consultations since
1979. The use of machines has helped prevent several electoral
malpractices and resulted in more efficient conduct of elections.
Judgments from various courts have upheld the use of EVMs and technical
experts have endorsed the machines from time to time. In fact, the
Karnataka High Court has hailed the EVM as ‘a national pride’.
Similarly, the Madras High Court, after elaborate consideration of the
issue in a batch of petitions in 2001, rejected allegations that the
EVMs could be tampered. The issues recently raised by petitioners in the
Courts and by some others, broadly allege the possibility of tampering
with the machine during the manufacturing process or while operating the
machine. The following facts about ECI-EVMs conclusively rule out any
such possibility.

Facts about EVMs used by ECI

i.
ECI-EVMs are manufactured only by Electronics Corporation of India
Limited (Department of Atomic Energy) and Bharat Electronics Limited
(Ministry of Defence), both Central Public Sector Undertakings, which 
are entrusted with development of very high security product/equipment
development.
ii. The ECI-EVMs cannot be reprogrammed.
iii. The
software for this chip is developed in-house by a select group of
engineers in the two PSUs independently from each other. A select
software development group of 2-3 engineers designs the source code and
this work is not sub-contracted.
iv. The source code is so designed
that it allows a voter to cast the vote only once. The next vote can be
recorded only after the Presiding Officer enables the ballot on the
Control Unit. In between the machine becomes dead to any signal from
outside (except from the Control Unit).
v. After completion of
software design, testing and evaluation of the software is carried out
by an independent testing group as per the software requirements
specifications (SRS). This ensures that the software has really been
written as per the requirements laid down for its intended use only.
vi.
After successful completion of such evaluation, machine code of the
source programme code known as hex-code (not the source code itself) is
given to the micro controller manufacturer for fusing in the micro
controllers. From this machine code, the source code cannot be read.
Source code is never handed over to anyone outside the software group.
vii.
Micro controller manufacturer initially provides engineering samples
for evaluation. These samples are assembled into the EVM, evaluated and
verified for functionality at great length. Bulk production clearance is
given to micro controller manufacturer only after successful completion
of this verification.
viii. The source code for the EVM is stored
under controlled conditions at all times. Checks and balances are in
place to ensure that it is accessible to authorized personnel only.
ix.
During production, functional testing is done by production group as
per the laid down quality plan and performance test procedures.
x.
Samples of EVMs from production batches are regularly checked for
functionality by Quality Assurance Group, which is an independent group
within the organizations.
xi. Certain additional features were
introduced in 2006 in ECI-EVMs such as dynamic coding between Ballot
Unit and Control Unit, installation of real time clock, installation of
full display system and date and time stamping of every key pressing in
EVM. It is important to note that there was no modification of any type
done at this stage in the basic functions of the machine.

Not comparable with EVMs Abroad

The
Commission has come across some comparisons between ECI-EVM and EVMs
used by foreign countries. Such comparisons are both misplaced and
misguided. Most of the systems used in other countries are PC based and
running on operating Systems. Hence, these could be vulnerable to
hacking. The EVM in India on the other hand is a fully standalone
machine without being part of any network and with no provision for any
input. As already stated, the software in the EVM chip is one time
programmable and is burnt into the chip at the time of manufacture.
Nothing can be written on the chip after manufacture. Thus the ECI-EVMs
are fundamentally different from the voting machines and processes
adopted in various foreign countries. Any surmise based on foreign
studies or operating system based EVMs used elsewhere would be
completely erroneous. The ECI-EVMs cannot be compared with those EVMs.

Complete Procedural Security

The
Commission has in place elaborate administrative measures and
procedural checks-and-balances aimed at prevention of any possible
misuse or procedural lapses. These measures include rigorous
pre-election test and inspection of each EVM by the technicians, two
level randomization with the involvement of candidates and their agents,
for the random allotment of the EVMs to various constituencies and
their subsequent dispatch to various polling stations. Preparation of
the EVMs for elections is done in the presence of the candidates/their
agents and sealing of the prepared EVMs is also done in candidate’s or
their agent’s presence. Thread seal are fixed on the EVM where again,
the candidates or their representatives put their own signature and
seals. Paper seals guards against any unauthorized access to the EVMs
after preparation. EVMs are then kept in sealed strong rooms with
provision for the candidates to put their individual seals on the strong
rooms. The EVMs are randomized twice over. The list of EVMs going to
individual polling stations is given to the candidates for them to
check, on the poll day the actual machine, that is used in that polling
station. Furthermore a mock poll is conducted in the presence of polling
agents, when the polling agents can verify, inter-alia, the EVM
numbers. A mock poll certificate is taken before the commencement of
poll. After the mock poll the machine is set back to zero and green
paper seal printed at Government Security Press is put in, where once
again every polling agent is allowed to put his/her signature. After the
polls, the EVM are also sealed in such a manner that there is no
physical access to any of the buttons on the EVMs. Indeed there is no
access to the EVMs itself since the carrying case is sealed completely.
The machines are put in the strong room again in presence of the
candidates, observer of the commission under video camera surveillance.
The strong room is allowed to be guarded by the supporters of the
candidates besides the police protection provided to strong rooms. At
every step, the EVM is very well protected and elaborate arrangements
are in place for the same.

Election Commission of India
8th August , 2009,New Delhi                                                                 

http://pib.nic.in/release/rel_print_page1.asp?relid=51718

The Complete 1 Hour LIVE Video of EVM Tampering

New postby shrishanidev on Tue Jul 21, 2009 6:41 am

Those
who does not know about the complete issues I have raised on this forum
from beginning to end may kindly go through all these posts:

1) Tampering in EVM - Information Security Expert:  http://www.lkadvani.in/forum/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=5715

2) For the first Time - EVM Video Evidence:  http://www.lkadvani.in/forum/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=5945&start=0

3) EVM Tempering - Proved LIVE ON AIR on Sahara Samay:  http://www.lkadvani.in/forum/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=6141

After
going through all the topics mentioned above, those who have not gone
through complete issue may now hopefully will know what is the reason
behind posting these video links. These are nothing but an evidence to
implement and take actions on EVM issue and try for re-election issues
as much as possible across the nation. Because cheating with all losing
candidates and 100 million indian citizens is not acceptable at any
cost. Come out on streets - Stop the nation on it’s place till the
Election Commission not prove that we are wrong or till the re-election
issue does not take place. The live demo of my telecast with all answers
and evidence is here. Submit the CD’s of these videos in rural(village)
areas so that everyone can come to know about the frauds that took
place in these elections.

Part 1:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBnZdPFxT7U
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPFGpwG_GwY
Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tTEy0-YCzc
Part 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tO1SJqutcQc
Part 5: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zeucSGa1VBg
Part 6: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-HXxIACSwc

I
am going to start my email campaign as well as national promotion with
an intention to target millions of people to make them aware of this
cheating that happened to them in these elections. You all also do the
same in co-operation wih all loosing candidates and loosing parties. If
anyone needs my help them sms me on 9227435453 or email me on 
shrishanidev@gmail.com or intelligence@reliancemail.net or
cmtechnical@bsnl.in or leave message to my mobile voicemail system.

NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE THOUGH.

Thanking you all,

Kalpesh Sharma

 

Poll panel convenes all-party meeting on voting machine

 

New Delhi, Aug 6

The
Election Commission has convened an all-party meeting Friday to discuss
the issue of the effectiveness of the electronic voting machines (EVMs)
following doubts about their credibility from various quarters.

The meeting is scheduled for Friday afternoon.

“In
the light of the continuing public debate and the emerging concerns,
the Election Commission has invited political parties and petitioners in
various courts to discuss their concerns in the presence of technical
experts and representatives of manufacturing firms,” said a statement
issued by the National Forum to promote verifiability, transparency and
accountability in Indian elections.

The forum was launched recently and consists of experts, NGOs and other eminent citizens as its members.

“We
welcome this initiative but sincerely hope that the commission examines
all the valid concerns and apprehensions expressed by various
stakeholders,” said its convenor G.V.L. Narasimha Rao.

“As a
national forum to ensure fairness in Indian elections, we would like the
Election Commission to examine and provide credible answers to all the
following questions and issues,” he said.

The commission last
week had said they “remain entirely satisfied that EVMs cannot be
tampered with. These are fully tamper-proof.”

The first attack
about the reliability of the EVMs came from Bharatiya Janata Party’s
(BJP) L.K. Advani. Following his protests, other political leaders also
voiced their doubts about the reliability of the EVMs that were used
during the April-May Lok Sabha polls.

As many cases were filed on
the matter in various courts, the commission invited those who had
approached the courts and political parties to its headquarters in New
Delhi for a demonstration.

The meeting would be held in the presence of technical experts as well as engineers representing the EVM manufacturers.

Last updated on Aug 6th, 2009 at 20:46 pm IST–IANS

http://www.prokerala.com/news/articles/a70179.html

 

EVM controversy: Old allegations revisited

 

Ajai Shukla / New Delhi August 07, 2009, 0:32 IST

Today,
the BJP and the Shiv Sena appeared before the Election Commission to
allege that Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), which are now used for
all Indian elections, can be manipulated to favour a candidate. But
old-timers from Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), who perfected the EVMs
in the late 1980s, say that all the current allegations have been
raised before, and comprehensively disproved.

Colonel H S
Shankar, former Director (R&D) at BEL, says that EVMs came under
fire soon after BEL demonstrated these to Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in
mid-1989. Shankar, who attended that meeting, recalls that an impressed
Rajiv Gandhi suggested the use of EVMs in 150 constituencies during the
1989 general elections.

The first challenge came swiftly. On
October 15,1989, at a dramatic press conference in New Delhi, Janata Dal
chief, Vishwanath Pratap Singh and George Fernandes produced a
“computer consultant” to prove that EVMs could easily be rigged. Before a
crowd of journalists, the consultant keyed in “3 + 3” into a computer,
pressed “Enter” and showed the answer to the crowd. It was 9.

In
the charged atmosphere of 1989, the Election Commission scrapped the
plan to use EVMs that year. But when V P Singh became PM, BEL launched a
campaign to prove the reliability of electronic voting. Eventually, the
government created an experts committee to examine whether EVMs could
be “fiddled”.

Professor S Sampath of the Defence R&D
Organisation headed the committee, which included Dr P V Indiresan of
IIT Delhi, and Dr C Rao Kasarabada, Director Electronic Research and
Development Center, Trivandrum. Dr Indiresan gathered four of his
brightest research students and gave them five days to subvert the EVM’s
source code. Their only restriction: there should be no external damage
to the EVM.

Colonel Shankar says that BEL gave Dr Indiresan’s
team all the EVM circuit diagrams and design drawings; only the
encryption-coded software was withheld. “After five days of struggling,
they admitted that the EVM was tamper-proof.”

At the core of the
EVM is a micro-controller chip, built by Hitachi of Japan, called an
OTP-ROM (one-time programmable read-only memory). Onto this, the Indian
EVM contractors — BEL and Electronics Corporation of India (ECIL) —
“burn” the algorithm that makes it record votes. The microprocessor’s
“non-volatile” memory ensures that, once the algorithm is written, it
can never be overwritten or subverted, not even by the manufacturer.

The
algorithm makes the EVM function as a vote counter. Each candidate is
assigned a numbered button, according to the alphabetic order of the
candidates’ names. Each time a voter presses, say, Button No 1, the
software adds one vote to the account of Candidate No 1. And since, in
each constituency, each political party’s candidate will have different
serial numbers (determined by the candidate’s name), there is no
possibility of installing a country-wide code that favours one party.

After
failing to subvert the software, the Sampath Committee staged a mock
election to try and subvert the procedure. Failing to do so, it strongly
endorsed the EVM. Chief Election Commissioner, R V S Peri Sastry,
discussed the test results with all the political party heads, including
BJP President L K Advani, all of whom agreed to the use of EVMs in
general elections.

“The reason why all parties accepted the EVM
was simple”, explains Colonel Shankar, “We copied the simplicity and
transparency of the earlier system, while doing away with its
drawbacks.”

Besides the tedious counting of votes, the major
drawback in the old system of paper voting was booth capturing. Party
goons would take over voting booths and, in a couple of hours, stamp
thousands of paper ballots in each booth and slip them into the boxes.
EVMs mitigate the effects of booth capturing, since a delay circuit
ensures only two votes can be recorded per minute. Even if a booth is
captured for an hour, a maximum of 120 votes can be polled.

EVMs
were used for the first time in general elections in 45 seats in 1999.
Polling in the 2004 general elections was entirely on EVMs. This year,
again, 671 million voters got the opportunity to vote on EVMs.

http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/evm-controversy-old-allegations-revisited/366219/

 

 

SPECIAL REPORT | Anupam Saraph and Madhav Nalapat (6 Aug. 2009)

DON’T BANK ON EVMS

 

Were the results of some Lok Sabha constituencies decided even before polling?

While
tracking the lok Sabha elections of 2009 we stumbled upon startling
versions of a file on polling information on the Election Commission of
India’s [ECI] website.
We were tracking candidate information from an
Excel spreadsheet titled “CandidateAC”, which was downloadable from the
ECI’s website. The “CandidateAC” spreadsheet has a column for “votes
polled”. As one would expect, this file when downloaded on 16 April [the
first day of polling] and 24 April did not contain any information on
votes polled. The file, when downloaded on 6 May, 7 May and 11 May, had
coded the candidate name, party name and the number of votes polled
[check footnotes 1-5]. The last phase of polling took place on 13 May
and, officially, the votes were counted and results declared on 16 May.

This information could have changed in three possible ways:
1. Someone had hacked the file.
2. The data from various EVMs had been uploaded to the private database, and this was used to create the public file.
3. Someone who had access to the private database had actually added the data.

The
first possibility is serious, as it implies that the databases hosted
by the ECI are not secure and can be compromised. The second is a
violation of the ECI’s rule that no counting was to begin till 16 May.
It also constitutes a breach of security, as the EVMs were supposed to
be in safe custody in a strong room of the DEO [district election
officer]. The third would imply that the election results were being
decided by whoever had access to the private database. If the results
were to be read only from the EVMs, why was a coded spreadsheet
prepared? How could this spreadsheet have the data on “votes polled”?
Check the file downloaded on 15 May. Surprisingly, it does not have any
information on “votes polled”. More surprisingly, after the media raised
the issue on 15 July, the link to the file disappeared from the ECI
website.

Sceptics might say that the coded data containing
information on the votes polled was test or dummy data. If so, why was
this test or dummy data prepared? What was being tested? How was this
test data generated? What were the results of the tests? Why was the
data generated after the first three phases of polling, but before the
fourth and fifth phases? Why was the data removed when there was no
intention of loading real data into the file? Why was the dummy data
coded? How do 108 winning candidates in the dummy data match the
eventual winners?

When the implications are so serious, why has
the ECI not clarified the issue despite repeated requests, or
constituted a panel to initiate reforms to make the process less
vulnerable to such serious implications?

EVMs, like all
technology, can be hacked. Hacked EVMs can have Trojan Horses or
programs with instructions to receive a coded spreadsheet and translate
them into results. It is possible for such spreadsheets to actually
prepare a predetermined result. If your bank publishes your account
details and claims it is dummy data, will you let them manage your
money? To ensure that such manipulations do not ruin our democracy what
must the EVMs have? They must be built to leave a transaction trail
auditable by anyone in case there is a dispute. To create such
transaction trails, every vote cast on every EVM must be distinguishable
from votes that might be cast by a Trojan. In the Indian system, the
electronic votes are not recorded to indicate that they belong to a
particular voter. Imagine a situation where you cannot track the money 
in a bank account as money deposited through a source: Someone, by
gaining access to your account on the bank’s computer deposits an
unlimited amount of money or withdraws whatever you have deposited, but
you do not have the resources to trace that money or have a third party
audit the bank’s books. That is why leaving a transaction trail is
important in any audit process.

Now imagine a candidate having an
“account” in an EVM. Unless there is a mechanism to track every
transaction as an inflow or outflow of votes from a legitimate source,
there is no transaction trail and no ability to audit the actual vote
balance in the candidate’s account. The votes cast by the voters are
indistinguishable from those cast by a Trojan software or hardware. This
is a very serious design lapse, and renders the EVMs completely useless
for carrying out a costly democratic process. Will you trust your money
with a bank that cannot track your account’s transactions?

The
current EVM system banks on faith, not on the accounting of votes — the
faith of the voter in the honesty, integrity and fidelity of the EVMs,
the people involved and in the process. Will you switch to a faith-based
banking system when it comes to your money?

If the system is not
faith-based, why not simply give the EVMs — like telephones — to
electronic voting booths [EVBs] — like the STD-ISD booths — for anyone
to run? Give everyone a week to vote and then collect the votes as you
would collect the coins?

The manuals prepared for the chief
election officer, district election officer, observers, polling agents,
presiding officers, returning officers, candidates and counting agents
show that the ECI gives little focus on building trustworthy databases,
or on building good accounting practices and clean auditable systems
that anyone other than they themselves can audit. Will the RBI permit
financial institutions that cannot maintain basic records, or cannot be
audited by third parties, to function?

Imagine a situation where
you deposit your money in your account without getting any
acknowledgement of your transaction specifying your account. In case
there is a dispute, will you be able to claim that you had deposited the
money into that account? When you deposit a vote for your candidate, do
you get any acknowledgement about your deposit that you can use in a
dispute? Is there any way that you can check later that your vote has
been counted? Will you trust your money with a bank that does not give
you a passbook or a statement of your deposits and withdrawals? What
makes you trust the EVM with your liberty, and with your money that
funds these elections? Finally, imagine a situation where your bank
issues statements in which the number of depositors varies from
statement to statement, as well as the deposits made. How comfortable
does that make you about your bank?

Managing the democratic
process of voting requires a database of voters, of candidates,
constituencies and of votes deposited in a candidate’s account by
legitimate voters. The voters’ banker, the ECI, has failed not just to
track its depositors — the voters — but also how many votes they have
deposited. Public databases maintained by the ECI indicate that the
elections of 2009 had 716,676,063 or 714,103,070 or 713,776,525 voters
[check footnotes 6-8]. As for the number of votes polled in these
elections, the figure was either 417,158,644 or 417,156,922 [check
footnotes 9-10]. Evidently, there is much the ECI can do to reform its
technology [¼] Dr Anupam Saraph, an IT and governance expert, has
created the world’s first governance wiki at giki.wikia.com Professor
Madhav Nalapat holds the UNESCO Peace Chair and is Director of the
Department of Geopolitics at Manipal University
FOOTNOTES
1. http://www.scribd.com/doc/15676183/CandidateAC.xlsdownloaded on 16 April 2009
2. http://www.scribd.com/doc/15676724/CandidateAC1.xlsdownloaded on 24 April 2009
3. http://www.scribd.com/doc/15676840/CandidateAC2.xlsdownloaded on 6 May 2009
4. http://www.scribd.com/doc/15676045/CandidateAC4.xlsdownloaded on 7 May 2009
5. http://www.scribd.com/doc/15676489/CandidateAC5.xlsdownloaded on 11 May 2009
6. 716,676,063 according to http://eci.nic.in/Analysis/ Voter Turnout
7. 714,103,070 according to http://eci.nic.in/eroll&epic/ERoll2009.pdf
8. 713,776,525 according to http://eci.nic.in/Analysis/ Electors Information
9. 417,158,644 according to http://eci.nic.in/Analysis/ Voter Turnout
10. 417,156,922 according to http://eci.nic.in/Analysis/ All Candidates Votes Polled

http://www.covertmagazine.com/anupham.htm

EVMs should generate hard copy for voter: Jayalalithaa

August 5th, 2009 - 9:44 pm ICT by IANS

Chennai,
Aug 5 (IANS) Continuing her tirade against electronic voting machines
(EVMs), Leader of Opposition in Tamil Nadu and AIADMK general secretary
J. Jayalalithaa said Wednesday that the voting machines can be hacked or
manipulated.

Citing media reports about a Hyderabad based
software engineer Hari Prasad who on behalf of a non governmental
organisation (NGO) demonstrated how EVMs can be tampered with,
Jayalalithaa said in a statement: “This should come as an eye-opener not
only to the Election Commission of India and the judiciary but also to
the voting public.”

She said the main problem is that in an
electoral exercise, if tampering or hacking of EVMs is suspected, there
are no means whatsoever to ascertain or prove before the authorities or
the court that hacking has been done.

“It is equally impossible
to prove that hacking has not been done. The reason for this is that the
EVMs in use in our country do not generate a hard copy or a coded
print-out. At the time of voting, unless the EVM simultaneously
generates a physically verifiable hard copy, it would be impossible to
ascertain the veracity of any complaints of tampering.”

According
to her in a democracy, every voter should know whether the vote cast
has gone to the candidate or party it was meant for.

“In the
absence of such certainty, the entire democratic process will be
rendered a mockery. It is to ensure that democracy, in its true sense,
is brought back that the AIADMK decided to boycott by-elections to five
assembly constituencies in Tamil Nadu,” she added.

Five assembly constituencies in the state are scheduled to have byelections Aug 18.

http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/politics/evms-should-generate-hard-copy-for-voter-jayalalithaa_100228107.html

 

Jaya cites EVMs as reason for bypoll boycott

 

Chennai,
Wednesday 5 August 2009: AIADMK leader Jayalalithaa, who has been
strongly critical of electronic voting machines, today cited the issue
of reliability of the EVMs, a reason for boycotting the August 18
assembly bypolls in five seats in Tamil Nadu.

Noting the recent
demonstration by an NGO that EVMs can be tampered with, she said, “This
should come as an eye-opener not only to the Election Commission, but
also to the voting public,” and added,” In a democracy, every voter
should know whether the vote cast has gone to the candidate or party it
was meant for.”

In the absence of such certainty, the entire
democratic process would be rendered a “mockery”, she said in a
statement here. “It is to ensure that democracy in its true sense is
brought back that AIADMK decided to boycott the bypolls.
(Agency)

http://www.asianetindia.com/news/jaya-cites-evms-reason-bypoll-boycott_67299.html

வாக்குப் பதிவு இயந்திரத்தில் தில்லுமுல்லு செய்ய முடியும்

First Published : 03 Aug 2009 01:12:41 AM IST

Last Updated :

http://dinamani.com/Images/article/2009/8/3/3evm.jpg

வாக்குப்
பதிவு இயந்திரத்தில் எப்படியெல்லாம் தில்லு முல்லு செய்ய வாய்ப்புள்ளது
என்பதை ஒரிசா தலைநகர் புவனேசுவரத்தில் ஞாயிற்றுக்கிழமை விளக்குகிறார் தகவல்

புவனேசுவரம், ஆக. 2: மின்னணு வாக்குப் பதிவு இயந்திரத்தில் தில்லுமுல்லு செய்ய முடியும் என்பதை தன்னார்வ அமைப்புகள் நிரூபித்துள்ளன.

ஒரிசா
தலைநகர் புவனேசுவரத்தில் ஞாயிற்றுக்கிழமை நடைபெற்ற நேரடி விளக்க
நிகழ்ச்சியில், மின்னணு வாக்குப்பதிவு இயந்திரத்தில் எப்படியெல்லாம்
தில்லுமுல்லு செய்ய முடியும் என்பதை அவர்கள் விளக்கிக் காட்டினர்.

முன்னாள் நீதிபதிகள், ஓய்வுபெற்ற அதிகாரிகள், அரசியல் தலைவர்கள், பத்திரிகையாளர்கள் முன்னிலையில் இந்த நேரடி விளக்கம் நடைபெற்றது.

ஒரு
குறிப்பிட்ட கட்சி அதிக வாக்குகள் கிடைக்கும் வகையில் வாக்குப் பதிவு
இயந்திரத்தில் புரோஹிராம் செய்து தவறு செய்ய முடியும் என்பதை நேரடியாக ஜன
சைத்திரிய வேதிகா அமைப்பின் துணைத் தலைவர் வி.வி. ராவ் விளக்கினார்.

மின்னணு
வாக்குப்பதிவு இயந்திரத்தில் முறைகேடு செய்ய முடியும் என்று மின்னணு
தொழில்நுட்ப நிபுணர்கள் பலரும் தேர்தல் பார்வையாளர்களும் கருத்துத்
தெரிவித்துள்ளனர் என்று “நெட்இண்டியா’ அமைப்பைச் சேர்ந்த ஹரி பிரசாத்
தெரிவித்தார்.

தில்லுமுல்லு செய்ய முடியாத அளவில் தற்போதைய
இயந்திரங்களை மேம்படுத்தும்வரை இவற்றை எந்தத் தேர்தலிலும் பயன்படுத்தக்
கூடாது என்று அவர்கள் வலியுறுத்தினர்.

வாக்குப்பதிவு இயந்திரத்தில்
தில்லுமுல்லு செய்ய முடியும் என்பதை ஹைதராபாத், தில்லி, நாக்பூர், மும்பை
மற்றும் புணே ஆகிய நகரங்களில் ஏற்கெனவே நேரடியாக விளக்கி உள்ளோம் என்றார்
அவர்.

தில்லுமுல்லு செய்ய முடியும் என்பதை தில்லியில் தங்கள்
முன்னிலையில் நேரடியாக நிரூபிக்குமாறு தேர்தல் ஆணையம் எங்களுக்கு அழைப்பு
விடுத்துள்ளது. தேர்தல் ஆணையத்திலும் இதை நிரூபிப்போம் என்று அவர்கள்
கூறினர்.

நன்றி தினமணி,

http://dinamani.com/edition/story.aspx?&SectionName=India&artid=99832&SectionID=130&MainSectionID=130&SEO=&Title=

எலன் செந்தில்

‘Tampered’ EVMs: Opp cries foul    

Sandeep Mishra, TNN 3 August 2009, 11:17pm IST

BHUBANESWAR:
Enthused by an IT expert’s claims that electronic voting machines
(EVMs) could be manipulated, Opposition parties on Monday said there was
need for a “thorough probe” into the alleged misuse of EVMs during the
recent twin polls in the state.

After biting the dust in the
elections, leaders from Congress, BJP as well as other parties had
accused the ruling BJD of “manipulating” the EVMs to its advantage
during the polls to secure a landslide triumph.

Following
software engineer Hari K Prasad’s demonstration here on Sunday that the
EVMs were vulnerable to tampering, state BJP leaders said they would
seek legal refuge if necessary. “We are keeping a watch on the
developments. The Election Commission has asked the experts to
demonstrate before it how the EVMs could be manipulated. The experts
would do the demonstration before EC on August 6. If the commission does
not act to our satisfaction, then we would consider moving court,”
state BJP president Suresh Pujari told TOI.

“More importantly,
we have decided to go to the people and create awareness about the issue
among the masses. There needs to be national debate and proper probe to
know the truth,” he added. 

Senior BJP leader Jual Oram
informed that the party has formed a committee to study the EVM issue.
“In my constituency (Sundargarh Lok Sabha), there were different
instances of EVM malfunctioning. All these need to be probed,” he said.

Chairman
of Orissa Pradesh Congress Committee media cell Kailash Acharya said
aggrieved party candidates had started writing to the Election
Commission. “The issue should not be viewed in a partisan manner. It
should be seen as a systemic failure. Hence even the beneficiaries
should come forward and demand a truthful probe into the use of EVMs,”
he said. 

Ruling BJD leaders, however, rubbished allegations of
misuse of EVMs, saying the Opposition parties were unnecessarily
creating a hue and cry over a “non-issue” after losing the polls.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/msid-4853832,prtpage-1.cms

EVM Trojans

(Rahul C. Mehta)

 

BEL to certify EVMs. EC’s credibility problem

Published by: Noor Khan
Published: Mon, 03 Aug 2009 at 15:25 IST

 

Krishnagiri
(TN), Aug 3 Bangalore based publicsector undertaking Bharat Electronics
Ltd (BEL) will certifyall the 800 Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) to
be used forthe August 18 assembly bypolls from Bargur constituency in
thedistrict.

Following allegations by opposition AIADMK and PMK
thatDMK had indulged in malpractices in the EVMs culminating inits
victory in the Lok Sabha polls from Tamil Nadu, theElection Commission
purchased new machines to be used for thefive assembly by-polls and it
would be used only after theissuance of fitness certificate by the BEL
engineers, anofficial press release said here today.

The BEL
engineers have started checking the working ofthe EVMs in the presence
of Krishnagiri District Collector V KShanmugam and Returning Officer cum
District Revenue Officer AShanmugasundaram yesterday, the release said.

Each
machine would be allotted with a code number thatwould be registered in
computer for verification. The machineswould be dispatched randomly to
poling stations only a daybefore the polling in the presence of election
observer andcandidates.

Besides Burgur, other constituencies
going for bypollsare Ilayankudi, Cumbum, Srivaikuntam and Thondamuthur,
whichfell vacant either due to death or resignation of MLAs.

 

http://www.samaylive.com/news/bel-to-certify-evms/642764.html

 

August 09, 2009

AIADMK boycott of by-elections

EVMs are not fair, not transparent, have no voter verifiable audit trails
By MG Devasahayam

The
decision of the opposition parties in Tamil Nadu to boycott the
by-elections to five assembly constituencies is an expression of
no-confidence in the electoral process in general and the Election
Commission in particular, rather being aimed at the ruling DMK-Congress
combine.

An AIADMK press note makes it manifest: “Looking at the
way elections have been conducted in Tamil Nadu in the last three years
and in particular in Thirumangalam constituency and the recent
parliamentary polls, the AIADMK has doubts if the Election Commission
can function in a free and fair manner.” The opposition alleges that
several malpractices took place in the recent elections through use of
money and muscle power to win elections and the Election Commission has
been a silent spectator. 

What is strange, but not surprising,
is the open admission of such malpractices by three election bigwigs-N
Gopalaswami, till recently the Chief Election Commissioner, SY Quraishi,
Election Commissioner (possibly the next CEC) and Naresh Gupta,
long-serving Chief Electoral Officer of Tamil Nadu. 

A couple of
weeks ago, while addressing a select gathering in Chennai in the
presence of PC Alexander, former Tamil Nadu governor, Gopalaswami said
candidly: “Electronic voting machines (EVMs) cannot be hacked as being
alleged because these are stand-alone equipment and not connected to any
operating system. We have met party muscle-power with government
muscle-power by deploying armed central police force in polling booths.
But we cannot counter money-power in a similar manner.” 

He
added: “In three months Election Commission cannot obliterate the
massive money-power acquired by politicians in 57 months.” Gopalaswami
also said that though EVMs could not be hacked or tampered with, “booth
capturing and bogus voting is very much possible and very much
prevalent”. 

The statements of Quraishi and Gupta were also on
the same lines, thus creating a credibility crisis about the EC and the
electoral process. 

In this context the “Caesar’s wife” anecdote
would be appropriate. In 61 BC, Julius Caesar’s second wife, Pompeia
was implicated in a scandal following the annual feast of the Great
Goddess. Though men were not admitted to this religious ritual, the
notorious libertine Publius Clodius allegedly disguised himself as a
woman and seduced her. Caesar divorced Pompeia and an inquiry was held.
Although several members of Caesar’s family gave evidence in favour of
Pompeia, Caesar himself did not, and the court asked him why he had
demanded a divorce when so much uncertainty surrounded the incident.
“Caesar’s wife,” he replied, “must be above suspicion.” 

This is
applicable mutatis mutandis to the situation in Tamil Nadu’s electoral
scenario. The EC, the grandmaster of India’s electoral process,
described as the “greatest democratic exercise on earth” is held in high
esteem in the free world and cannot afford to lose its reputation.
Therefore, though these allegations of electoral malpractices are
controversial in nature, the Election Commission and the electoral
process must be above suspicion.

First, the EVMs. Even assuming
these machines are tamper-proof, three essential elements of free and
fair elections available to the voter under the paper ballot system are
not there in the EVMs-checking the accuracy of the ballot paper before
marking the vote; verifying whether he/she has correctly marked it, and
reconstruction of the vote for authentication in case of electoral
dispute. 

Therefore, its fairness is open to question and doubts
have been raised that need to be dispelled. It may be too late in the
day to stop the EVM juggernaut. But the Election Commission can build in
a reasonably foolproof safeguard in the form of a verification system.
This can be done by a “voter verifiable audit trail.” A printer attached
to the voting machine, something like ATMs in banks, could permit a
“vote verification slip” to be printed out, giving the candidate and
symbol for which the voter has voted. The voter picks up the slip,
verifies that the vote has been correctly registered, and deposits it in
a safe in front of the polling officer. Boxes containing these slips
would be sealed and stored securely to be available for reconstruction
of the vote and authentication of election results in case of any
dispute. This way, while going hi-tech, basic requirements of a free and
fair election can be met. 

Secondly, money-power. Gopalaswami
is right when he said “party money-power” cannot be physically countered
by “government money-power.” But creating fear in the minds of the
corrupters can certainly fight it. Countermand elections in
constituencies where massive money power is being deployed-as described
in Section 123 of the Representation of the People Act-because of which
‘result of the election is likely to be affected’. This will send
shivers down the spine of the “cash-and-carry candidates”, who are
destroying the credibility of the electoral process. The EC can obtain
such information through the battery of observers they deploy, whose
numbers can be augmented in select “rogue constituencies”. 

As
of now, such a provision under Section 59 A 2(b) of the Act is available
for booth capturing as defined in Section 135A, which covers the
physical act of taking possession of polling stations, ballot boxes/EVM
or ballot papers because of which “result of the election is likely to
be affected”. 

Both suggestions can be implemented by the EC
immediately. If necessary, the Act can be suitably amended, and that
brooks no delay. What is at stake is the integrity of our democracy. 

(The writer is a retired IAS officer and can be contacted at mgd@airtelmail.in) (http://tinyurl.com/m9j98m)

http://www.organiser.org/dynamic/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=303&page=4

 

August 09, 2009

Debate

EVM and electoral reforms - II
EVM: The credibility factor
By Nishitendu Chaudhury

The
inflow of black money in electoral process is a great menace. The
Hon’ble Supreme Court has observed after discussing various issues in
this regard based on real incidents as brought on record that the
political parties and candidates collect money from undisclosed and
doubtful sources for the purpose of fostering their electoral prospect.
In the case of Common Cause, a registered society -vs- Union of India,
reported in (1996) 2 SCC 752 the Supreme Court has discussed the
ill-effect of black money in electoral process and the consequences
ensuing therefrom during the next tenure of the government coming in
power. The initial incorporation of corrupt money through illegal means
result in corruption in executive compulsorily and in the process the
people are always deprived from the benefits they are entitled. The
Supreme Court, therefore, has made as many as seven recommendations
making it obligatory on the part of the political parties to submit
return in regard to their income and expenditure. In its report dated
31.3.2002 the NCRWC has also highlighted the problem of high cost of
election and abuse of money power under paragraph 4.14 of its report. It
has been opined that present provisions of law have a significant
loophole in the shape of explanation 1 to section 77 (1) of the RP Act
1951 under which the amounts spent by person other than the candidate
and his agents are not counted in the election expenses. All extra
expenditure even when known and proven can be shown to have been spent
by the party or by any friends thereby taking it beyond the enforceable
realms. The report therefore recommended for suitable amendment, inter
alia, by deleting explanation-1 to section 77(1) of the RP Act 1951.

The
subversion of the atmosphere of free and fair poll is often done by the
political parties and their candidates dividing people on the basis of
race, caste, creed, language and religion and in the process the
judgment of the people get vitiated by extraneous consideration other
than on merit. Merit has virtually occupied the back seat in the present
scenario of electoral politics because of various factors as referred
to above. Unless suitable legislations are made to curb the trend, the
future of our democracy will continue to be shrouded in darkness. 

The
Phase-III occurrences include various types of corrupt practices within
the meaning of section 123 of the RP Act 1951 and also by other means
unknown to the said sections. Apart from usual corrupt practices like
booth capturing, undue influence, rigging etc. there is yet another
class of manipulation termed as ‘classical rigging’ by a well known
journalist while making comment about the modus operandi of the election
machinery of the Left parties in the West Bengal. 

The latest
controversy that has come to fore is with regard to reliability of EVM.
While the Dinesh Goswami report of 1990 and the opinion of the EC is in
favour of use of EVM but a recent spate of articles in international
journals of computer science and electronics have opened up a
significant debate in this regard. The former Chief Secretary of the
Union Territory of Delhi has been in the press recently for his
statement that EVM can be manipulated. The strongest objection to the
use of EVM has come from former Law Minister Dr Subrahmaniam Swami. He
has written an article in the (The Hindu, June 17, 2009), raising
several strong and legitimate objections as to the advisability of use
of EVM which need to be duly addressed. Dr Swami has quoted an article
published in the International Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Journal (IEEE, May 2009 page-23) and Newsweek (June 1, 2009). It is a
fact that a backlash against e-voting is brewing across the world.
Germany’s Supreme Court has already prohibited use of EVM after one
software consultant sued alleging that an EVM is less secure than a
mobile phone. Netherlands has already banned use of EVM. The matter is
in significant controversy in US after the Secretary of State of
California has set up a full-fledged inquiry into EVMs after staying all
further use. By holding a press conference at Chennai, Dr Swami has
alleged that political party of India has just before last General
Election recruited large number of persons who had been convicted in the
US for hacking bank accounts on the internet and the credit cards.
According to Dr Swami, the EVMs being nothing but computers with
softwares programmed in it, are vulnerable to manipulation by hackers
who has access to it. The incidents referred earlier in regard to
polling of more than 100 per cent in large number of polling stations in
Arunachal Pradesh may be by way of such manipulations.

Introduction
of machine in election was done by the EC for the first occasion in
1982 in a constituency in Kerela. This was challenged by the defeated
candidate Sivan Pillai successfully and as such the matter was brought
to the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of AC Jose-Vs-Sivan Pillai,
reported in AIR 1984 SC 921. The Supreme Court found fault with the EC
saying that Art. 324 cannot confer power on the EC to introduce a new
system without amendment of law by the Parliament and as such the first
attempt was declared illegal. Thereafter the Parliament in its wisdom
passed Act I of 1989 authorising the EC to make use of machine by
incorporating Section 61A in the RP Act 1951. But it appears that the
Supreme Court once again has advised the EC to reconsider the technical
flaws of EVM in a PIL filed by one Satinath Choudhary, a US based
software engineer.

I have stated earlier quoting concrete
examples as to how polling in about 20 booths in one LAC of the state of
Arunachal Pradesh could be rigged within an hour or so taking advantage
of EVM. This is because in the EVM system one has to press two buttons
only in casting votes. The labour is minimum in pressing button twice.
On the other hand rigging under traditional ballot system is more
arduous inasmuch as there the process to voting involves several steps
like tearing of ballot papers from the bundle, marking the same, folding
the ballot papers and there after to push it inside the ballot box so I
feel under the facts and circumstances it is necessary to abandon the
EVMs and to revert back to ballot system. 

One more fundamental
aspect has been highlighted in both 170th report and the report of the
NCRWC is that the present system of First Past the Post (FPP) system
does not reflect the will of the people. In the FPP system a candidate
getting say, 35 per cent of votes may win because of multi-cornered
contest and presence of huge number of independent candidates. It is
possible that a party or a pre-poll alliance may occupy the power only
by commanding 35 per cent support of the people. Even in the 14th Lok
Sabha the INC has been occupying the driving seat of the government
after having polled merely 28.52 per cent of votes in aggregate. Thus
the number of seats in Parliament which is the only important factor is
not proportional to the aggregate percentage of support by the people.
The 170th Law Report, therefore, has suggested that the FPP system be
done away with partially if not fully. It has recommended amendment of
Article 81(1) of the Constitution providing that not more than 530
members be chosen by direct election from territorial constituency in
the state, not more than 20 members to represent the UTs chosen in such
manner as Parliament may by law provide and not more than 130 members be
chosen by list system in such manner as Parliament may by law provide. 

It may be further added that if law is made providing that a
candidate has to submit a list of two polling agents per booth for at
least 75 per cent of total number of booths in the constituency prior to
scrutiny of nomination and that no person other than the listed ones
would be permitted to act as polling agent and further providing that in
case a candidate fails to submit such list his nomination would be
rejected. This would minimise the number of non serious candidates most
of whom are dummy candidates in reality. It would be necessary to
provide further by law that the EC shall be duty bound to impart
training to these polling agents at the time of training the polling
staff as to the rules governing free and fair poll and the duties and
responsibilities of the polling agents. Such awareness and knowledge
imparted to polling agents shall substantially suppress the undue acts
of the polling staff facilitating manipulation. 

These are only
some of the aspects in regard to electoral reforms. A nationwide debate
in this regard involving politicians, teachers, and lawyers,
intellectuals, journalists and the Bar Councils and the Bar Associations
so as to find out the ways and means to get rid of the viruses that
have crept into the election machinery. Unless some steps in remedy are
taken in tome our democracy shall be in jeopardy. 

(Concluded)

http://www.organiser.org/dynamic/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=303&page=10

EVMs can be manipulated, claim experts

IANS

August 2nd, 2009

BHUBANESWAR
- An electronic experts group Saturday challenged the poll panel’s
claim that the electronic voting machines (EVM) are tamper proof, and
said the voting devices can be tampered with in many ways.

Claiming
that there are loopholes in the EVMs, the expert team here demonstrated
how the machines can be tampered through a prototype EVM they have
developed.

“EVMs have many loopholes. We are challenging those
who claim that EVMs are infallible. There are many security leakages in
these machines which can give us a manipulated result,” said Hari K.
Prasad, a Hyderabad based electronics expert and head of Net India Pvt
Ltd.

The claim by the electronic expert group comes a day after
the Election Commission Saturday maintained that the EVMs were “fully
tamper-proof” and invited political parties and others who had raised
doubts about the credibility of the machines to come for a demonstration
to set their misgivings at rest “once and for all”.

About 1.3 million EVMs were used during the April-May Lok Sabha polls. Of these, 400,000 were new.

“Leave apart the old EVMs, the upgraded machines are not fully tamper proof,” Prasad told a gathering.

The
group was accompanied by the Hyderabad-based NGO, Jana Chetana Vedika,
which had earlier filed a PIL in the Supreme Court challenging the
infallibility of EVMs.

The group is making another demonstration to nail the poll panel’s claims next week before a technical experts team.

Prasad
said mechanisms like printing a confirmation paper slip after voting,
like in credit cards, would make the process more credible.

http://blog.taragana.com/n/evms-can-be-manipulated-claim-experts-128314/

EVM tampering: EC schedules demos first week Aug

 

ELECTION COMMISSION OF INDIA

Nirvachan Sadan, Ashoka Road, New Delhi-110001

No- PN/ECI/40/2009 Dated 1st August, 2009

 

Subject- Electronic Voting Machines- regarding

 

Press Note

 

The Supreme Court of India, while disposing of a petition filed by Shri V. V. Rao

and three others, raising questions about use of Electronic Voting Machines in the

elections, on 27 July 2009 observed that the petitioners could approach the Election

Commission in the matter. The Election Commission had already on 22nd July 2009,

written to one of the petitioners to come and demonstrate the ‘so called manipulation of

the EVM’. Following the apex court’s orders, the petitioners approached the Election

Commission to consider the points raised by them. The Commission has replied back to

the petitioners on 31st July 2009, reiterating its invitation to them to come and

demonstrate the points made in their allegations about possible tampering of EVMs,

preferably in the week starting from 3rd of August 2009.

 

Similar petitions have been filed before three High Courts in the country. These

are the Madras High Court, the Bombay High Court and the High Court of Madhya

Pradesh (Jabalpur bench). These petitions also raise allegations about the possibility of

tampering with the EVMs. The Election Commission has invited these petitioners to

come and demonstrate their points before the Commission.

 

In this connection, the Commission has taken note of certain news reports and

more recently one advertisement suggesting that the Electronic Voting Machines used

for polling can be tampered with. The Commission has also received a few

communications from individuals and political parties raising the possibility of

manipulation of the EVMs.

 

The Election Commission remains entirely satisfied that EVMs cannot be

tampered with. These are fully tamper-proof. So far, no one has been able to

demonstrate that EVMs used by the Election Commission can be tampered or

manipulated. EVMs have served the country’s elections well. These were introduced

after long ranging political, technical and administrative consultations since 1979. The

use of machines has helped prevent several electoral malpractices and resulted in more

efficient conduct of elections. Judgments from various courts have upheld the use of

EVMs and technical experts have endorsed the machines from time to time. In fact, the

Karnataka High Court has hailed the EVM as ‘a national pride’. Similarly, the Madras

High Court, after elaborate consideration of the issue in a batch of petitions in 2001,

rejected allegations that the EVMs could be tampered.

 

The issues recently raised by petitioners in the Courts and by some others,

broadly allege the possibility of tampering with the machine during the manufacturing

process or while operating the machine. It has also been mentioned that some of the

western countries have given up using the EVMs. The fact is that unlike the machines

used by other countries, which are based on operating systems, the software in the EVM

chip is one time programmable and is burnt into the chip at the time of manufacture.

Nothing can be written on the chip after manufacture. The EVM in India is a fully standalone

machine without being part of any network and with no provision for any input. In

addition, elaborate administrative measures and procedural checks are in place to make

the EVM doubly safe against any possible tampering or misuse. So, it is completely

tamper proof.

 

At
the same time, the Election Commission is fully alive to its onerous
responsibility not to allow even a small shade of doubt about any aspect
of its operation. While the Commission completely rejects the
contention regarding fallibility of the EVMs, it has now decided to go
the extra distance by inviting all those who have expressed reservations
about the machine to come and demonstrate the points made in their
allegations. Those who have made petitions before the Courts have been
invited for the

purpose along with the political parties who have
written to the Commission. The demonstration has been scheduled at the
headquarters of the Election Commission of India in New Delhi in the
first week of August 2009. This will be done in the presence of a
technical experts group as well as engineers representing the EVM
manufacturers. The Election Commission expects that the demonstration
would once for all set at rest any misgiving anywhere, in the interest
of the country’s electoral democracy.

(R.K.SRIVASTAVA)

SECRETARY

http://eci.nic.in/press/current/pn010809.pdf

 Punjab Newsline

INLD calls for barring EVM’s in elections

Punjab Newsline Network  

Thursday, 30 July 2009

CHANDIGARH:
Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) has called for barring the use of
Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in elections. INLD has also stressed
the need to call an all party meeting to deliberate on the issue.

INLD
Secretary General & Rajya Sabha MP Mr Ajay Singh Chautala said that
in view of the ongoing controversy and allegations by different
non-Governmental organizations about the chances of tampering in the
EVMs, there should be an inclusive national debate on the issue. He said
that the issue is paramount as it is related to the impartiality of the
elections and faith of the billions of voters in the democracy. Next
Vidhan Sabha elections should be held by Ballot Papers till the
controversy is resolved to the satisfaction of all, he added.

 Mr
Chautala said that many regional & national political parties
including partners of NDA have expressed apprehensions and doubt over
the impartiality of the EVMs, so all doubts should be clarified and the
use of EVMs be banned till the issue is sorted out to the satisfaction
of all. Delhi’s former chief secretary & IIT alumnus, Mr Omesh
Saigal has also demonstrated the chances of the hacking and managing the
people’s  mandate before the Election Commission. It is a serious &
considerable matter, which should be urgently addressed to continue the
62 year old unblemished record of our country’s democracy. The issue is
larger as it is related to sustenance of democracy and credibility of
the country and international image, he added.

INLD leader said
that government & Election Commission should give top priority to
addressing the objections and chances of “rigging, programming and
hacking” as otherwise; elections would become farce and lose their
credibility. Various countries like Germany, Netherland have already
discontinued the use of EVMs in their elections.

INLD leader said
that the country should revert to the older ballot papers unless
Election Commission is able to ensure the people that Electronic Voting
Machines are foolproof and every possibility of their malfunctioning is
being taken care of. The possibility of EVMs’ malfunctioning must be
addressed in the interest of free democracy and faith of the electorate,
Mr Chautala said.

http://www.punjabnewsline.com/content/view/17801/

 

Sukhbir demands all party meet on EVMs

Chandigarh,
Jul 28 (PTI) Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal today
demanded that Elections Commission should call an all party meet, to
reach a consensus on the reliability and non-corruptibility of
Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and their use in future elections.

In
a statement issued here, Badal said that most of the NDA partners have
already expressed their apprehensions on corruptibility of EVMs and it
becomes the prime duty of EC to either restore faith of people in the
objectivity of election process or revert back to old process of ballot
papers.

He said that this relook on the corruptibility of EVMs
has become much more imperative after the yesterday’s observation of
Apex Court that Election Commission should review the working of EVMs.

Badal
said that Leader of Opposition L K Advani had already aired his fears
about EVMs being hacked in favour of a particular candidate.

http://www.ptinews.com/news/198756_Sukhbir-demands-all-party-meet-on-EVMs

Results of the 15th Parliamentary Elections
A mischief of the EVMs!
By KG Acharya (August 2, 2009)

Results
of the 15th Lok Sabha elections are extremely shocking and unexpected.
The exit poll results were all wrong without exception. Even the results
of the last parliamentary elections held in 2004 were wrong. It is
surprising that on both the occasions the beneficiary of the wrong
results was the same party, namely, the Congress.

All the TV
channels and psephologists must look into the fact that why all of them
were wrong in forecasting their exit poll results. Otherwise their
credibility will go down further.

Balasaheb Thackeray had
announced in a large gathering at Shivaji Park, Mumbai immediately after
the election results of the 1971 Lok Sabha election that they were not
effected by “Bai (woman-Indira), Gau (cow—the election symbol of the
Congress), but by Shai (ink—used on ballet paper)”. It was alleged that
ink stamp put on the symbol of some ballot papers used to vanish and the
same used to appear on the Congress symbol of cow and calf. It is
possible that what the KGB did at that time was done now by the CIA. It
is known that nearness of Russia to Indiraji is now replaced by the
nearness of Sonia to America, which is very much keen on getting the
Nuclear Agreement passed by the government.

It must be noted
that the plot for the mischief was planned and carried out very
meticulously. It was done only in certain constituencies so that doubts
would not be raised. No attempts were made to defeat candidates like LK
Advani. Only a small percentage of votes were transferred to the
Congress, so that strongholds of the BJP would have only reduced
strength but they would not be completely destroyed.

The following points may be considered to justify the suspicion.
There
was a news in Samana of May 17, 2009 that votes given to any candidate
in booth no. 265 in the Nanded Parliamentary Constituency in Maharashtra
were transferred to Congress. This speaks a lot for the mischief caused
by Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) even in other parts of the
country. According to Rediff news, May 16, 2009: “The Shiv Sena’s Mohan
Rawale has refused to accept defeat even as Milind Deora was declared
the winner of the South Mumbai [Images] seat. Rawale alleged that there
was a problem with some EVMs and a complaint would be lodged with the
Election Commission in this regard after consulting senior leaders of
the Shiv Sena including executive president Uddhav Thackeray. Rawale
cited the examples of US and Indonesia where the use of EVMs has been
stopped due to their inconsistency.” “I wonder how I got only 5 votes
from an area that is a Shiv Sena stronghold,” the defeated candidate
said.

The outcome of the election is completely shocking. And
the more shocking news is the possibility of tampering of EVMs to
manipulate the results throughout India. And now there is a PIL filed in
the Supreme Court over the possibility of tampering of the EVMs by one
of the technologists. Please see the link
below.http://www.indianexpress.com/storyOld.php?storyId=45296

“Computer
chips that control the EVMs can be easily programmed to do all kinds of
improper manipulations. For example, after a certain number of people
(perhaps hundreds) have voted, the rest of the votes may be channeled to
a chosen candidate. This is just one among many mischievous tricks
possible.”

Also, a similar news appeared in a technical magazine
called Linux Journal, citing that the hardware and the software used in
the EVMs are not open sourced and hence the functioning of the EVMs are
still not clear. http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/7561

Moreover,
there is large possibility that the EVMs can be programmed,
reprogrammed at anytime of the election process, and the data can be
altered even at the last minute.

There are reasons to suspect
the role of foreign powers coming forwards to help the Congress party
and in particular, the Nehru dynasty, whom they have always helped in
the past. Track records show that the concerned Congress leaders have
also never hesitated to take the help of foreign powers in their own
party interests.

For example: Dr. Yevgeniya Albats, a Soviet
journalist, who was a member of the official KGB Commission wrote in her
book that payments in US dollars were made to Rajiv, Sonia and Rahul
Gandhi and Paola Maino, Sonia’s mother. Rajinder Puri, a very senior
journalist has written details of the report in the FPJ of April 30,
2009. He has also referred to a report in the Hindu of July 4, 1991
alleging that Rajiv Gandhi had 2.5 billion Swiss franks in numbered
Swiss bank accounts. In an article in the Indian Defence Review Anand K
Verma, a former RAW chief of the Cabinet Secretariat claimed that the
influence of foreign intelligence organisations had reached deep into
civil society and suspicion was cast even on a PM. An article to this
effect was published in the Times of India of April 19, 2009. It was
reported a few years ago that Congress party and Sonia Gandhi were
involved in the “Oil for food programme of Iraq” and the disclosure had
caused the exit of a former external affairs minister of the Congress
government.

After the February 1971 elections in which the KGB
allegedly did the ink experiment, a few scientists made experiments to
prove that ballot papers could be tampered. It was shown to a group of
Jan Sangh leaders that included Shri Balraj Madhok. A shocking fact of
those days was that in the municipal elections in Delhi held only a few
days after the Lok Sabha polls, the Jan Sangh, which had received a
severe blow in the Parliament, got a thumping victory in the municipal
elections. This raised doubts in the public mind. It is for this reason
that this time mischief was done on a moderate scale. Yet there are
doubts, how all exit polls are wrong!

(The writer can be contacted at keshavacharya@yahoo.com)

 

SC dismisses lawsuit doubting EVMs

By janamejayan

But
this is not the end of it.  It will be the same supreme court that will
rule to the surprise and consternation of the rulers who usurped power
by fraud.  Watch my prediction.

IANS
First Published : 27 Jul 2009 07:17:29 PM IST

NEW
DELHI: The Supreme Court Monday refused to entertain a lawsuit by an
election watch group doubting the credibility of the Electronic Voting
Machines
, which were used in the April-May general elections.

A bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, while rejecting the lawsuit
, asked the petitioners to first approach the Election Commission of India on the matter.

The
bench, which also included Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice Cyriac
Joseph, however, gave the petitioners freedom to again approach the apex
court if their grievances are not addressed by the poll panel.

Appearing
for the election watch group, senior counsel Sanjay Parekh sought to
impress upon the court that due to the growing political distrust
against the EVMs it had become imperative for the court to set up a
panel of experts to examine the functioning of the voting machines and
ascertain whether they are tamper proof.

“All I want from this
court is to set up a panel to examine the machines and then submit its
report to this court,” Parekh pleaded, but the court refused to accept
his plea.

The lawsuit was filed by two officials of a
Hyderabad-based election watch group and two electronic engineers, who
had contended that it was possible to tamper with the software of the
machine and rig the election.

The lawsuit sought formation of a
panel to examine the EVMs and decide if they needed to be improved or
abandoned in favour of the ballot paper.

Election Watch official
V.V. Rao and engineers A. Kankipati and Y. Vasaya contended in their
lawsuit that “several experts and election watch groups and individuals,
who have been monitoring the election process  have found that EVMs
could be manipulated and tampered with.”

“They have analysed the
results in several constituencies, which indicates that there is
something drastically wrong with the EVMs,” the petitioners claimed.

The
lawsuit also raised the issue of secrecy of the votes, pointing out
that EVMs are not able to even protect the secrecy of voters and the
votes cast by them.

Arguing for formation of an expert panel,
Parekh contended that two expert panels appointed by the Election
Commission in 1990 and 2005 had indicated that there were several
lacunae in the functioning of EVMs and they needed to be rectified.

Later,
speaking to IANS, Election Commission’s legal consultant S.K.
Mendiratta sought to refute the doubts being raised about the EVMs.

“We
have been writing to one and all, who have been raising doubts about
the EVMs, to approach the Election Commission and demonstrate to us how
the EVM could be tampered with,” said Mendiratta, who was former
principal secretary of the poll panel.

“No one has turned up till
now to ask for any demonstration,” he said, adding that at least three
high courts and the apex court have approved of the EVMs’ functional
authenticity.

http://janamejayan.wordpress.com/2009/07/27/sc-dismisses-lawsuit-doubting-evms/

Only poll panel can deal with EVMs issue: Supreme Court

New
Delhi (PTI, The Hindu, 28 July 2009): The Supreme Court on Monday
declined to entertain a PIL questioning the functioning of Electronic
Voting Machines (EVMs) saying any grievance relating to them could be
raised with the Election Commission.

The apex court said it was
not underestimating the concern raised in the petition but the issues
relating to the working of the EVMs have to be dealt by the Election
Commission.

“We are not underestimating your stand but you have
to approach the right place which is Election Commission,” a Bench
comprising Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justices P. Sathasivam
and Cyriac Joseph said.

The Bench said the petitioner is at
liberty to make representations before the Election Commission which
will look into the issue.

It said if the representation is made before the EC then even political parties can express their views.

The
PIL filed by V.V. Rao had questioned the functioning of EVMs and sought
a direction to the Election Commission to stop using them till the
machines are made tamper-proof.

Advocate Sanjay Parikh, appearing
for the petitioner, had suggested an expert committee be appointed to
examine the issues raised in the petition and submit its report to the
apex court.

However, the Bench was from the beginning of the view that such issues could be raised before EC.

“At
this stage, you must approach the EC,” it said without giving much
credence to the submission that the issues have been raised before three
different High Courts.

http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/holnus/002200907280382.htm

July 27, 2009                                         PTI 

SC declines to hear PIL on EVM functioning

The
Supreme Court on Monday declined to entertain a Public Interest
Litigation, questioning the functioning of Electronic Voting Machines
and seeking a direction to the Election Commission to withhold using
them till the machines are made tamper proof.

A Bench headed by
Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan while declining to hear the PIL, directed
the petitioner, V V Rao, to make a representation before the Election
Commission in connection with the matter.

Was Election 2009 rigged?

Rao,
in his petition, said several experts and election watch groups have
claimed that EVMs could be manipulated. They have analysed electronics
results of several constituencies and indicated that there is something
drastically wrong with the EVMs, it said.

The existing EVMs are
vulnerable and should not be used for any election till the time the
machines are made tamper proof, Rao claimed in his petition.

http://news.rediff.com/report/2009/jul/27/sc-declines-to-hear-pil-on-evm-functioning.htm

EVM and electoral reforms

By Nishitendu Chaudhury (Organiser, August 02, 2009 )

The
EC within the meaning of Article 324(1) of the Constitution is duty
bound to fulfill the Constitutional aspiration that an election is free
and fair and that it manifests the will of the people. The role of the
EC within the bounds of the law in force has to be analysed to see as to
how far such aspirations have been fulfilled.

Free and fair
election is the basic foundation of a democratic polity. In our system
of democracy, people elect members of the legislatures both at the
Centre as well as at the State by universal adult suffrage. From these
legislators are the political executives drawn to rule the country or
the state as the case may be.

Thus by electing the legislators,
people simultaneously choose the political executives. This is why a
right to vote, the sanctity to vote, the manner of casting vote and
above all a poll without fear and restraint is so important. The framers
of the Constitution being well aware as to the importance of this,
initially wanted to place this right to vote along with fundamental
rights so that it transcends to a higher plane than other legal and
statutory rights. A perusal of the Constituent Assembly Debates and the
fifth volume of the Framing of Constitution by Shiva Rao show the
seriousness with which the framers proceeded in making Part XV of the
Constitution. However, right to elect and of being elected has been
recognised as a legal right under the control and superintendence of a
constitutional autonomous body academically independent of the executive
in sharp contrast with the provisions of the Government of India Act,
1935 wherein election and election process were under control of the
executive. 

The Part XV of the Constitution deals with
elections. It comprises of six articles from Article 324 to 329. Article
324 is the source of power and jurisdiction of the Election Commission
(for short, the EC). It has been vested with the power of
superintendence, direction and control of elections from preparation of
electoral rolls to declaration of results of elections to the Parliament
and the Legislative Assemblies of States. Article 325 prohibits any
discrimination in regard to eligibility for inclusion in electoral roll
on the ground of race, religion, caste, sex or any of them. Article 326
prescribes that elections to Parliament and to the State legislatures
are to be made on the basis of adult suffrage. By Article 327 Parliament
has been given power to make law with respect to all matters relating
to or in connections with elections to the Parliament or to the House of
either House of the State Legislature. Article 329 prohibits
interference by court in electoral matters except by way of an election
petition presented to such authority and in such manner as be provided
for by or under law made by the appropriate legislature. 

In the
case of Ponnuswamy (NP Ponnuswamy-Vs-Returning officer, Namakhal
Constituency) reported in AIR 1952 SC 64 the Supreme Court has held that
before an election machinery is put into operation three requisites are
to be fulfilled, namely,

         i.            there should be a
set of laws and rules making provisions with respect to all matters
relating to or in connections with elections and it should be decided as
to how these laws and rules are to be made;

        ii.            there should be an executive charged with the duty of securing the due conduct of elections; and

      iii.            there should be a judicial tribunal to deal with dispute arising out of or in connection with elections.

Following
Ponnuswamy, the Supreme Court held in Mohinder Singh Gill-Vs-CEC
(reported in AIR 1978 SC 851) that the power under Article 324 was very
wide and under the power derived from the said Article Election
Commission has power to cancel a poll in a constituency and it is also
held that to direct a re-poll was part of election process and thus
jurisdiction of the High Court under Article 226 was because for the non
obstinate clause in Article 329(b) of the Constitution.

The
legal and Constitutional position as it stands today after catena of
judicial pronouncements is that the EC is the competent executive
responsible for putting the machinery of election process in motion
subject, however, to the provisions of the Constitution and the law
framed there under. The EC within the meaning of Article 324(1) of the
Constitution is duty bound to fulfill the Constitutional aspiration that
an election is free and fair and that it manifests the will of the
people. The role of the EC within the bounds of the law in force has to
be analysed to see as to how far such aspirations have been fulfilled. 

The
Parliament enacted the Representation of the People Act, 1950 (for
short, the RP Act 1950) and the Representation of the People Act 1951
(for short, the RP Act 1951) as the machinery for holding of elections
and also for resolution of dispute arising out of an election. There are
measure prescribed under the Act to deal with the situation when a free
and fair poll is not held. The RP Act 1951 basically takes care of the
exigencies like corrupt practices. It also provides for means and manner
as to how the EC is to respond to the situation if an impediment to
holding of free and fair election comes in front of it. 

Election
is held by the EC in exercise of power conferred under Article 324 of
the Constitution of India as well as the provision of the aforesaid the
RP Act 1950, the RP Act 1951 and the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961.
The EC gets the job performed with the machinery of executive by way of
taking unto itself the services of the Civil Servants and the Employees
in a manner akin to deputation under service law. So, the possibility of
manipulations in the election process right from enrollment in the
electoral roll up to declaration of election results have many folds and
they may be cited, inter alia, phase wise as follows:

A. Phase I (Enrolment stage)

        
i.            Erroneous inclusion/deletion of names in the electoral
roll deliberately or unwillingly by unbecoming acts of the
employees/enumerators;

        ii.            Error on the part
of the District and State Election Officers in regard to disposal of
objections in regard to erroneous inclusion/deletion in the roll and the
appeal arising there from deliberately or unwillingly;

      iii.            Erroneous act on behalf of the EC in this regard deliberately or unwillingly;

B. Phase II (during poll process by political parties and candidates)

        
i.            Criminalisation and consequent use of physical force and
mafia in polluting the atmosphere of free and fair poll;

        ii.            Use of black money in violation of law holding the field.

      iii.            Subversive activities by way of dividing people on the basis of caste, creed, language and religion;

C. Phase-III (poll day violations)

         i.            Corrupt practices by candidates and their supporters under section 123 of the RP Act, 1951;

        ii.            Manipulation of voting machinery (both man and machine) by poll staff and/or candidate or his supporters;

      iii.            Innovative rigging popularly called as classical rigging.

D. Phase-IV (post-poll defection) Let us examine the position in detail.

        
i.            Willful inclusion or deletion in the electoral roll by
the staff is a much known phenomenon. In case well organised political
forces, the same is systematically done to inflate the number of
supporters and to deflate the number of the voters of the opposite
camps. Sometimes names of dead persons are allowed to remain or rather
preserved in the electoral roll for impersonation. An efficient door to
door visit is the only alternative to curb such menace. However, steps
for general awareness among voters is also a must to put a check and
balance on the erring staff. It does not appear that a common people is
much aware and concerned for a defect free electoral roll. There does
not appear to be seriousness on the part of the executive and the EC to
inculcate awareness among the people in this regard. Lack of concern in
this matter has gone to such an extent that even a large section of the
educated middle class prefer to enjoy an additional holiday at home
rather than standing in queue for casting vote. This is an ominous sign
for a vibrant democracy.

        ii.            The District and
State Election Officers work under the disciplinary control of the state
government during the whole year except the election time. The corrupt
politicians and the executives take opportunity of the situation and
exert influence on the bureaucracy to manipulate the process in regard
to disposal of objections and appeals under the RP Act 1950 and the
Conduct of Election Rules, 1961. To ensure an independent and impartial
action reasonably beyond influence by executive, it is necessary that
the autonomy of the EC be made complete in regard to services under it
by providing a skeletal staff under it up to Sub-Divisional level if
need be by introducing an all-India Service under the Election
Commission like Indian Election Service.

      iii.           
The Election Commission is headed by a Chief Election Commissioner under
Article 324(1) of the Constitution. In addition to the CEC, The
President may appoint one or more Election Commissioners under the said
Article. The President makes the appointment on the advice of the
Council of Ministers under Article 74 of the Constitution and thus
obviously the will and choice of the political executive actively work
behind the appointment. A political executive shall seldom miss a chance
to pack the EC with man of its choice so as to get all possible undue
benefits in the hour of need. The controversy triggered by the former
CEC, Gopalaswami in regard to role of then Election Commissioner Naveen
Chawla brought this to the focus. At least allegations have come on
record that Naveen Chawla received instructions from the leader of the
INC party before exercise of its jurisdiction which itself is
unfortunate irrespective as to whether the allegations were correct or
not. However, the finger of suspicion continues to remain pointed
towards him even after the conclusion of the election process of the14th
Lok Sabha. At least one election petition from the State of Arunachal
Pradesh has dared the present CEC (N Chawla) alleging in an Election
Petition that the EC has committed injustice by not exercising the
jurisdiction vested on it by Section 58 of the RP Act 1951 even after it
was proved to the hilt that at least seven polling stations under 3,
Mukto LAC of Arunachal Pradesh registered more than 100 per cent polling
which is not possible unless the booth was captured. There are 12 other
polling stations under the same constituency which showed about 96 per
cent polling whereas the average polling rate of the constituency is 46
per cent approximately. Bringing the office of the EC under the penumbra
on suspicion could have been averted if the offices under the
Commission would have been filled up by a transparent means rather than
whims and caprice of the party in power. Perhaps this is why the
National Commission To Review The Working of the Constitution (NCRWC) in
its report submitted on 31.3.2002 recommended in this regard that
appointment to the office of CEC and other ECs should be made the basis
of recommendation of a collegium consisting of the Prime Minister, the
leaders of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, the
Speaker of the Lok Sabha and the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. I
feel that such a collegiums may also consist of three persons, namely,
the PM, leader of the Opposition in the Parliament and the Chief Justice
of India.

The phase II factors referred to above are also
important and have direct bearing in preventing a free and fair poll.
The 170th report of the Law Commission submitted in the 1999 and the
report of the NCRWC submitted on 31.3.2002 have dealt with the
seriousness the aspect of criminalisation and mafia force in tilting the
election result. It has been suggested that a ban should be put against
candidature of a person against whom an inquiry or trial for commission
of heinous crime like murder, rape etc. are pending since six months or
more before the commencement of the election process. (To be concluded)

http://www.organiser.org/dynamic/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=302&page=12

BJP for use of EVM paper back-up in state polls

TNN 25 July 2009, 04:40am IST

PUNE:
State BJP leader Kirit Somaiya on Friday said the party is set to put
forward a demand for use of electronic voting machines (EVM) with paper
back-up during the forthcoming state elections. He said that a
high-level delegation including BJP and Shiv Sena leaders will meet the
election commission on the said issue soon.

Elaborating the
system, Somaiya said, “Under the proposed system, after casting a vote,
the EVM will immediately produce a slip. This slip will have a sign
printed, confirming that the vote has gone to same candidate to which
the voter intends to choose. The voter will have to drop this slip in
ballot box. The ballot counting can be matched with the EVM counting in
case of doubt. The system has been tried and tested successfully in
theUS and so should be implemented in India as well.”

Addressing
media persons in city on Friday, Somaiya criticised the use of existing
EVMs for any polls in the country. He said, “There are loopholes in use
of EVMs as they can be easily tampered with, manipulated as well as
hacked. There is no full-proof system available with the election
commission which can 100 per cent restrict the misuse or malfunctioning
of EVMs.” 

Somaiya said, “The BJP wants all further elections to
be held with EVM paper back-up. Several instances have been found in
the recently held Lok Sabha elections about mal-functioning of EVMs.
These include some serious examples like when button of one candidate
pressed, light on another candidate were flashed. All major political
parties including senior leaders from Congress party have also expressed
concern about the functioning of EVM, he added. 

Somaiya said
that and an expert committee appointed by the election commission
submitted its report with several recommendations to plug the loopholes
on manipulation and mal-functioning of EVMs. However, the election
commission has not implemented them.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/4817819.cms

BJP demands ban on EVMs

PUNE,
Jul 26, 2009 (Arab News - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via
COMTEX) — Expressing serious concern over the way electronic voting
machines can malfunction, former Bharatiya Janata Party MP from Mumbai
Kirit Somaiya this evening demanded a ban on the use of machines that
have no paper backups and strongly advocated adopting electronic voting
machines that produce paper receipts. “The BJP will put forth a demand
for use of electronic voting machines (EVM) with paper back-up during
the forthcoming state assembly elections,” he said. “Under the proposed
system, after casting a vote, the EVM will immediately produce a slip.
This slip will have a sign printed, confirming that the vote has gone to
same candidate to which the voter intends to choose.”The voter would
then drop this slip in a ballot box so that the votes can be verified.

At
a demonstration held at the Pune Union of Working Journalists Center,
Somaiya put forth a demonstration on the flaws in the machines that can
provide inaccurate or biased voting results.

“The election commission has to date not revealed what happened to the votes cast on these machines,” he said.

 
Analyzing
voting patterns from across the country, Somaiya showed how certain
independent candidates, who he said had no political background or
standing, polled a usually high number of votes.

“You can hack
the software and hardware through physical manipulation or through
remote access,” Somaiya said as he demonstrated live using a demo
machine. Somaiya, along with his senior party colleagues and Shiv Sena
leaders, are scheduled to meet the election commission Tuesday in New
Delhi to demand doing away of the electronic voting machines in their
existing format.

To see more of the Arab News or to subscribe to
the newspaper, go tohttp://www.arabnews.com. Copyright (c) 2009, Arab
News, Jeddah, Saudi ArabiaDistributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information
Services. For reprints, emailtmsreprints@permissionsgroup.com, call
800-374-7985 or 847-635-6550, send a faxto 847-635-6968, or write to The
Permissions Group Inc., 1247 Milwaukee Ave.,Suite 303, Glenview, IL
60025, USA.

http://www.tmcnet.com/scripts/print-page.aspx?PagePrint=http://www.tmcnet.com/usubmit/-bjp-demands-ban-evms-/2009/07/25/4291520.htm

EVMs: EC indulges in suppressio veri

What
is shocking is that EC has NOT told Rediff that the programs of EVM
have been changed recently (newly programmed used first time in Delhi
assembly polls) by introducing time/date stamp. This time/date stamping
itself is a trojan horse which makes the system open to internet since
time computation is OUTSIDE of the standalone EVM (as claimed by EC and
assuming, without conceding that their claim is valid). The timer
process can be interrupted by an external wireless manipulation.

As
noted in the wiki entry by Anupam Saraph, EC had KNOWN the results 10
days before the counting (that is on 6th May when the counting date was
16th May) and in the case of over 100 candidates, the spreadsheets
maintained by EC on 6 May tallied with the final results. How did this
happen?

EC is also silent on audit of the systems when taking
delivery from BEL or ECIL. There are also reports that the two companies
have outsourced the work :) –.

The most important requirement
should be continuous auditability by a third party (apart from EC) to
the satisfaction of the party agents.

Unconstitutionality of the
EVMs keeping track of the voter’s choice, vitiating the secret nature of
the balloting. EC has repeatedly claimed through Indiresan committee
that every keystroke is mapped, that means, the vote recorded by the
voter can be traced to the voter. This is NOT the way to conduct secret
ballot. German SC rightly declared EVM unconstitutional for the simple
reason that the ordinary citizen does NOT understand the complex
machine.

Auditability by the voter is missing from EVM system:
1. voter checking the accuracy of the ballot paper before marking the
vote; 2. voter verifying whether he/she has correctly marked it, and 3.
voter confident that reconstruction of the vote is possible for
authentication in case of electoral dispute. The three processes are
possible in a paper ballot and NOT possible in a machine balloting.

The
date/time stamp introduced in 200,000 (Jan 2009) of the 13 lakh EVMs
used for 2009 polls pose serious issues vitiating the public nature of
the poll:

1. Two system programs were used for the same election (were parties told about this?)

2.
Date/time stamp negates the ’stand-alone’ nature claimed for the EVMs
and provide entry points for external wireless manipulation.

3. Outsourcing of making the EVMs to private parties introduces another trojan horse.

How
about the secret nature of the balloting if everything about what the
voter does in polling booth gets recorded? The big brother, yantra
watches the voter, so it is yantradesh, not janadesh

Kalyanaraman 26 July 2009

EVMs can’t be hacked: EC Quraishi

July 26, 2009 (Rediff)

The
functioning of Electronic Voting machines and their alleged
manipulation has come under scrutiny in the wake of the questions raised
by the Bharatiya Janata Party and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra
Kazhagam.

Rediff.com has highlighted many stories about the
controversy surrounding the EVMs and the growing opposition to their
usage. In a letter to rediff.com, a representative of Election
commissioner Dr S Y Quraishi’s office has clarified the EC’s position
over the matter, which is threatening to blow up into a major issue of
national concern.

In response to the story published doubting the
credibility of EVMs, EC Quraishi says, “The EVMs used in India are
tamper proof. All EVMs are hard coded to take votes against a Candidate
number only and are programmed to function exactly in the same manner.
It is not possible to alter the functioning of EVM in any manner
whatsoever by the manufacturers or in the field by election staff, as
the program is hard coded and fused in the micro controller, which is
one time programmable device. No gadgets, including remote means, can be
used to alter the program/data stored in EVM. It is in this manner that
the ECI’s EVMs are wholly different from those used in other
countries.”

While denying the mismatch between Control unit and
Ballot Unit, two crucial parts of EVMs, EC Quraishi said, “The embedded
program in both the Control Unit and Ballot Unit are masked and cannot
be read or altered and the program works on a specific hardware
platform, which is specific to the voting machine. Any change in the
program will be reflected as an error with tamper check. The program is
verified for checksum validity whenever the unit is powered up. Any
mismatch prohibits the machine from proceeding further and becomes
inoperational.”

EC Quraishi retreats that it is not possible to
hack the machines. He explained, “Apart from that the transparent
procedures followed during entire election process starting from
manufacturing to the time of counting like first level checking of EVMs
by the manufacturers, thereafter storing the EVMs in strong room,
preparation of EVMs by the Returning Officer before the candidates or
their agents, thereafter storing the EVMs in strong rooms in the
presence of candidates or their agents, mock poll by Presiding Officers
before the candidates or their agents just before actual poll, sealing
and storing of polled EVMs in strong room in the presence of the
candidates or their agents etc, it is not possible to taint or hack the
EVMs”.

The EC claims that the EVM used by the Commission is a
reliable voting device introduced after technical evaluation by an
‘Expert Committee’ constituted by the Government of India in 1990. Use
of EVMs has been proved to be fruitful as is evident from past
elections.

EC Quaraishi also listed the past judgmnts in this
regard. He said, “Many Courts including the Hon’ble Supreme Court of
India have time and again appreciated the efficiency of EVM in many
court cases. Attention, in this regard, is invited to the judgment of
the Hon’ble High Court of Madras in WP No. 3346, 3633, 4417, 4454, 4466,
4945, 5077, 6038 and 6039 of 2001 dated 10.4.2001, (AIADMK and others
Vs. Chief Election Commissioner and others) where the Hon’ble Court
dismissed the writ challenging the introduction of EVMs. The
petitioner’s challenged this ruling of the Madras High Court before the
Supreme Court in C.C.2824 and 2825/2001 which was dismissed by the
Hon’ble Apex Court in its decision dated 23.4.2001 and the decision of
the Madras High Court was upheld. Separately, the Hon’ble High Court of
Kerala [ Images ] in E.P. No. 4 of 2001 (T.A.Ahammed Kabeer Vs A.A.Azeez
and others) and Hon’ble High Court of Karnatka in E.P.No. 29 of 1999 (
Michael B. Fernandes Vs. C.K.Jaffar Sharif and others) have upheld the
EVM as a safe and secure device for conduct of elections. The Hon’ble
Karnataka High Court has hailed the EVM as ‘a national pride’ (judgement
dated 5.2.2004 in Michael B Fernandes Vs. C.K.Jaffar Sharif and others
in E.P.No. 29 of 1999).”

Sheela Bhatt in New Delhi

http://news.rediff.com/report/2009/jul/26/evms-cant-be-hacked-says-ec-quraishi.htm

What about the manufacturing facilities?
by Jay Shah on Jul 26, 2009 02:32 AM

This
doesn’t address speculation that the program running the EVMs was
tampered with during manufacturing. If such a thing happened, the
tampered program can be made to report success for any checks such as
the checksum or infact report a false checksum to mask the tampering.

Without taking a look at the program in the EVM, it is impossible know that it was not tampered with during manufacturing.

Who is he fooling?

by indianpatriot on Jul 26, 2009 01:02 AM  | Hide replies
Mr Quereshi …Kisko aap Befkoof bana rahe ho???/
He says that the Microprocessors cannot be reprogammed since they are hardcoded……
But Mr.Querishi, the MICROPROCESSORS CAN BE REPLACED in the machine…
Have you ever thought about that or AAP BHI SCAM MAIN SHAAMIL HAIN?

 Re: Re: Who is he fooling?
by Anand Gupta on Jul 26, 2009 02:37 AM
Telveer,
part of your argument is right, but the fact is, ballot tampering is
generally physical and hence more auditable. Whereas the tampering of
machine, while very difficult for a common man (as you rightly said in
regards Web site) is far easier when the establishment itself is the
provider of the machine and would rarely leave any audit trail. Given
the fact that Chawla was involved or to make this fairer to Chawla,
given the fact that India is so blatantly corrupt it would not surprise
me if all these EVMs are manipulated.
I would any-day go back to Ballots as I cannot put my 2 penny and Indian Bureacrat/ Politician in same place even for 2 minutes.

http://sites.google.com/site/hindunew/electronic-voting-machines

Voting Reforms: Options in an imperfect world

Contents

1 Receipts

2 Transaction Trail

3 Auditability

4 Ease of Voting

5 Secrecy

6 References

[]Receipts

Most
voting practices across the world do not issue any receipts. The voter
has no way to know if the vote cast was counted for the chosen
candidate. There have been many arguments in favor of as well as against
the issue of receipts.

A receipt is a confirmation, a proof of
counting. It reinforces the value of the vote. It gives every voter the
feeling of mattering.

The opponents of receipts have argued that
they open up vote commerce: exchange of money for votes. Others have
argued that voting process without receipts is also open to proxy by
commerce.

In the world of business proxy voting is both common
and legitimate as is the use of this system by lobbyists and interest
groups to take over companies or change their directions. The
compulsions of the voter or the proxy holder may be diverse, but the
common equation is the value of the vote. A proxy holder looks for
controlling return on investment- the voter for an advanced dividend for
giving up the right to choosing the management. Proxy is sustained as
long at it results in the company can continue to grow and yield
return-on-investment to the proxy owner as well as serve a better
dividend today than the dividend from the better governance as a result
of a different choice. As far as the latter is concerned, it is
self-fulfilling to prefer proxy. Dividend payments upfront result in the
exclusion of future dividends for the voter group that has given up its
right to a future dividend. Therefore the choice of upfront dividends
seems always better than otherwise.

A nation elects its
government for the dividends its citizens may receive from the
management by the new “board”. If the use of proxy serves to be more
beneficial to the voters than the management by a government, it may
well be the lesser evil to voting without receipts.

[]Transaction Trail

In
a voting process a transaction trail would require each vote be
identified with the voter, location and time. This trail would ensure
that every vote can be tracked to the source. If there is a transaction
trail, it becomes impossible to add or remove votes that do not come
from a voter, a location and during a legitimate period.

Those
against a transaction trail argue of its making the ballot free of
secrecy. Those for the trail argue about the inability to ensure
legitimate votes from illegitimate ones as those may be cast by any
compromise of the polling process.

Whatever the merits of
secrecy, it certainly fails to enthuse confidence about the voting
process and in voter based democracy. What is the difference between the
acts of a dictator and a secretly elected ruler? Whatever but a leap of
faith can stand witness to the democratic election of the ruler?

Rabindranath
Tagore dreamt of a land where the mind is without fear and the head
held high- will a secret democracy ever lead us into this world where
everyone can walk fearlessly and honorably with the choices they make
about the way they may be ruled?

It is interesting that a secret
sunday confession does not rid the world of sinners. Would a sunday of
public celebration of virtues make the world a better place?

[Auditability

Although
voting is a blank cheque to trillions of rupees of spending, a license
to control the civil liberty in a country, a framework that pushes
thousands of decisions to every citizen it is the most un-audit-able
process in a country. There is no way anyone can verify the claims of
those in control of the voting process and certify them to be true and
correct. There is no way that anyone can follow the transactions of
voting and certify that a candidate did indeed get as many votes as
counted from legitimate sources. There is no way anyone can certify that
the vote cast by anyone actually ended up for the candidate for whom it
was destined. There is no way anyone can certify that every voter
counted at the polling booth was actually the one who was entitled to
vote.

Arguably the process of audit requires a transaction trail.
A publicly audit-able process would require a public access to the
trail. In an age of open-source it is surprising that we opt for
closed-audit systems in the name of secrecy.

[]Ease of Voting

The
most that has happened to ease elections is an Electronic Voting
Machine. There is little simplification, transparency and security that
is built into the system.

Why cannot elections happen at ATM’s in
banks across the country over a specified week in the year? Why can
voters not visit the ATM to change their vote- or at least view it as
many times as they like over the period of the election? Imagine the
value of exchanging the receipt for money if that were possible!

Or
imagine the mobile being the sign-in with a pin to vote over an
election week, as many times as you wish? What an idea sirji? Why not
vote not just for the representative but also for key bills brought
before the legislative and parliamentary bodies? What use is technology
if it cannot widen the base of voting?

[]Secrecy

They say
secrecy is the difference between a marriage and an affair. Hold
anything secret and even a RTI may not be able to get you justice. The
hallmark of civilization is when dissenters can walk fearlessly in a
world of pluralism. Are we that far away from a civilized society?

The
men of character in every civilization rarely hid their true opinions
behind secret ballot or diplomatic guile. No land of secret decisions
ever yielded a world without fear. Certainly not one where you may hold
your head high. Such a land cannot have free knowledge, there would be a
price for every information.

To create a honest and trusting
society we must cast secrecy of voting to history, teach everyone to be
proud to stand to their choice and even welcome dissent.

Election
reform can yield us the world Tagore dreamt about- it can leapfrog the
worlds biggest democracy to being the worlds greatest nation. Let us
embark on a journey to build our nation together. Let us celebrate the
diversity of our votes!

From: http://government.wikia.com/wiki/Voting_Reforms:_Options_in_an_imperfect_world

Madras HC notice to Election Commission on EVM’s
7/24/2009
The Madras High Court today issued notice to Election Commission (EC)
on a petition challenging the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs)
during elections on a PIL filed by Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) President
G K Mani.

While admitting the PIL, a Bench comprising Chief
Justice H L Gokhale and Justice D Murugesan directed the EC to file its
counter within a week.

In his petition, Mr Mani submitted that
the EVMs could be tampered with by anybody. They were tampered with in
Tamil Nadu in the Lok Sabha elections held in May last.
The petitioner further said a expert committee proved the malfunctioning of the EVMs.
In
his main prayer, the petitioner sought the court to direct the EC to
forbear EVMs in future elections In his prayer, the petitioner pleaded
the court to appoint an expert committee to ascertain the functioning of
the EVMs and obtain its report.
Until the reports were submitted to court, the Election Commission should be directed not to use EVMs.
The
Bench also clubbed the matter along with similar petition filed by
Desia Murpoku Diravidar Kazhagam (DMDK) led by actor Vijayakanth and
posted the case to July 30 for further hearing.
UNI http://www.indlawnews.com/Newsdisplay.aspx?b046f38e-5201-4b27-ae9f-304caf6cdf40

HC issues notices to EC, TN and Centre on EVMs

PTI 24 July 2009, 08:39pm IST

CHENNAI:
The Madras High Court issued notices to the Election Commission, the
Centre, state government and Bharat Electronics Ltd on a petition filed
by PMK seeking a restrain on use of EVMs in the August 18 bypolls to
five assembly seats in Tamil Nadu.

A Bench comprising Chief
Justice H L Gokhale and Justice D Murugesan ordered issuing of notices
and posted the matter for hearing on July 30 on a petition filed by PMK
president G K Mani.

Beside seeking an interim injunction against
use of Electronic Voting Machines, the party pleaded for a direction to
the respondents to constitute a committee of electronic experts to
study allegations of EVM manipulation.

It also sought an opportunity for experts identified by the party to demonstrate “how EVMs could be manipulated”.

It
alleged that EVMs could be tampered with and votes polled in favour of
one candidate could be registered in the name of another.

The
party contended that prior to the recent general elections, a number of
political parties had objected to the use of EVMs but it was not taken
note of by the EC.

 

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/msid-4817169,prtpage-1.cms

 

 

‘EVMs should have printout backup’

Somit Sen, TNN 25 July 2009, 02:46am IST

MUMBAI:
A Shiv Sena-BJP delegation will meet Election Commission officials in
Delhi on July 28 to demand a new system of Electronic Voting Machines
(EVMs), which will have a printout backup facility.

Such a
system is used in California where, apart from casting their ballot on
the machine, voters get a printout which displays the name of the
candidate he or she votes for. The slip is then dropped in a ballot box
which is used during the recounting process or when an EVM is found to
be defective or tampered with.

Last Saturday, a Hyderabad-based
NGO had demonstrated before the BJP and Sena leaders how the EVM
machines could be tampered by using a malicious software. Following the
demo, Sena’s executive president Uddhav Thackeray and former BJP MP
Kirit Somaiya have decided to oppose the EVMs and demand introduction of
new machines with backup facility for the upcoming assembly polls.

Somaiya
said, “We have made inquiries with the manufacturers and found that it
would take a maximum of 40 days to manufacture and deliver such
machines. The EC should expedite the process and order for new
machines.'’ IT expert Vijay Mukhi said the existing EVMs could be easily
hacked and agreed that a backup option would provide transparency in
the election process.

“In case of doubt, one can cross-check by
counting votes in the ballot box,'’ he said. “There should also be a
system to verify whether EVMs delivered at a polling booth has been
tampered with or not. Such tools should be made available to polling
agents and government officials,'’ Mukhi said.

EVMs have become
an issue of national debate, with experts expressing concerns about
their “malfunctioning'’. Sena’s former MP, Mohan Rawle, who was defeated
by the Congress’s Milind Deora in the LS polls, has filed a PIL
demanding that the old ballot box system be reintroduced.

Rawle, a five-time MP, was surprised to find himself placed third, with the MNS’ Bala Nandgaonkar emerging the first runner-up.

 

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/msid-4817771,prtpage-1.cms

New EVMs for by-elections 

NT Bureau | Thu, 23 Jul, 2009 , 03:34 PM

Tamilnadu
Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Naresh Gupta today said that improved new
Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) would be used in a bid to make voting
tamper-proof in the forthcoming by-elections to five Assembly
constituencies.

Briefing reporters here, the CEO said that the
introduction of new EVMs were necessitated, for some EVMs have been in
use for about 10 to 15 years, and are more prone to malfunctioning.
The
new EVMs would be used in Bargur, Thondamuthur, Cumbum, Ilayangudy and
Srivaikuntam constituencies which will go to polls on 18 August, he
added.
‘The additional feature of these new EVMs includes the
time-wise polling could be read in the booths’, he said, adding that one
could know the number of votes polled at a particular point of time on
the polling day.
‘It not only does record the vote but also notes the
exact time you cast it. The new and improved machines will also give
hourly updates of balloting’, he added.
Bharat Electronics Limited
(BEL), Bangalore and Hyderabad-based Electronics Corporation of India
Limited (ECIL) are the two public sector companies manufacturing EVMs
for the Election Commission’, he  said.

With a view to ensuring a
fair poll, it has also been proposed to have live-recording in polling
stations for which a beginning was made in the Lok Sabha elections 2009
in the districts of Kanniyakumari. Madurai and Chennai.

There
are also efforts to have a communication plan as well as to adopt the
SMS-based system of monitoring the polling stations as done in Tripura
and recommended by the commission for adoption in the state, he added.
The
CEO also urged the co-operation of all political parties to ensure free
and fair polls. ‘The election officers would hold consultations with
the local leaders of various political parties in these five Assembly
constituencies’ he added. 
It may be recalled that almost all
opposition political parties urged India should revert to the ballot
paper for elections unless adequate safeguards were in place to guard
against malfunctioning of Electronic Voting machines. Many opposition
parties, led by the AIADMK, in Tamilnadu have decided to boycott the
by-elections, alleging that there cannot be a free and fair polling in
the State.
On the issue of using paramilitary forces for poll duty,
Naresh Gupta   said, ‘it has to be decided by the Central Election
Commission.

Naresh Gupta further informed that the EC has written
a letter  to the State government urging it not to include the areas
coming under the five Assembly constituencies (going for by-electionsl)
in the free health insurance scheme being implemented by the State
government later today.
On complaints of mass deletion of names from
the voters list in the Lok Sabha polls, he said many had informed the
change of address after they shifted their residence  and many have not
shown interest in adding their names in the voter’s list.

http://newstodaynet.com/printer.php?id=1837

EVMs are NOT fair, NOT transparent, have NO voter verifiable audit trails.

‘Booth
capturing and bogus voting is very much possible and very much
prevalent’.: Gopalaswamy, ex-Chief Election Commissioner of India.

Three
essential elements of free and fair elections available to the voter
under the Paper-Ballot system are not there in the EVM — checking the
accuracy of the ballot paper before marking the vote; verifying whether
he/she has correctly marked it, and reconstruction of the vote for
authentication in case of electoral dispute.

Chennai, July 20,
2009. …For the first time since independence, a registered party has
called for a boycott, a party which has ruled a state for more than two
decades is shying away from the polls and if this and the reasons, do
not make headlines in the national media, it only high lightens the
mockery of our democracy. 
http://www.chennaitvnews.com/2009/07/evm-advance-result-scientific-tamilnadu.html

 

Elections must be above suspicion

 

MG Devasahayam, 23 July 2009

 

The
decision of the opposition parties in Tamil Nadu to boycott the
by-elections to five assembly constituencies is an expression of
no-confidence in the electoral process in general and the Election
Commission in particular, rather being aimed at the ruling DMK-Congress
combine.

The AIADMK press note makes it manifest: ‘Looking at the
way elections have been conducted in Tamil Nadu in the last three years
and in particular in Thirumangalam constituency and the recent
parliamentary polls, the AIADMK has doubts if the Election Commission
can function in a free and fair manner’. The opposition alleges that
several malpractices took place in the recent elections through use of
money and muscle power to win elections and the Election Commission has
been a silent spectator.

What is strange, but not surprising, is
the open admission of such malpractice by three election bigwigs — N
Gopalaswami, till recently chief election commissioner, S Y Quraishi,
election commissioner (possibly the next CEC) and Naresh Gupta,
long-serving chief electoral officer of Tamil Nadu.

A couple of
weeks ego, while addressing a select gathering in Chennai in the
presence of P C Alexander, former Tamil Nadu governor, Gopalaswami was
candid: “Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) cannot be hacked as being
alleged because these are stand-alone equipment and not connected to any
operating system. We have met party muscle-power with government
muscle-power by deploying armed central police force in polling booths.
But we cannot counter money-power in a similar manner.”

He added
that ‘In three months Election Commission cannot obliterate the massive
money-power acquired by politicians in 57 months’. Gopalaswami also
added that though EVMs could not be hacked or tampered with, ‘booth
capturing and bogus voting is very much possible and very much
prevalent’.

The statements of Quraishi and Gupta were also on the
same lines, thus creating a credibility crisis about the EC and the
electoral process.

In this context the ‘Caesar’s wife’ anecdote
would be appropriate. In 61 BC, Julius Caesar’s second wife, Pompeia was
implicated in a scandal following the annual Feast of the Great
Goddess. Though men were not admitted to this religious ritual, the
notorious libertine Publius Clodius allegedly disguised himself as a
woman and seduced her. Caesar divorced Pompeia and an inquiry was held.
However, although several members of Caesar’s family gave evidence in
favour of Pompeia, Caesar himself did not and the court asked him why he
had demanded a divorce when so much uncertainty surrounded the
incident. “Caesar’s wife,” he replied, “must be above suspicion.”

This
is applicable mutatis mutandis to the situation in Tamil Nadu’s
electoral scenario. The EC, the grandmaster of India’s electoral
process, described as the ‘greatest democratic exercise on earth’ is
held in high esteem in the free-world and cannot afford to lose its
reputation. Therefore, though these allegations of electoral
malpractices are controversial in nature, the Election Commission and
the electoral process must be above suspicion.

First, the EVMs.
Even assuming these machines are hacker-tamper proof, three essential
elements of free and fair elections available to the voter under the
Paper-Ballot system are not there in the EVM — checking the accuracy of
the ballot paper before marking the vote; verifying whether he/she has
correctly marked it, and reconstruction of the vote for authentication
in case of electoral dispute.

Therefore, its fairness is open to
question and doubts have been raised that need to be dispelled. It may
be too late in the day to stop the EVM juggernaut. But the Election
Commission could build-in a reasonably foolproof safeguard in the form
of a verification system. This can be done by a ‘voter-verifiable audit
trail’. A printer attached to the voting machine, something like ATMs in
banks, could permit a ‘vote verification slip’ to be printed out,
giving the candidate and symbol for which the voter has voted. The voter
picks up the slip, verifies that the vote has been correctly
registered, and deposits it in a safe in front of the polling officer.
Boxes containing these slips would be sealed and stored securely to be
available for reconstruction of the vote and authentication of election
results in case of any dispute. This way, while going hi-tech basic
requirements of a free and fair election could be met.

Secondly,
money-power. Gopalaswami is right when he said ‘party money-power’
cannot be physically countered by ‘government money-power’. But creating
fear in the minds of the corrupters can certainly fight it. Countermand
elections in constituencies where massive money power is being deployed
— as described in Section 123 of the Representation of the People Act —
because of which ‘result of the election is likely to be affected’.
This will send shivers down the spine of the ‘cash-and-carry candidates’
who are destroying the credibility of the electoral process. The EC
could obtain such information through the battery of observers they
deploy, whose numbers can be augmented in select ‘rogue constituencies’.

As
of now, such a provision under Section 59 A 2(b) of the Act is
available for ‘booth capturing’ as defined in Section 135A, which covers
the physical act of taking possession of polling stations,
ballot-boxes/EVM or ballot-papers because of which ‘result of the
election is likely to be affected’.

Both suggestions could be
implemented by the EC immediately. If necessary, the Act could be
suitably amended, and that brooks no delay. What is at stake is the
integrity of our democracy.

(The writer is a retired IAS officer.

E-mail: mgd@airtelmail.in) http://tinyurl.com/m9j98m

Bring awareness of EVM issues in India

Save
Indian Democracy Organization is a nonpartisan and nonpolitical
organization consists of individuals across the world  who are primarily
concerned about preserving and protecting the largest democracy of the
world, India.   While individuals in this organization have worked for
many years on aspects of protection of democracy in India, the
organization is recently formed to bring about widespread awareness on
Electronic Voting Machines in India, particularly in light of many
issues raised in 2009 India elections.  It consults with team of
professionals across the World including Dr. Subramanian Swamy upon
whose initiative in 2001 the then CEC Mr. M.S. Gill arranged a
demonstration by MIT Professor Sanjay Sarma, the father of RFID Software
fame and his wife Dr. Gitanjali Swamy of Harvard on how unsafeguarded
the chips used in EVM in India were.   We are fortunate to have guidance
of Stanford Professor David L. Dill (www.verifiedvotingfoundation.org)
who is in the forefront in United States in bringing awareness to EVM
issues in US during last 6 years and had considerable success.   We are
also working with other nonpartisan and non-political Organizations in
India such as Voter Watch (www.voterwatch.in) to bring awareness to this
issue in India.  Primary contact for the Organization is S. Dosapati
(www.saveindiandemocracy.orgsaveindiandemocracy.org@gmail.com ).

Time
to rethink on EVMs July 26, 2009 Editorial, Organiser Finally, the
Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) controversy has reached the apex court.
It is not surprising considering the plethora of doubts expressed by
almost all political parties and many highly-placed social activists and
experts on the reliability of this wonder machine.  Experts are
unanimous that it is not tamper-proof. It is not only the losers in the
2009 general election who have questioned the reliability of EVMs. The
Congress leaders in Orissa too have joined hands with the BJP to file a
petition in the court and take up a mass awareness campaign to protest
the alleged large-scale tampering of the instrument in the state during
election. Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad is on record alleging
that manipulation of voting machines had led to the Congress defeat in
Orissa. Azad is the party in-charge in the state. The Leader of
Opposition LK Advani has demanded the replacing of EVMs with ballot
papers. His view was supported by almost all parties including the
CPI(M), AIADMK, TDP and Janata Dal(U). Such wide-spread doubts about the
EVM is not good for the health of Indian democracy. The RSS former
Sarsanghachalak KS Sudarshan, questioning the credibility of EVMs, in
Cuttack, the other day, said, the general elections have become a
contempt of democracy, as machines are playing a greater role than the
voters. He pointed out that EVMs are not being used in developed
countries like Germany and the USA. It is time to replace it with ballot
paper, he said. It is not that the people’s verdict in the poll-2009 is
being questioned. That, so many well-founded arguments have come up
about the possibility of tampering with the EVM to manipulate the
electoral outcome is a good enough reason to rethink on it. Election
Commission of India has received a number of complaints about EVM
malpractices from all over the country. The recent spate of articles
published in reputed computer engineering magazines and the
international press has raised doubts about the integrity of EVMs. Each
step in the life cycle of a voting machine—from the time it is developed
and installed to when the votes are recorded and the data transferred
to a central repository for tallying—involves different people gaining
access to the machine, often installing a new software. It will not be
hard, according to experts, to plant a parallel programme under another
password on one or many voting machines that would, before voters
arrived at the polling stations, ensure a pre-determined outcome. The
Election Commission was aware of the fundamental flaws in the EVMs since
2000. But no effort was made to correct them. Nor were precautions
taken. The debate now has come not only because the Lok Sabha results
surprised many, but also because of the unexpected number of seats won
or lost by some parties. Of course, the AIADMK leader J Jayalalithaa and
the TDP leader Chandrababu Naidu have taken up the anti-EVM campaign in
a big way because of the stunning performance of the ruling party in
Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh respectively. Even neutral agencies and
individuals have pointed to the chance of rigging in these elections. 
Experts say that the fundamental flaws in the EVM, which were pointed
out to the EC by experts, have not so far been rectified. In 2004, a
Supreme Court bench comprising the then Chief Justice VN Khare and two
other judges directed the EC to consider the technical flaws in the EVM.
This directive came as a result of a PIL filed by Satinath Choudhary, a
US-based software engineer. But the EC did not budge. Now several High
Courts in the country are hearing PILs on EVMs. And a PIL has reached
the Supreme Court also. What is now proved convincingly is that EVMs are
not protected against rigging and the EC has not made it tamper-proof
in spite of clinching evidence to that effect. It is not a bad-idea for
the EC to call an all-party meeting on the subject and review
suggestions for restoring the credibility of the electoral system.
http://www.organiser.org/dynamic/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=301&page=4

PMK suggests boycotting TN bypolls Madurai (PTI): There is no
point in contesting August 18 bypolls for five Assembly seats in the
state as the Election Commission has failed to curb distribution of
money to voters during elections, PMK leader S Ramadoss said on Monday.
“The EC has failed in all the earlier bye-elections to control money
distribution to voters and even the state Chief Electoral Officer has
openly admitted to the failure,” Dr. Ramdoss told reporters here. “There
is no point in political parties contesting elections (in such a
situation),” he said. He, however, said that the PMK would support the
AIADMK, with whom it had an alliance in the recent Lok Sabha polls, if
it contests the bypolls. Bye-elections are being held for the seats of
Sri Vaikuntam, Cumbum, Ilayangudi, Bargur and Thondamuthur, which fell
vacant either due to the resignation or death of MLAs representing these
constituencies. He said the EC should deploy intelligence agents in 100
places to monitor money distribution. The Vanniar dominated party chief
also demonstrated to reporters how Electronic Voting Machines (EVM)s
could be “rigged” and said even advanced countries of Europe and Japan
had now switched back to ballot paper system. The PMK, which drew a
blank in all seven constituencies it contested as part of the AIADMK-led
front in the Lok Sabha polls, had blamed EVMs for its poor showing.
http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/004200907201440.htm

EVMs rigged? Poll panel challenges doubters

Prarthna Gahilote / CNN-IBN

TimePublished on Sun, Jul 19, 2009 at 21:39 in India section

 

Watch video: EC – EVMs can’t be rigged; Hacking EVMs not easy

 

http://ibnlive.in.com/pix/sitepix/07_2009/evm-rig313.jpg
Doubting Thomas? Come and prove. We will videograph the whole process,
says Election Commissioner SY Quraishi.

 

New Delhi: The
controversy over electronic voting machines (EVMs) has a new twist. The
Election Commission has challenged a software developer to prove his
claim that EVMs can be programmed to guarantee victories for particular
candidates or parties.

Ripujit Nomthondam claims the software he
has developed can be put into any EVM by activating an already existing
secret loop to ensure that by default every fifth vote will go in favour
of a chosen candidate.

“The software can give two different
results: one is a correct count and the other manipulated. I have put
one invalid key that can activate the secret loop in the programme code
(of EVMs),” claims Nomthondam.

But the Election Commission points
out that Nomthondam’s software has been developed on a laptop and
without access to EVMs. The Saigal brothers, Krishan and Omesh, who
first talked about the software, reject the safety claims of the
Election Commission’s experts.

“We don’t have an EVM so we have
asked the Election Commission to give us a machine and give us 10 days.
We will show it can be done (EVMs can be tampered with),” says Krishan
Saigal. “It is amazing that for Rs 500 a young programmer in seven days
can produce a programme which can rig elections.”

Meanwhile, head
of Election Commission’s experts, Professor PV Indiresan, laughs off
Saigal’s complaints about the EVMs. “This is like asking Sita to prove
her chastity by giving agni pariksha. That is all I can say,” says
Indiresan.

And along with Indiresan the Election Commission
believes they have foolproof logic on their side and says Nomthondam is
painting a rather simplistic picture.

It requires six bits of
information to access one candidate on every machine and would require
the complicity of a large number of officials if even a small section of
the 12 lakh EVMs are to be manipulated. Besides, one has to know the
source code of the EVMs to programme it to rig.

“The EVMs software programme is frozen and cannot be entered and it cannot be rigged,” says Indiresan.

The
Election Commission has challenged the Saigals and Nomthondam to prove
their case. Sources tell CNN-IBN that the Election Commission is
bringing in a powerful panel comprising experts and the two
manufacturers of EVMs, Bharat Electronics Ltd. and Electronics
Corporation of India Ltd, to prove the EVMs’ safety.

It has also challenged doubters to prove their suspicions about the machines.

“Come
and prove. We will videograph the whole process—we throw a challenge.
We are 100 per cent confident about the machines,” said Election
Commissioner SY Quraishi.

 

http://ibnlive.in.com/videos/97488/evms-rigged-poll-panel-challenges-doubters.html

http://ibnlive.in.com/printpage.php?id=97488&section_id=3

SUNDAY, JULY 19, 2009

EVM Great Challenge- BOO BOO

The
dishonesty or honesty of a system cannot be based on an individual’s
talent show , especially to prove it is honest. One person is enough to
prove dishonesty in any system, but is anyone person fit enough in this
world to certify any system as honest or absolutely fool proof beyond
any doubts?

EC Qureshi has thrown an open challenge to Saigal to
come to the EVM factory and prove that the EVM’s can be manipulated. he
says all Saigal is doing so far is on a laptop which is vastly
dissimilar to the ‘machine’.  First of all this is a welcome step, for
this is exactly what was expected from EC. IF they are so confident
about what they have throw it to the public and challenge, not to some
Saigal and have us witness a mock show. The stakes are so high that it
will surely come down to what is your price Mr. Saigal? For then it will
be only compromising a person’s character and not a system or Country.
the fact is Saigal is as unknown as the machine itself.

Many a
times it has happened in this country and that is a seemingly aggressive
opponent is actually a covert friend in need. Before elections a thin
EC of a state showed lots of spine , but while and after elections
proved to be the best ally of the kings. It happens.

Saigam,
Indrasen and also Qureshi may be correct , but prove within reasonable
methods that this is ok and that cannot be done by challenging ‘one
person. So tomorrow a Ramki may challenge and how many will the election
commission oblige.

Call all parties, give them a machine, allow
them to interact, investigate , tear it burn it do whatever and give
them a reasonable time and within that time if no one is able to prove
any thing wrong certify the machine and shut the story, else go back to
previous.

But wait a minute. That is not the end. I have
reasonable faith on the machine originally made for the purpose. But how
can a lay man like me,  be sure that what is in the booth is an
original machine. What is the guarantee that it is not replaced by a
similar machine in the vault.  In Tamilnadu there was a mysterious power
cut just a day before polls and after too, THERE IS A CONSTITUENCY WERE
THE VOTES ANNOUNCED AS POLLED WAS LESSER THAN THE VOTES COUNTED AND
REASON GIVEN WAS CLERICAL ERROR. ETC ETC.- What is the guarantee that
nothing went amiss. So log records, QC, logistics information, fairness
of approach, multiple checks, etc should be shared with all parties.
THERE ARE SO MANY STEPS, SO MANY DAYS AND SO MANY WAYS, HOW CAN THIS
BECOME A FOOL PROOF SYSTEM. ATLEAST THE DAYS OF STORAGE SHOULD COME
DOWN. ONE SUGGESTION IS TO TELECAST LIVE THE STORE ROOMS OF VAULT AND
ALL TRANSPORTATION AND PROCESS INCLUDING THE STORAGE 24*7, AND SHOW IT
IN THE WEB, SO THAT ALL CAN SEE WHAT THEY WANT TO, WHICH EVER
CONSTITUENCY.   THE PUBLIC HAVE THE RIGHT TO THIS INFORMATION FOR IT
INVOLVES HIS DESTINY.

REGARDING THE ELECTIONS THAT WENT BY I
HAVE NOT AN IOTA OF DOUBT THAT IT WAS FIXED, BUT I AM UNDER NO
COMPULSION TO TRY AND PROVE IT FOR IT DOES NOT CONCERN ME. WHEN WAS A
RULING PARTY A CONCERN FOR A COMMON MAN, EITHER WAY?

Posted by vj at 8:40 PM

http://www.chennaitvnews.com/2009/07/evm-great-challenge-boo-boo.html

EC urged not to use EVMs for GHMC polls

Times of India 18 July 2008

HYDERABAD:
Reiterating that EVMs (electronic voting machines) can be tampered, the
Jana Chaitanya Vedika and TDP on Thursday urged the Election

Commission not to use these machines in the GHMC elections unless all doubts are cleared.

The organisation wanted the EC to develop a verification tool, which can check the programme authenticity inside the chip.

While
the TDP delegation led by N Janardhan Reddy called on the state
election commissioner and submitted a letter written by party president N
Chandrababu Naidu urging him to re-introduce ballot papers in the GHMC
polls, JCV president V Lakshman Reddy at a media conference said that
the people who come to vote should know to whom their vote had been
cast.

He said that EC should either follow the procedure of
issuing a printout of the vote cast or should go with the ballot papers.
NetIndia, organisation associated with the JCV, prepared model EVMs
based on the proforma of the EVMs of EC and demonstrated as to how the
machine can be tampered.

Hari K Prasad, MD of NetIndia, said the
biggest flaw in the EVMs used by the EC is that if the machine cables of
two EVMs (assembly and Parliament) are swapped the result will be
different. He said the chip used by the EC is made by government
companies, which “can be managed.” “If the EC can give us information
about the chip programming then they can analyse and show how the EVMs
can be tampered.”

Prasad said the machines can be manipulated
even at the time of activation. Giving an example, he said a programme
can be set like ten per cent more votes for the candidate for whom first
20 votes were cast and the candidate can send those first 20 people to
the booth and make them stand in queue ahead of others.

The TDP demanded that usage of the EVMs be temporarily suspended till all the doubts about their genuineness are cleared.

http://girgut.com/hyderabad_daily_news/2009/07/18/ec-urged-not-to-use-evms-for-ghmc -

Experts claim EVMs can be manipulated

TNN 18 July 2009, 05:58am IST

NAGPUR:
The electronic machines can be tampered with or manipulated at several
stages before or during polling was demonstrated here on Friday by an
electronics expert and a team of non-political social activists from
Hyderabad who have filed a petition recently in the Supreme Court for a
fool-proof machine to record votes.

In the presence of prominent
citizens and local leaders of several political parties, the experts
showed by using a programmed EVM how the votes actually polled differed
from the final count. While button for candidate no. 1 was pressed by
sample voters at the demonstration 12 times and that of no. 2 five
times, in the final count No.1 got six while no.2 received 14 votes. BJP
national executive member Kirit Somaiya, former MP Banwarilal Purohit ,
city NCP president Ashok Dhawad, MLA Devendra Fadnavis, city BJP
president Sudhakar Deshmukh, BJP leader in NMC Anil Sole, ex-MLA
Yeshwant Bajirao, BSP’s Uttam Shevde and functionaries of several
parties were present at the demonstration and public interaction session
held at Patrakar Bhavan. 

In his introductory remarks, Somaiya
said that in the recent Lok Sabha elections EVMs were used across the
country in every polling station for the first time. “That is why
complaints have come from several constituencies and court cases have
been filed doubting reliability of EVMs. Electoral reforms are a
continuing process and the authorities concerned should clear all doubts
to ensure that the world’s largest democracy uses a voting method that
is beyond any manipulation,” he said. 

Hari Prasad, a software
techie, Hyderabad-based NGO Jan Chaitanya Vedika president Laxman Reddy,
its vice-president V V Rao who are campaigning against the EVM machines
being used in the country showed how EVMs were open to tampering. At
the outset, Hari Prasad said he was not against EVMs and only wanted
some verification tool for checking the authenticity of every EVM before
it is actually used in polling. “Right now it is very easy to introduce
a programmable virus in the chip. EVMs we use are made and programmed
abroad. EC’s claim that chips used are one-time programmable is
debatable and most likely the chips are masked, said Hari Prasad. While
any technician having access to a machine can replace the chip within
minutes, it is also possible to manipulate a machine to ensure any one
candidate’s victory by using a remote control device once an antenna is
placed in the machine, he said. Besides these machines do not ensure
secrecy, he added. 

Hari Prasad endorsed Somaiya’s suggestion
that at least a facility to have printed slip of every vote deposited in
a separate box could be arranged. In case of a recount demand, the vote
count could be made from the collected prints, he said. V V Rao of the
Election Watch has also filed a PIL in the apex court contending that EC
has constitutional obligation under Article 24 to ensure that elections
are conducted in a free and fair manner by using fool-proof recording
of votes. 

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/4791127.cms

EVMs to stay: Election Commissioner

By IANS 
17 Jul 2009 11:30:51 PM

CHANDIGARH:
In the backdrop doubts raised by certain political leaders on the
functioning of Electronic Voting Machines, the Election Commission on
Friday said there was no move to discontinue use of EVMs asserting these
were “100 per cent tamper proof”.
“These machines are 100 per cent
tamper proof and cannot be manipulated as they are not connected to any
network or a computer”, Election Commissioner S.Y. Quarishi told a press
conference here.
“These are designed with simple techniques and
cannot be hacked… there is no move to revert to use of ballot papers
and the Commission is fully satisfied with the functioning of EVMs,” he
said.
Quarishi, who was here to review poll-related issues as
Assembly polls in Haryana are due next year, was asked to comment on the
doubts raised by certain political leaders, including those of BJP and
CPI(M), recently with regard to EVMs and wondered if ballot papers
should be re-introduced.
“It had taken 25 years of approvals and
testing before EVMs were finally put to use in the country in 2004
Parliamentary polls. Two technical committees, which includes one
Parliamentary committee, had fully approved these machines,” he said,
ruling out any need to revert to use of ballot papers.
He said from
time to time certain people had been complaining and raising doubts and
even writ petitions had been filed in various courts, including the High
Courts and the Supreme Court, but EVMs have always been held as
machines which cannot be tampered with.
Quraishi said EVMs in India are “stand alone” machines and should not be compared with any other machine.
“These
cannot be compared with machines in some European countries. Our
machines are not using any chip or they are not networked with any
computer. So, the question of their being tampered with does not arise.
The worst that can be done to our machines is that they can be broken
but not manipulated or tampered,” he said.
“One High Court judge had
remarked that EVMs are pride of our nation. We have been holding free
and fair polls with the help of these machines. Now, those who are
pointing fingers at EVMs are not doing a good thing for the nation,” he
said.
The Election Commissioner said they had already come up with one more innovation in EVMs which was the “totaliser”.
“We have recently demonstrated the use of totaliser, with whose help we can have vote counts of 15 EVMs in one go.
“Like
earlier, we used to mix ballots to eliminate the possibility of
pin-pointing from which particular area a candidate has led or trailed.
Now, this totaliser technology is also going to work in a similar
fashion and we are awaiting approval of a Parliamentary Committee before
it can be put to use,” he said.

http://www.expressbuzz.com/edition/print.aspx?artid=cEOM/p/X9zA=

No move to discontinue EVMs: EC

STAFF REPORTER 20:47 HRS IST

Chandigarh,
July 17 (PTI) In the backdrop doubts raised by certain political
leaders on the functioning of Electronic Voting Machines, the Election
Commission today said there was no move to discontinue use of EVMs
asserting these were “100 per cent tamper proof”.

“These machines
are 100 per cent tamper proof and cannot be manipulated as they are not
connected to any network or a computer”, Election Commissioner S Y
Quarishi told a press conference here.

“These are designed with
simple techniques and cannot be hacked…there is no move to revert to
use of ballot papers and the Commission is fully satisfied with the
functioning of EVMs,” he said.

http://ptinews.com/news/179949_No-move-to-discontinue-EVMs–EC

Hyderabad’s engineer demonstrates tampering of EVM

STAFF REPORTER 19:30 HRS IST

Nagpur,
July 17 (PTI) As the debate on reliability of Electronic Voting
Machines (EVMs) is going on, an election watch-dog and an NGO from
Hyderabad today demonstrated ‘tampering’ of EVMs and claimed that these
machines could be easily manipulated.

Explaining the
possibilities of manipulations and insertions of pre-programmed chips,
Hari K Prasad of NetIndia and the NGO Election Group’s Convenor V V Rao
said the chips are imported from Japan and there is a possibility of
giving 60 per cent of total votes polled through the EVMs by one
particular candidate (party) if the chips are programmed in such a
manner.

Elaborating his point, Prasad told a gathering including
reporters that in such a case, the first 10 voters who cast their votes
can be the basis of manipulations. The particular party will get 60 per
cent votes by manipulations as per the programme, they added.

http://www.ptinews.com/news/179721_Hyderabad-s-engineer-demonstrates-tampering-of-EVMDemo
held to show EVM can be tampered with       

By Express News Service 
17 Jul 2009 03:58:00 AM IST

http://www.expressbuzz.com/Images/article/2009/7/17/17jul_demo.jpgNetIndia
Managing Director V.Hari Prasad (left) and Jana Chaitanya Vedika member
Prasad showing the EVM.

HYDERABAD: Disputing with the Election
Commission’s claim that electronic voting machines (EVMs) were
absolutely tamper-proof, members of Jana Chaitanya Vedika (JCV), along
with technical experts, demonstrated today that the machines were
tamperable. “The EVMs currently used in elections are vulnerable and
tamperable. It is possible to bring a particular political party into
power by tampering the machines. Hence the need for the Election
Commission to use ballot papers till the EVMs are made fool-proof.

Our intention, however, is not for having ballot system in the country,’’ they said.

NetIndia
managing director and technical expert Hari K Prasad, along with JCV
president V Lakshmana Reddy, vice-president VV Rao and others, at a
press conference here, conducted a mock, actual and modified polling and
counting of votes to prove that the EVMs could be tampered with and a
favourable result to a particular political party ensured. In one of the
demonstrations, they made Lok Satta Party, at the request of
mediapersons, gain maximum number of votes vis-avis other parties.

The EVM showed the LSP getting nine votes though it was polled only three (of the total 21 votes).

Programme of a chip could be fixed or set at the time of machine preparation or before the beginning of counting.

Only individual machines (EVMs) could be tampered with but not all the machines at a time, they explained.                

They
demanded implementation of e-governance policy to ensure implementation
of `open standard’ mechanism relating to EVMs. Besides, they also
sought development of `verification tool’ to check the programme that
drives the EVM.

We are ready to prove that the EVMs are tamperable if at all we get an access (to EVMs of Election Commission).

There
are instances of EVM tampering in Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and some other
parts of the country in the recent elections. In fact, there was 100
percent polling recorded in some booths in Andhra Pradesh where the
votes polled went in favour of one party. Several petitions were filed
in various courts in the country on such instances,’’ they said.

Asked
about the PIL filed in the Supreme Court, Hari Prasad said the case,
which would come up for hearing next week, was filed on technology
aspect.

http://tinyurl.com/n477bl

 

EVMs: rigged 2009 polls?

2009 Lok Sabha Data Questions

Contents

·                       1 Tracking the Elections 2009

·                       2 Unexpected Votes Data in Coded Spreadsheet

·                       3 Unclarified Questions

o                    3.1 Votes Polled?

o                    3.2 Dummy Data?

o                    3.3 Tests?

o                    3.4 Incompetence or Intent?

o                    3.5 Coding?

o                    3.6 Can you Confirm if Your Vote Counted?

o                    3.7 Closed System?

o                    3.8 What Reforms do we need?

·                       4 The Results?

·                       5 Unnecessary Confusions

·                       6 If this is a Mistake, Why No Clarifications from the ECI?

Tracking the Elections 2009

Elections
were held in 5 phases across India. The last phase of polling was
completed on the 13th of May 2009. The counting of votes was to begin on
the 16th of May 2009.

The data of various candidates could be
obtained from the Election Commission of India’s website. In order to
track the elections and upload candidate and constituency information
onto this wiki, we accessed this website and regularly downloaded the
CandidateAC file from there. This spreadsheet had various columns
containing information of all candidates including their political
affiliations, age, address etc. There was also a column for “votes
polled” and some “coding” called “DECODE(FINALISED,’YES’,’FINALISED’,)”.

By
virtue of the Election Rules no votes polled data/exit poll was to be
available before the 16th of May 2009, least of all on the Election
Commission of India Website.

Unexpected Votes Data in Coded Spreadsheet

The
excel spreadsheets on candidate information for all India downloaded
from the ECI website between the 6th and 15th of May had “coded”
Candidate Names, Party Names and votes polled. Despite repeated queries
the ECI has not clarified the meaning of this data. This has resulted in
widespread speculation and raised serious questions about the the
management and integrity of the democratic process.

Unclarified Questions

The serious questions being asked include:

Votes Polled?

§          
What was the coded data in the “votes polled” column in the versions of
the spreadsheet downloaded between the 6th and 11th of May?

§           Why were the spreadsheets between these dates “coded” all of a sudden?

§          
If the polling was not even complete how could “votes polled” data be
available for all but 47 of the 8071 candidate?

§           If
EVM’s were secure with district collectors, and elections were not even
held in many constituencies, how was the data for all but 47 of the 8071
candidates available to the ECI on files downloaded between these
dates?

Dummy Data?

§           If the data in these files
on the 6th was test/dummy data why does it change for some
constituencies on the 6th, 7th and 11th May 2009?

§           If data in these files was test/dummy data, how does it match the winner trend in 108 constituencies?

§          
If data in these files was test/dummy data, why was it not removed on
the 7th after the NIC and ECI were intimated on the 6th? Why was there
no explanation from NIC/ECI to date?

Tests?

§           If
the the data in these files was test/dummy data, what was it testing?
Why was this test taking place during the polling period?

§           What are the tests the ECI can provide to distinguish test data from real data?

§          
If the data in these files is test/dummy data, why is real data not
uploaded in this file to date, especially as it was removed on the 15th
of May 2009?

§           What tests were these that required only some data to keep changing and others to remain unchanging?

Incompetence or Intent?

§           If the data on the ECI website resulted from pure error, why was it coded?

§           If the data resulted from incompetence, is the result data not up in the same file for the same reason?

§          
If the data resulted from incompetence why has the CandidateAC
spreadsheet that contained the data been pulled off the website on July
15th?

Coding?

§           What is the field “DECODE(FINALISED,’YES’,’FINALISED’,)” in these files and why does it change over time?

Can you Confirm if Your Vote Counted?

§          
Besides a faith in the honesty of officials, integrity of the process
and independence of the ECI, is there any other way to establish
transparency and trust in an Election conducted by the ECI?

§          
Is there any test, audit that can certify that votes polled are those
polled by the people and not a Trojan Horse or a machine? Like a reverse
Turing Test, aDemocracy Test?

§           How can votes be certified by the ECI to be a true vote of the people of India?

§          
Is there any mechanism by which the voters can go back and ensure that
their vote is still counted? Something similar to going back to the bank
and checking that the money is still accounted for?

Closed System?

§           Is the source code of the entire electronic machinery “open-source”? Why not?

§          
If Electronic Voting Machines have been banned across the countries for
their inability to distinguish between human and machine votes, why are
they used in India?

What Reforms do we need?

§           What is Election Reform needed to ensure Democracy is not only practiced and enhanced but is also auditable?

The Results?

The
ECI have uploaded the individual vote data in a different file at a
different location. You can compare the data in this file with the votes
polled available on the 6th and 11th of May or look at the consolidated
data file with some analysis assuming that the “votes polled” data in
the earlier versions was not coded.

Unnecessary Confusions

Unfortunately, the ECI is using several different locations and different formats to convey election results:

§           An analysis link that has results

§           A results page

§           A results page on a different url: eciresults.nic.in

§           A press release

This
itself is raising questions about the information- Which is the real
site? Which is the real data? What is the real ECI source? Why are many
locations and formats needed?

If this is a Mistake, Why No Clarifications from the ECI?

On
the 6th of May we had asked the ECI to clarify the following: “The
queries are returning coded names. The spreadsheet is having votes
polled for each candidate- Is this test data, a wrong file or actual
votes polled?”

We have not yet heard from the ECI so we have sent
a reminder on the 31st of May 2009 we have asked the ECI the following:
“Can you kindly indicate what the data in the CandidateAC downloaded
from http://eci.nic.in/candidateinfo/frmcandidate.aspx file between the
6th and 15th is? Why is the Final votes polled data not uploaded till
date at this location? When do you plan to upload it?”

On the 7th of July 2009 we have sent another more detailed request for clarification.

We have not yet heard from the ECI.

Source: Nalapatsaraph

http://government.wikia.com/wiki/2009_Lok_Sabha_Data_Questions#Tracking_the_Elections_2009

HC issues notice on petition alleging EVM tampering

KalingaTimes Correspondent
Cuttack,
July 15: Odisha High Court on Wednesday issued notice on a petition
filed by Congress leader Alok Jena alleging tampering of electronic
voting machines in the recently held Assembly elections.

Justice
Indrajit Mohanty issued notice to the respondents after hearing
submissions made by Bidyadhar Mishra, counsel for the petitioner. The
Court fixed August 7 as the next date of hearing on the petition.

In
his petition filed on June 29, Jena has prayed to the Court to declare
the election of Biju Janata Dal nominee Bijay Kumar Mohanty as null and
void. Jena had lost to Mohanty from the Bhubaneswar Central Assembly
seat.

The petitioner has alleged that EVMs were not trustworthy
as the voter had no opportunity to see that the vote recorded by him had
in fact been recorded in favour of the candidate for whom he voted.

Jena
submitted that before actual voting starts and votes are recorded and
the data is transferred to a Central repository for tallying, it
involves different people gaining access to the machine installing
parallel program under another password in the voting machine that
would, before voters arrived at the polling stations, can ensure a
premeditated poll outcome.

The petitioner further alleged in the
petition that no mock poll was conducted before the beginning of
polling. One of the mandatory requirements was that the presiding
officers are duty bound to conduct a mock poll before commencement of
polling, he submitted.

After the voting was conducted on April
23, the EVMs used in the poll had been kept in the custody of state
police for three days and Central forces were given the charge of
guarding the machines only after the petitioner raised the issue before
the authorities concerned, according to the petition.

Jena also alleged in the petition that he was not given the exact percentage of votes polled in the constituency for three days.

The
petition has also alleged that the rules pertaining to procurement of
EVMs, commissioning of the same and dispatching of the machines to
booths were violated by the officials who were in charge of the polls.

http://www.kalingatimes.com/odisha_news/news2009/20090715_HC_issues_notice_on_petition_alleging_EVM_tampering.htm

EVMs row: PIL in SC seeks to quash Lok Sabha poll results

PTI | New Delhi Wednesday, July 15, 2009 .

Alleging
that electronic voting machines (EVMs) were tampered with, a senior
Member of Parliament from Shiv Sena on Tuesday moved the Supreme Court
for setting aside the just concluded 15th Lok Sabha elections.

In
a PIL filed through counsel Nawal K Jha, the five-time Shiv Sena MP
Mohan Rawle, who himself lost the polls to Congress candidate Milind
Deora from Mumbai south, claimed that the election process in the entire
country was vitiated and pleaded that the ballot box system be
restored.

“It is also prayed that the 15th General Elections of
Lok Sabha, specifically the election of south Mumbai Parliamentary
constituency, may be set aside as the same have been held through
defective, incredible, untrustworthy and unreliable electronic voting
machines,” the petition stated.

In support of his plea, Rawle
cited statements from various political parties like BJP, CPM, TDP,
Samajwadi Party, RJD and LJP who expressed their view for reviving the
ballot box systems as the EVMs were vulnerable to “tampering.”

Quoting
extensively various research papers and media reports from across the
world, the former MP submitted that even in advanced countries like the
US, authorites there have discarded EVMs as they were vulnerable for
tampering and reverted to the traditional ballot box system.

http://dailypioneer.com/189083/EVMs-row-PIL-in-SC-seeks-to-quash-Lok-Sabha-poll-results.html

EVMs: Are they giving us right verdicts?

Statesman News Service

BHUBANESWAR,
12 JULY: The raging debate over manipulation of Electronic Voting
Machines (EVMs) across the country establishes the fact that people do
not trust the machine, and more so, in a backward state like Orissa.

Hence
and until and unless there is public acceptance one should not impose
it said speakers at a seminar organised by Orissa Jan Sammelan here
today.

Majority of the speakers and the audience firmly believed
that EVMs are not tamper proof. In fact when Mr Rabi Das, convener of
the Sammelan, tried to sum up saying the legitimacy of the 2009
elections is not being questioned, several people in the audience
strongly objected and grilled him.

Mr P Satpathy, who had
contested the Assembly elections as an Independent candidate said he and
eight of his family members had cast vote in one booth where he secured
only four votes. I had at least 800 committed workers and I got over
469 votes, he submitted questioning the credibility of the machines. “It
is not jan mata but jantra mata and it is manipulated,” he alleged. Mr
Satpathy pointed out that the BJP candidates in a particular region
including the three from Bhubaneswar had secured 11,000 votes and all
Independent candidates 500 votes. It was as if people had decided a
ceiling on the number of votes. The vast difference between results of
elections held in the first phase and the second phase, the
unprecedented victory margin in Assembly constituencies were other
aspects raised in the seminar to raise doubts. While Mr Satpathy drew
loud cheers from the audience, former chief secretary Mr Rabinarayan Das
suggested that a committee of experts need to probe into the use and
functioning of EVMs.

Mr Das felt it would be proper to impose
President Rule six months prior to elections to prevent the party in
power from influencing officers through postings and making populist
announcements.

He cited instances of how officers shunted out by
the Election Commission of India were re-posted as soon as elections
were over. If a public servant is found unfit by the Commission how is
it that he or she gets the same post after election, he questioned.
Letters and articles written by experts including former chief
secretary, Mr Umesh Saigal, former Union minister Mr Subramanium Swamy
on tampering of EVMs were read out to the audience.

Software
expert, Mr LN Panda deliberated on the configuration of the machine and
said it was possible to introduce an additional programme or virus to
manipulate EVMs.

The existing programme cannot be changed or
tampered but certainly a virus or additional programme can be introduced
in the machine. Theoretically, one can manipulate EVMs and it is not
tamper proof, he said. Professor P Singh, a physicist, felt that people
of the country, given its literacy level and ignorance were not ready to
accept a EVM. “Public acceptance is sovereign and hence it should be
discarded. Why should any self respecting voter go to the booth and
confront a machine of which he or she knows nothing at all. Why should
he or she ask the officials present in the booth as to what he should
do,” questioned the professor. It was pointed out that some of the
defeated candidates had already moved the Orissa High Court in this
regard.

http://www.thestatesman.net/page.news.php?clid=9&theme=&usrsess=1&id=260707

EVMs tampered: Case in Bombay High Court

HC’s notice to Praful Patel on poll petition

Created on : 07/11/2009 12:33:37 PM (NORMAL )

Nagpur,
Jul 11 (UNI) Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court has issued a notice
to Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel on a petition challenging his
election from Bhandara-Gondia Lok Sabha constituency recently.

A
single bench of Justice Ambadas Joshi issued the notice to Mr Patel,
asking him to file a reply by September 18, in response to a petition
filed by Shishupal Patle, a BJP candidate from the constituency.

Mr
Patle, who was a member of the outgoing Lok Sabha, has charged Mr Patel
with resorting to foul play and indulging in excessive expenditure, and
also questioned the credibility of the electronic voting machines
(EVMs). 

The respondent had exceeded the expenditure limit and submitted manipulated accounts with the returning officer, he alleged.

Citing
an instance, Mr Patle claimed that a payment of Rs 40 lakh had been
made to Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) after an
election rally addressed by Congress President Sonia Gandhi and NCP
chief Sharad Pawar in the constituency during campaigning. 

Although
under different names, the payment was made for ferrying people to and
from the rally, he claimed and contended that the expenditure should
have been included in Mr Patel’s account.

‘’On this count alone,
Mr Patel’s election is liable to be set aside,'’ he contended, adding
that the petition was being filed as an earlier complaint to the
Returning Officer had yielded no results.

Mr Patle has also
claimed that in as many as 73 booths, the number of votes cast had been
more than the number of voters listed. 

The categorical
directives of the Election Commission to hold a re-poll if the voting at
a booth exceeded 95 per cent, had also not been followed, he contended.

In
the April-May Lok Sabha polls, Mr Patel, the NCP nominee from
Gondia-Bhandara, won with a thumping margin of 2,51,915 votes, among the
highest leads in the state. His nearest rival, former Congress
legislator Nana Patole (Independent), polled 2,37,899 votes.

Significantly,
Mr Patle, who was seeking his third consecutive term to the House, was
relegated to the third spot, with a tally of 1,58,938 votes.

In
the 2004 elections, Mr Patel had lost to Mr Patle by a wafer-thin margin
of 3,009 votes from the erstwhile Bhandara constituency.

http://www.uniindia.com/unilive\unisite.nsf/All/2E29CAD9814BF7DE652575F00026F6F1

Defeated Patle to file election petition                                                           

Ramu Bhagwat, TNN 24 June 2009, 04:09am IST

NAGPUR:
Yet to come out of the shock of his defeat in the recent Lok Sabha
elections from Bhandara-Gondia constituency, Bharatiya Janata Party
(BJP) candidate Shishupal Patle is now contemplating filing an election
petition. Patle, who had defeated Nationalist Congress Party stalwart
Praful Patel in the 2004 polls, was not just defeated by the same rival
by a whopping margin of over 2.5 lakh votes this time, but came third in
the poll race as Congress rebel came in second.

Patle took the
decision on Tuesday after consulting party’s national executive member
Kirit Somaiya who specially flew in here for the meeting. “What left us
dumbfounded was the fact that polling figures of some 60 booths did not
tally with the final vote count. There was difference ranging from 50 to
200 votes in each of these booths,” said city MLA Devendra Fadnavis,
who was also present at the meeting along with Patle. This something
unheard of. Citing one instance, a shocked Patle said: “At one booth,
the total number of voters was 550, actual votes polled were 417 but the
final count shows it as 600. That is, more votes were polled than shown
in voter list!” Apparently, Somaiya could not unravel the mystery,
advising Patle to approach the court. 

Patle claimed the party
has already complained to the Election Commission (EC), raising doubts
over the efficiency of the electronic voting machines (EVMs). But having
elicited no response, the party has now decided to file an election
petition in the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court. “As per the EC norms,
a candidate has 45 days after the announcement of election results to
go to the court file an election petition. The deadline will expire on
June 29. I am consulting lawyers to finalise the petition,” said Patle.

Patle
had won the last time against Patel, albeit by a slender margin of
around a thousand votes. “Since 1977, the constituency has come up as a
BJP stronghold. The party has a good following in the two districts and
even when defeated, the margin never exceeded a few thousands,”
explained Fadnavis. 

“I have been a successful candidate once
and represent a major national party. How could I possibly get votes in
single digit in some booths while all other 17 candidates got votes in
thousands from the same booth?” asked Patle. In the last elections,
Patle had polled 2.74 lakh votes. But this time he got a mere 1.58 lakh
while Patole polled 2.38 lakh and Patel who won secured 4.75 lakh votes.
“No wonder even Japan, where the EVM was invented, does not use them in
elections and relies on ballot papers. Even in the US, EVMs are not
relied upon,” said Patle.

Interestingly, a petition challenging
the EVMs , filed in 2004 by ex-MP Banwarilal Purohit, BJP’s defeated
candidate this time from Nagpur, was rejected by the high court. He
later filed an appeal in the Supreme Court where it is pending.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/Nagpur/Defeated-Patle-to-file-election-petition/articleshow/4694385.cms

EVM tampering: Video demonstration

http://www.kothaga.com/GetVideo.aspx?VideoID=qf9rYz2ihTQ&tag=custom&TYPE=Y
EVMs can be tampered says JCV (Telugu) Polling should be transparent to
the voter. There should be evidence to the voter to ensure that his
vote has been correctly recorded.

http://www.kothaga.com/GetVideo.aspx?VideoID=j9BnqMeuT6g&tag=custom&TYPE=Y
EVM tampering proved on TV (Telugu, ETV 2) Forum of Peoples Awarenss on
vulnerabilities  of EVMs – Jana Chaitanya Vedika Display: 9 votes
polled but 17 shown as recorded by tampering EVM. Demonstration to show
the achievement of desired results by tampering EVM. Impossible to
detect a Trojan used. Finding malfunctioning in chips is virtually
impossible unless a detailed review is done before chip is damaged. EVM
can be attached a printer to assure the voter that his vote has been
correctly recorded by issuing an assurance printout.

PIL filed in SC seeking replacement of EVMs

New
Delhi (PTI): Amidst questions being raised on the functioning of
Electronic Voting Machines, an NGO has approached the Supreme Court
seeking it to direct the Election Commission to replace it with a tamper
proof system.

The PIL, filed by Jana Chaitanya Vedika, contended
that there was an urgent need to replace EVMs as there was possibility
of it being tampered and manipulated.

“Several experts and
election watch groups have found that EVM could be manipulated. They
have analysed the electronics results in several constituencies which
indicate that there is something drastically wrong with the EVMs,” the
petition filed by V V Rao, Vice President of the NGO said.

“The
existing EVMs are vulnerable and should not be used for any elections
till the time the machines are made tamper proof,” the petition said.

http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/002200907102223.htm

Political distrust of voting machines reaches apex court

 

New Delhi, July 10

 

The
growing political distrust against the electronic voting machines
Friday reached the Supreme Court with a lawsuit demanding formation of
an expert panel to examine functioning of the machines and to ascertain
whether they are tamper-proof.

 

Two officials of
Hyderabad-based Election Watch Group and two electronic engineers
jointly moved the apex court, contending that it is entirely possible to
tamper with the software of the machine and rig theelection.

 

The
lawsuit sought formation of the panel to examine trustworthiness of
EVMs in the poll process and to decide if it needs to be improved or
altogether abandoned in favour of the old ballot papers.

 

Election
Watch officials V.V. Rao and engineers A. Kankipati and Y. Vasaya
contended in their lawsuit that “several experts and election watch
groups and individuals, who have been monitoring the electionprocess,
have found that EVM could be manipulated and tampered.”

 

“They
have analysed the results in several constituencies, which indicate
that there is something drastically wrong with the EVMs,” the
petitioners claimed.

 

The lawsuit filed through counsel
Sanjay Parekh also raised the issue of secrecy of electors’ vote, saying
the EVMs are not able to even protect the secrecy of voters and the
votes cast by them.

 

Parekh is likely to apprise the court early next week of his lawsuit and seek its early hearing.

 

The
lawsuit claimed that even the two expert panels appointed by the
Election Commission in 1990 and 2005 to examine the trustworthiness of
EVMs had indicated that there were several lacunae in their functioning
and they need rectification.

 

“These factors are
cumulatively creating a serious situation for sustaining a democracy
based on free and fair election,” said the lawsuit.

 

“The
Election Commission of India has a constitutional obligation to ensure
that the elections are conducted in free and fair manner,” said the
petition.

 

The petition has been filed in the wake of
several political leaders belonging to rival camps raising doubts over
the trustworthiness of EVMs and demanding their substitution by the good
old ballot papers.

Last updated on Jul 10th, 2009 at 17:59 pm IST

–IANS

 

http://www.prokerala.com/news/articles/a63876.html

EVM rigging: Saigal rebuts Election Commissioner

By janamejayan

8 July 2009

From Our Delhi Bureau

NEW
DELHI: Former Delhi Chief Secretary Omesh Saigal, whose evidence-based
proof of rigging by manipulating the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs)
prompted Opposition leader Lal Krishna Advani to call for return to
ballot papers, on Tuesday rebutted Election Commissioner S Y Quarashi’s
claim EVMs are tamper proof.

In a strong-worded letter to
Quarashi, he also refuted his claim that the Election Commission has not
ordered any probe into his charge that EVMs are vulnerable to be
manipulated.

Saigal said after his presentation to Chief Election Commissioner Navin Chawla on dangers of fraud on EVMs,
he
got a call from Deputy Election Commissioner Balakrishnan deputed for
further probe who also gave his e-mail address through SMS.

The retired IAS officer said he has sent the necessary supporting documents to the official for further probe.

Saigal
also drew Quarashi’s attention to reports submitted by Prof Indiresan,
in 1990 and in 2006,  specifically warning the EC about possibility of
fraud in EVMs, and the need for a pre and post election audit.

This was, Saigal said, exactly what he had also specifically requested in his earlier communication to the CEC.

He
pointed out that the EVMs are so vulnerable that even a voter can set
them on the day of polling by pressing keys in a certain order to record
votes in favour of a particular candidate irrespective of whichever 
keys subsequent voters press.

http://janamejayan.wordpress.com/2009/07/10/evm-rigging-saigal-rebuts-election-commissioner/

EVMs: ‘dogla’ software can rig them

‘Rigging is possible through EVMs’

A
day after Election Commission rejected his claim that Electronic Voting
Machines are not tamper-proof, former bureaucrat Omesh Saigal on
Tuesday stuck to his charge that a particular software can be used to
rig the polls.

http://birlaa.com/news/rigging-is-possible-through-evms/310070

 

Ex-bureaucrat sticks to claim, says rigging possible through EVMs

 

New
Delhi, July 07: A day after Election Commission rejected his claim that
Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) are not tamper-proof, former
bureaucrat Omesh Saigal today stuck to his charge that a particular
software can be used to rig the polls.

Rejecting the allegation
that he was sensationalizing the issue, Saigal, former Delhi Chief
Secretary, said in a letter to Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi that
he had made an oral presentation before Chief Election Commissioner
Navin Chawla who had assured a complete examination by the EC and by the
scientific advisory committee headed by Prof Indiresan.

Saigal
claimed the CEC also assured him that, if required, adequate safeguards
would be introduced and, if that too did not suffice, EC would not
hesitate to go back to the ballot papers.

“Please don’t think
that we are the only ones to express the fears of electoral fraud
through a dogla software (Trojan-horse). Both the technical committees
set up by the EC, one in April 1990 and the other in Sept 2006, had
articulated similar fears. These committees were headed by Prof
Indiresan,” Saigal said.

He said he could give a detailed presentation to the EC to show how a ‘dogla’ software can be used to rig an election.

The
EC had said yesterday that it would consider all the points raised and
apprehensions expressed by various political leaders, and individuals
regarding EVMs and take all necessary measures to clear doubts.

Saigal
said the experts’ committee had examined the possibility of a “trojan
horse sub programme” being wilfully activated after knowing the key
number allocation to favour a particular candidate by activating the
software through some mechanism at the time of poll.

The
committee had prescribed a large number of pre and post-poll election
checks in its reports as part of the audit, Saigal said in his letter.

“….Please
ensure that no key audit functions are given to persons ware not
directly accountable and reporting to EC,” he added.

BJP,
CPI(M), Samajwadi Party and Trinamool Congress have said the doubts
raised about the possibility of rigging through EVMs should be examined
carefully.

http://www.zeenews.com/news545297.html

Naidu on a mission, to prove votes can be tampered with

HYDERABAD,
7 JULY: In a significant development, TDP president Mr N Chandrababu
Naidu, has prepared a software which if deployed in Electronic Voting
Machines, can be used to tamper with the ballots. He did so to proves
that the recently held elections were heavily rigged.

Mr Naidu is
convinced that he lost the elections as EVMs were tampered with. He
told aides that chief minister Dr YS Rajashekar Reddy retained power as
he tampered EVMs with fraudulent software, sources said.

Mr Naidu
had the software developed by software professionals who are also
supporters of the party. According to the software: if your choice of
contestant is A and you accordingly press the EVM button, the vote will
be registered against pre-determined contestant D. The software can be
similarly tweaked in favour or against any of the contestants.

From
June last week, Mr Naidu has been on the job of making such software.
He is being assisted by TDP IT in-charge Mr Srinivas, who was introduced
into the party by Sujana group chairman~ Mr S Chowdhury and Mr Jayram
Reddy ~ former secretary, AP State Council of Higher Education. Both of
them supervised the TDP’s call centre where they claim to have got the
feedback from voters that “their votes landed elsewhere”. Sources
substantiated this argument by referring to the contest in Nellimerla
Assembly segment in Vizianagaram district. It so happened, that during
counting, TDP candidate Mr B Narayanaswamy Naidu found that in villages
where he had a strong support, he either got nominal majorities or was
trailing behind. He lost to the Congress by 597 votes and has filed a
case in Court.

Meanwhile Mr Naidu sent a brief explaination to
various political leaders including former MP Mr K Ramamohan Rao, MLAs
Mr Revanth Reddy and Mr P Keshav saying that EVMs can be tampered.

Mr
Naidu’s aim to prove that EVMs are not tamperproof gathered momentum
after former Delhi chief secretary Mr O Saigal, last week gave a
presentation to Chief Election Commissioner Mr Naveen Chawla that a
certain code ensures that every fifth vote cast is registered against a
pre-determined contestant.

;Stanley Theodore

http://www.thestatesman.net/page.news.php?clid=2&theme=&usrsess=1&id=260256

Declare EVMs unconstitutional

 

This is a clinching argument, set forth by Rajeev. On this ground alone, SC can declare use of EVMs unconstitutional.

 

namaskaram. kalyanaraman

 

On Tue, Jul 7, 2009 at 7:27 AM, Rajeev Srinivasan <rajeev.srinivasan@gmail.com> wrote:

jul 6th, 2009

senthil kumar brought up a very interesting — and very damaging — point.

the
EC in its FAQ specifically mentions that the EVMs log every vote with a
time-stamp. this is also reported in the Indiresan Committee report
(page 4).

on the one hand, this is good. let the election
committee provide the full logs of all EVMs in one constituency where
there is suspected fraud, and if researchers can run detailed data
mining algorithms on them, we should be able to see some interesting
non-random patterns (eg. every fifth vote goes to a particular party, as
demonstrated by mr. sehgal with his trojan horse).

on the other
hand, the logs are per se unconstitutional. citizens have a fundamental
right to a secret ballot. however, if these logs are maintained
untampered (let us assume they are not messed with), then it is possible
for an agent in a polling booth to note down the name of the voter and
the time they voted, and which EVM they voted from. an analysis of the
log will then tell you exactly who voted for whom, thus violating the
secrecy of the ballot.

this is an extremely serious matter, and
enough to ban the machines as unconstitutional right there with no
further cause. and there is no doubt about these logs, as the EC has
been trumpeting them as a ‘feature’ (turns out they are a ‘bug’).

in
fact, senthil provides circumstantial evidence from his home village
where the winning politician threatened people (the identity of his
party is not a surprise) by saying he knew who voted against him and
they could expect him to take revenge on them.

July 12, 2009

Debate

EVM is fallible, too many complaints
EVM should be replaced by ballot paper
By Biswabhusan Harichandan

When
people are suspicious about the correct functioning of EVMs, which
posed a danger to the democracy and the rights of the citizens, our
keenness to continue with the system is deplorable. Should we not know
that our votes are correctly recorded by the EVM?

The issue of
rigging of election by Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) has been raised
in different states of the country. In Orissa, all the political
parties, except the ruling BJD, are accusing the latter of tampering
with EVMs, which crowned them with unexpected victory. Before discussing
the large scale rigging by EVMs in Orissa assembly election, I think it
appropriate to deal with the important question whether the Electronic
Voting Machines are tamper-proof? If there is any doubt in its
integrity, what compels us to take recourse to this method instead of
ballots papers.

Arguments are being made that it is convenient
and speedy. Can we sacrifice our valuable democratic rights for the sake
of convenience? Is it not the most valuable right of a citizen to know
as to in whose favour he casts his vote? I am of the firm view that the
constitutional right of a citizen is being infringed by this method of
voting where he has no scope to see or know in whose favour his vote has
been recorded. It is not only unconstitutional, but this is violative
of democratic norms and principles. The Supreme Court of Germany ruled
in last March that e-voting was unconstitutional because the average
citizen could not be expected to understand the exact steps involved in
the recording and tallying of votes. It is not only Germany, almost all
the developed countries of the world including US and other European
countries have adopted ballot paper system as they have maximum respect
for this valuable democratic rights of the citizens. But I fail to
understand why we are adopting the said system when the countries whom
we have followed in this respect have gone back to the ballot paper.

It
is noteworthy that Shri KS Sudarsan, former Sarsanghachalak of RSS, has
also clearly said that various political parties successfully tampered
with EVMs to remain in power in his speech in Cuttack. He further
questioned why we are having this system when developed countries like
US and Germany have gone back to ballot paper. The article of Dr
Subramanian Swamy which has been published in Organiser, is very
analytical and thought provoking. He has referred to the articles of
very learned Professors of computer science, published in reputed
Computer Engineering journals and popular international press which not
only raised doubts about the integrity of Electronic Voting Machines but
opined that it can be tampered with. Dr Swamy placed different
materials and established that it is not tamper proof. In a country like
ours where percentage of the illiterate people is almost more than half
who are being guided by the Presiding Officers in the polling booths
why we are interested to have these EVMs. Should we sacrifice these
valuable democratic rights of ours to the dictates of some power hungry
and unscrupulous rulers and their power brokers?

When people are
suspicious about the correct functioning of EVM which posed a danger to
the democracy and the rights of the citizens, our keenness to continue
with the system is deplorable. Should we not know that our votes are
correctly recorded by the EVM? If a person is going to be hanged in a
death sentence by a court of law, he is made known about the crime he
has committed, but when you are hanging a candidate or his voter by your
Electronic Voting Machine, you are not giving him any opportunity to
know how his vote had been recorded. In my view this is a crime which
should be get rid of. Some people argue that it is being tampered with
should be proved. Direct proof or evidences are not always available in
all crimes. In such cases the investigating agencies and the courts
depend on circumstantial evidence to establish the case and to convict
the criminals.

In the last general elections in Orissa there was
a massive tampering with the EVM to support the ruling party BJD and
both direct and circumstantial evidences are also available to prove
such tampering. In different parts of the state, in some poling booths
direct proofs are available. In Nima Sahi booth of Cuttack there was
re-polling on public pressure when it was detected that all votes are
being recorded in BJD symbol though different buttons were pressed.
Complaints from other places of the state were not entertained. The case
of Bhubaneswar may be cited as an example. Here I made a hattrick by
winning assembly elections continuously for 3 terms and in the election
of 2000 and 2004 margin of winning was 96,000 and 86,000 respectively
from my nearest rivals. Here is a constituency where only state level
senior and reputed leaders are elected and no light weight has ever been
entertained since Independence. This time it is an exception which the
people of Bhubaneswar are not prepared to believe. All organisations
like the employees’ organisations, the religious organisations like
Satsangh of Thakur Anukulchandra, Satyasai, Srima, Trahi Achyut and
others and community leaders of Marwari, Sikh, Gujarati, Bihari, Telgu
and all others were campaigning for me. Everybody knows that in the
development of the state and Bhubaneswar, I have a key role and I
entertain all sorts of grievances of the people of all walks of life and
find solution to them. Still then I have been defeated which the people
of Bhubaneswar as well as Orissa are not prepared to believe. The
people of Bhubaneswar believe that due to the tampering of EVM, this
could be possible.

It is not only in Bhubaneswar in all parts of
the state specially in the second phase of election, candidates have
become easy prey of Electronic Voting Machines. Entire state has been
surprised to see how due to the tampering of EVM in the second phase the
ruling BJD with its associates could capture 72 seats out of 77 where
BJD alone has 64 seats. Was there any political super cyclone in its
favour. People of Orissa know that there was no wave in favour of BJD in
Orissa. Many candidates of BJD who had never dreamt of winning and were
sure to lose in public estimation and according to their own versions
have won the election with unbelievable margins of 25,000 to 60,000
votes. Some have now admited that it is due to the appropriate
programming of EVM, they have won the election with such high margin.

It
is very significant to note that in all the three constituencies of
Bhubaneswar and its two adjoining constituencies the BJP candidates have
got about 11,000 votes each. How accurately the programming of the EVM
has been made? In Bhubaneswar (Central) of mine it is 11486, Bhubaneswar
(North) 11350, Bhubaneswar (Ekamra) 11070, Delang-Pipili 11170 and
Jaydev 10800. Criminals destroy all the evidence after the crime is
committed by them but in many cases they leave behind some proof
unconsciously which become fatal for them. Due to over anxiety to smash
the prospects of the BJP candidates in these constituencies, EVM
programming has been made in such a way that each of them got about
11,000 votes. This type of circumstantial evidence will be very helpful
in proving the case of tampering with EVM.

Another significant
feature of Orissa election is that all the seasoned and popular leaders
of opposition specially BJP and Congress have been defeated. As it
appears the ruling BJD has made a list of all these leaders and in a
very planned way killed them by EVM. I feel the political parties should
rise to save democracy from the clutches of EVM.

(The writer is a former Law Minister, Government of Orissa.)

http://www.organiser.org/dynamic/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=299&page=15

 EVMs tampered: ECI defends. IAS man shows how.

 

DISPELLING RUMOURS

EC denies ordering probe into EVM ‘malfunctioning’

TIMES NEWS NETWORK

Chennai edition, 6 July 2009

New
Delhi: The Election Commission on Sunday denied that it had ordered
probe into malfunctioning of EVMs. Election commissioner S Y Qureishi
also denied that former civil servant Omesh Saigal had demonstrated
malfunctioning of the EVMs to the EC.
    Speaking to TOI, Qureishi
said, “Saigal is trying to sensationalise the issue. He has not
demonstrated anything. Only a letter has come. We take every complaint
seriously. We have asked them to come and demonstrate.”
    In
another statement, the EC said, “The commission will consider all the
points raised and apprehensions expressed regarding the EVMs and take
necessary measures to clear doubts about elections.”
    Qureishi
also denied that election commissioner V S Sampath had been rushed to
Hyderabad to inspect the EVMs. “He is from Hyderabad and busy with his
daughter’s wedding. He went to the factory to familiarise himself. Even I
went there after joining the EC,” he said.
    Qureishi said the EC kept getting complaints about EVMs. “But it has not been proved so far,” he added.
   
He said unlike the voting machines in foreign countries, the EVMs in
Indiawere not based on a single operating system. The EVMs in India, he
explained, were standalone machines. “It is dead after each vote is cast
and needs control unit. Also, three buttons cannot be pressed
simultaneously. It needs 12 seconds between each vote cast,” he said.

 

http://epaper.timesofindia.com/Default/Scripting/ArticleWin.asp?From=Archive&Source=Page&Skin=TO

 

http://epaper.timesofindia.com/Repository/getimage.dll?path=TOICH/2009/07/06/10/Img/Pc0101500.jpg Image of Balloting unit of ECI

 

EVM tampering: IAS man shows EC how

Busts Poll Panel’s Claim That It’s Tamper-Proof

TIMES NEWS NETWORK

 

Chennai edition, 6 July 2009

New
Delhi/Hyderabad: In a move that could have a far-reaching impact on how
future elections are conducted in the country, the Election Commission
of India is veering around to the view that electronic voting machines
(EVMs) can be tampered with.
    After Omesh Saigal, a 1964 batch
IAS officer and an IIT-Delhi alumnus considered an expert on EVMs, made a
convincing presentation to top EC officials, election commissioner V S
Sampath, along with secretary K F Wilfred, flew down to Hyderabad and
met officials of the Electronic Corporation of India Limited (ECIL), one
of the two companies who manufactures EVMs for the polls. BEL is the
other PSU that makes EVMs.
    Saigal was called by the EC to prove
his charge he had levelled in a letter to the commission sometime ago.
Sources said that at Friday’s presentation, Saigal clearly proved to the
officials as to how the EVMs can be easily tampered with. According to
the sources, Saigal demonstrated with his software that by keying in a
certain code number, one could ensure that every fifth vote cast in a
particular polling booth goes in favour of a particular candidate or
party.
    This has been the contention of many experts as well as
political parties, like the Telugu Desam Party, all of whom have been
arguing that their experiences clearly showed that the EVMs are
vulnerable and that the commission should climb down from its stance
that the machines are tamper-proof. Among former officers who wrote to
the EC cautioning about the use of EVMs in the elections was E V S
Sarma, former Union power secretary.
    “That is precisely what
happened after Saigal’s presentation. The EC officials are coming around
to the possibility of the EVMs not being fool-proof. Hopefully, the
commission will re-examine the use of EVMs ahead of the
Maharashtraassembly polls which is the first one scheduled after the
general elections held two months ago. If it is proved that EVMs are
vulnerable, it would throw into doubt the results of all the polls where
these machines were used,” said a top official.
    According to
sources, at the meeting with ECIL bosses on Friday evening,Sampath and
Wilfred were explained the functioning, manufacturing process,
procurement of the chips and the reliability of the machines in detail.
It is learnt that after the presentation by Saigal, deputy election
commissioner R Balakrishnan was asked to take a second look at the issue
based on the report Saigal handed over to the CEC. Along with the
report, Saigal also handed over the software he developed to show how
the elections could be rigged with the electronic voting machines.
Neither election commissioner V S Sampath nor secretary Wilfred could be
contacted.

http://epaper.timesofindia.com/Default/Scripting/ArticleWin.asp?From=Archive&Source=Page&Skin=TOINEW&BaseH

EVMs come under attack from poll ‘losers’

6 Jul 2009, 0406 hrs IST, TNN

NEW
DELHI: For the first time since they were used in a byelection in
Kerala in 1982, EVMs have come under attack. What were seen as efficient
and fool-proof vote counting machines to replace the cumbersome ballots
are being criticised by BJP, CPM, RJD, JD(S) and LJP — parties who
fared poorly in the Lok Sabha elections.

Senior BJP leader L K
Advani on Saturday set the ball rolling by demanding that the use of
EVMs be suspended till doubts about their accuracy and that they could
be rigged were settled. Now, he has found support from other “losers”
while Congress has been quick to run down Advani’s comments as
“childish”. 

While the controversy over EVMs coincides with
decisions of Irish authorities to discontinue their use and a ban by the
German supreme court, the Election Commission stood by the EVMs as
fool-proof. In fact, the commission, showing remarkable promptness, came
out with a statement to express its vote of confidence in the machines
in a move to nip the controversy ahead of coming state polls. In fact,
Advani had demanded that the machines not be used in the state polls. 

While
those who are opposing EVMs seem disparate, the common thread is the
scale of their defeat in the Lok Sabha polls and their struggle to find
“explanations and reasons” for the rout. The Left lost its stronghold of
West Bengal and Kerala while Ram Vilas Paswan failed to open his
account in Bihar. Even the BJP fell far short of its expectations.

The
CPM said questions being raised about the functioning of EVMs should be
considered “very seriously”, especially as several countries had gone
back to ballot papers, including developed ones. 

“Many
questions have already been raised related to EVMs. These are serious
issues and if we want to strengthen our democracy then we should
consider the matter very seriously,” CPM politburo member Yechury said. 

Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee welcomed Advani’s
suggestion and said she was the first to have raised the issue. She
added that recent panchayat and municipal polls in Bengal were held
through ballot papers and they seemed to work fine.

The
Samajwadi Party sought an all-party meeting by the EC to quell doubts
about EVMs. While not pushing the charge, the SP said doubts among a
large number of political parties had to be addressed nevertheless.
“There is a lot of controversy over EVMs in India as well as in the
west. It is found that it can be manipulated. Doubts have also been
raised over the outcome of Lok Sabha results of a senior minister of
Congress. In democracy, perception is very important. If there is doubt
in a large section of people, then it has to be addressed,” SP general
secretary Amar Singh said.

JD(S) chief H D Deve Gowda said
secrecy could not be maintained with EVMs. “This system should be
abandoned. At the all-party meeting before the elections, we had listed
the shortcomings of EVMs,” he said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/msid-4742288,prtpage-1.cms

Advani joins chorus, votes against EVMs

Rajesh Sinha / DNA

Monday, July 6, 2009 2:16 IST

New
Delhi: No one in the opposition trusts electronic voting machines
(EVMs) any more.They have raised doubts about the dependability on EVMs
after former Delhi chief secretary Omesh Saigal, an IIT graduate, showed
that EVMs can easily be tampered with. BJP leader LK Advani is the
latest to join the chorus against EVMs.

He has demanded that
ballot boxes be re-introduced, starting with the elections in
Maharashtra and other states, later this year. Advani advocated using
ballot papers until the election commission (EC) ensures that EVMs are
foolproof and every possibility of their malfunctioning is plugged.
However, the BJP made it “very clear” it was not questioning the
recently-held Lok Sabha elections, in the “absence of any tangible
proof”.

BJP spokesperson Ravishankar Prasad said apprehensions
were being raised by different quarters about the alleged malfunctioning
of EVMs. “Recently, formerDelhi chief secretary Omesh Saigal gave a
scientific and technical presentation showing how EVMS can be
manipulated. The EC has now asked a deputy election commissioner to
conduct an inquiry,” Prasad said.

“Since the EC itself has
ordered an inquiry, they should assure everybody that EVMs are not open
to manipulation and malfunctioning. But till such assurance comes, the
forthcoming elections in four states should be conducted using ballot
papers,” Prasad said. He noted also that Germany had rejected EVMs,
while in the US it was mandatory to provide paper back-ups. “Now, many
of the world’s democracies are following the old ballot paper system,”
he said.

Congress spokesperson Manish Tiwari labelled Advani’s
comments as “a stretch of imagination”, but the TDP’s Yerran Naidu
pointed out that cabinet minister Ghulam Nabi Azad had said in Orissa
that the Congress won fewer seats there due to manipulation of EVMs by
the ruling BJD.

“I wrote to Azad congratulating him on his
statement and suggested that he discuss it in the cabinet,” said Naidu.
AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa had expressed her distrust of EVMs to the EC
in January. Janata Party’s Subramaniam Swamy wrote a detailed article
some weeks ago on the issue.

While the CPI(M) refused to comment,
saying it has not gone into the issue in detail “to form an opinion”,
its senior leader, Nilotpal Basu, said “there have been questions coming
up” about it (EVMs).

Naidu averred that EVMs lack transparency.
“The voter does not know whether his vote has gone to the party he voted
for. He cannot see it. If EVMs are so ‘perfect’, why are there so many
instances of EVMs not working properly? In many areas, voting started at
3pm because the EVM was not working. At the time of counting, there
were cases where an EVM would not open and votes could not be counted,”
he said.

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_advani-joins-chorus-votes-against-evms_1271359

EVMs reliable; however, will consider all apprehensions: ECI

 

No.ECI/PN/35/2009-MCPS Dated 5th July, 2009

ELECTION COMMISSION OF INDIA

Nirvachan Sadan, Ashoka Road, New Delhi -110001

 

 

PRESS NOTE

 

Subject : ‐ Use of EVM in elections ‐ regarding

 

The
Election Commission of India has come across news items in a section of
the Press regarding the technological vulnerability of the Electronic
Voting Machine (EVM) for possible manipulation. These news items refer
to a letter handed over to the Commission by Shri Omesh Saigal, a
retired civil servant. In this regard, the Commission would like to
clarify that Shri Saigal handed over a letter on this matter, when he
met the Chief Election Commissioner on 30th of June 2009.

 

However,
no demonstration on the tamperability of the EVM has been given by Shri
Saigal to the Commission or to its officials, nor has the Commission
ordered any enquiry, as reported in a section of the Press. The
Commission receives complaints, petitions and letters from various
quarters on electoral issues including the matters related to EVM. All
these complaints are looked into for taking necessary action, if any is
required. The Commission has also been receiving letters from time to
time, from various individuals and other stake holders about the
possibility of EVM being tampered. In some of the cases, analogy is
drawn to electronic voting systems adopted in various foreign countries
and their experience with the electronic voting. The Commission has in
the past, provided opportunities to the complainants to prove their
points on the alleged vulnerability of EVM. So far, no one has been able
to demonstrate to the Commission that EVM can be manipulated. The
efficacy of EVM was also questioned in court cases in the past and the
decisions of the courts [the Hon’ble Madras High Court, Karnataka High
Court, Bombay High Court (Nagpur Bench), and the Kerala High Court, and
as upheld by the Hon’ble Supreme Court] in these cases have confirmed
the reliability of EVM.

 

From the initial introduction in
1982, to the country- wide use of EVM in 2004, the country took long
and measured steps spanning over a period of nearly two decades, in the
matter of electronic voting. In the meanwhile, general elections to
various legislative assemblies, and numerous bye-elections and two
general elections to the Lok Sabha have been conducted using EVMs at all
polling stations. The tamper-proof technological soundness of the EVM
has been endorsed by a technical experts subcommittee appointed at the
initiative of the Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reforms in 1990.
This experts committee was headed by Prof S.Sampath, then Chairman RAC,
Defence Research and Development Organisation, with Prof
P.V.Indiresan,then with IIT, Delhi, and Dr C.Rao Kasarabada, then
Director Electronic Research and Development Center,Trivandrum as
members. Subsequently, the Commission has also been consulting a group
of technical experts comprising Prof P.V. Indiresan (who was also part
of the earlier committee referred to above) and Prof D.T. Sahani and
Prof A.K Agarwala both of IIT Delhi, regularly, on all EVM related
technical issues. Besides, the Commission has in place elaborate
administrative measures and procedural checks-and –balances aimed at
total transparency and prevention of any possible misuse or procedural
lapses. These measures include rigorous pre-election checking of each
EVM by the technicians, two level randomization with the involvement of
political parties, candidates, their agents, for the random allotment of
the EVMs to various constituencies and subsequently to various polling
stations, preparation of the EVMs for elections in the presence of the
candidates/their agents, and the Election Observers, provision for
various thread seal and paper seal protection against any unauthorized
access to the EVMs after preparation, mock poll in the presence of
polling agents and mock poll certification system before the
commencement of poll, post poll sealing and strong room protection,
randomization of counting staff, micro observers at the counting tables,
and so on.

 

The Election Commission of India is amply
satisfied about the non-tamperability and the fool-proof working of the
EVMs. The Commission’s confidence in the efficacy of the EVMs has been
fortified by the judgments of various courts and the views of technical
experts. The honorable Karnataka High Court has hailed the EVM as ‘a
national pride’ (judgment dated 5.2.2004 in Michael B. Fernandes Vs
C.K.Jaffer Sharief and others in E.P No 29 of 1999)

 

The
Commission will however consider all the points raised and apprehensions
expressed recently by various political leaders and individuals
regarding EVM and take all necessary measures to clear doubts about EVM
elections in the country.

 

(K.F.WILFRED)

SECRETARY

http://eci.nic.in/press/current/pn050709.pdf

 

EVMs are tamper-proof: EC

By IANS 
05 Jul 2009 08:54:43 PM IST

 

NEW
DELHI: The Election Commission Sunday asserted the electronic voting
machines being used to conduct the polls in the country were
tamper-proof and reliable, as it replied to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)
leader L.K. Advani’s apprehensions on the gadgets.
“The Election
Commission of India is amply satisfied about the non-tamperability and
the fool-proof working of the EVMs,” it said in a statement here.

The
poll panel also said that the efficacy and reliability of EVMs have
been upheld by several courts, including the Supreme Court.

The
tamper-proof technological soundness of the EVM has been endorsed by a
technical experts subcommittee appointed at the initiative of the
Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reforms in 1990, it added.

The statement came after Advani said that the country should revert to the ballot paper because the EVMs were not tamper-proof.

Advani
told The Sunday Express that ballot papers should be reintroduced in
the state assembly elections scheduled later this year unless the
Election Commission is able to ensure foolproof functioning of EVMs.

The
commission said it “will consider all the points raised and
apprehensions expressed recently by various political leaders and
individuals regarding EVMs and take all necessary measures to clear
doubts about EVM elections in the country”.

http://www.expressbuzz.com/edition/print.aspx?artid=8QZ55Bxl5Gg=

 

http://sites.google.com/site/hindunew/electronic-voting-machines

Advani finds support from rivals on EVM issue

New
Delhi (PTI) BJP leader L.K. Advani on Sunday found support from rivals
CPI(M), JD(S) and LJP for his suggestion for re-introduction of ballot
papers in the place of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).

Mr.
Advani has not cast any doubts on the results of the Lok Sabha elections
but feels the country should revert to ballot papers starting with the
Maharashtra Assembly elections in October and some more states later
unless the Election Commission was able to ensure that EVMs were
fool-proof and every possibility of malfunctioning has been taken care
of.

However, the Congress has reacted saying it was an
“astonishing” statement of a losing party which was in search of wrong
answers for its loss.

There was no immediate comment from the
Election Commission as CEC Naveen Chawla and EC S.Y. Qureshi are away on
a trip abroad while the other Commissioner V.S. Sampath is in Hyderabad
on leave.

However, Mr. Qureshi was earlier quoted as having said
that the Commission was absolutely satisfied that the EVMs could not be
manipulated and that a technical committee headed by former IIT-Madras
Director P.V. Indiresan was in place to ensure this.

Recently,
the controversy over the EVMs gained momentum when former Delhi Chief
Secretary Omesh Saigal gave a presentation to the Commission as to how
EVMs can be programmed to manipulate results, after which the Commission
asked a Deputy Commissioner to probe the matter.

http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/holnus/001200907051883.htm

EVMs can be easily tweaked: Expert

5 Jul 2009, 0404 hrs IST, TNN

 

NEW
DELHI: In a move that could have a far-reaching impact on how future
elections are conducted in the country, the Election Commission of India
(ECI) is veering round to the view that Electronic Voting Machines
(EVMs) can be tampered with.

Omesh Saigal, a 1964 batch IAS
officer and alumnus of IIT Delhi, who is considered an expert on EVMs,
gave a convincing presentation to the top EC officials on Friday
morning. 

According to the sources, Saigal demonstrated with his
software that by keying in a certain code number, one could ensure that
every fifth vote cast in a particular polling booth goes in favour of a
particular candidate or party.

 

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/EVMs-can-be-easily-tweaked-Expert/articleshow/4739375.cms

Scrap unconstitutional EVM: voter does NOT trust it.

The
mode of voting in elections is by ballot assuring freedom to the voter.
Any system should meet the objective criterion of trustworthiness
including aspects of security, reliability, usability and accessibility.

EVMs
used in India fail on all criteria simply because the voter is not
assured that the EVM recorded his or her choice correctly.

Making
the ballot anonymous is not an adequate justification for use of EVM.
EC’s internal review by Indiresan Committee is NOT enough to reinforce
the trust needed.

An investigation body like CBI should investigate how different EVM systems were used by EC in 2009 polls.

German
Supreme Court has rightly declared EVM unconstitutional because the
voter cannot understand the system and thus vitiates against the
fundamental criterion of trustworthiness.

Let us hope the our
politico’s raise to the level of national concern of citizens who have
given to themselves a democratic Hindusthan.

Kalyanaraman

Advani’s comments on EVMs stretch of imagination: Congress

 

Posted By admin On July 5, 2009 @ 12:42 PM

New
Delhi, July 5 (Inditop.com) The ruling Congress party Sunday dismissed
as a “stretch of imagination” Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K.
Advani’s comments that India should revert to the ballot paper for
elections unless adequate safeguards are in place to guard against
malfunctioning Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).

Advani told The
Sunday Express that ballot papers should be reintroduced in the state
assembly elections scheduled later this year unless the Election
Commission is able to ensure foolproof functioning of EVMs.

“We
should revert to ballot papers unless the Election Commission is able to
ensure that Electronic Voting Machines are foolproof and every
possibility of their malfunctioning is taken care of,” Advani was quoted
as saying.

However, Congress party spokesperson Manish Tiwari described the suggestion as a “stretch of imagination”.

“The
concerns (about malfunctioning of EVMs) have been expressed over a
period of time, but to go that far as to suggest that you should scrap
Electronic Voting Machines and revert to voting by ballot – I think is a
stretch of imagination,” Tiwari told a news channel.

“Mr.
Quraishi, the election commissioner, has said that they have appointed
an expert committee which went into the possibility of whether EVMs
could be rigged, and the committee has come to a conclusion in the
negative,” he added.

Tiwari said he preferred the poll panel’s
stand on the issue, adding that “there needs to be a wider discussion
and probe into the efficacy of EVMs”.

Sidharth Nath Singh, BJP spokesperson, meanwhile clarified his party’s stand on the matter.

“Mr.
Advani has not referred to the 2009 elections being rigged, what he has
said is because there have been a large number of complaints on the
issue of malfunctioning of EVMs. The question is posed to the Election
Commission to ensure that there are safeguards on EVMS, which if not
possible – then the ballot paper is a right way and for that the
government should go into a larger debate.”

http://www.inditop.com/politics/advanis-comments-on-evms-stretch-of-imagination-congress

 

The case against EVMs. Call for CBI inquiry to be completed in a month’s time

Prof.
Madhav Nalapat and Dr. Anupam Saraph deserve congratulations from every
citizen of Hindusthan for their superb initiatives in starting a
healthy debate (now also endorsed by Navin Chawla, CEC) on the important
democratic process under the  Constitution.

I fully endorse the
excellent road map for action drawn up by Nalapat and Saraph  and
detailed at http://government.wikia.com/wiki/Case_to_ban_EVM

This is a stellar contribution to keep democracy on track in Hindusthan. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.

While
the long-term processes and far-reaching reorganization and revamping
of EC can continue to engage CEC and the Parliament, the internal review
by Balakrishnan, Dy. Election Commissioner, alone is NOT enough.

There
is an urgent need to get a time-bound focussed review done to ensure
the credibility of the 2009 Lok Sabha polls and to establish beyond any
reasonable doubt the legitimacy of the present government in power.

For
this purpose, I suggest that CBI should be asked to conduct an inquiry
on 1) the production and disposition of the new 200000 EVMs introduced
with new programs of ‘improvised features’ of date/time stamping; and 2)
how the systems were audited to ensure that they functioned as per CEC
specifications. The 200000 EVMs are a part of the 13,60,000 EVMs used in
the 2009 Lok Sabha poll. It is clear that two types of EVMs were
deployed: 2,00,000 units with date/time stamp; the remaining 11,60,000
units without this improvised feature.

This is an essential step to ensure that the people do not lose confidence in the electoral process.

Here
are the key reports justifying this demand for a CBI inquiry which
should produce a report within a month’s time under the direction of a
Parliamentary Committee or of a Committee under the supervision of the
Supreme Court.

See details at http://sites.google.com/site/hindunew/electronic-voting-machines

 

In
Election 2009 held in April and May, an estimated 1.36 million EVMs
were used in 828,000 polling booths across this vast country…

 

The
Election Commission, according to Newaskar (General Manager, BEL),
placed an order for 102,000 EVMs to BEL for the 2009 general election -
all of which were supplied by January. The other company authorised by
the Election Commission to manufacture EVMs is the Hyderabad-based
Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) that has supplied 78,000
machines with the improvised features…

 

“However, the
ones manufactured from 2007 onwards have improvised features like
in-built clocks which record the exact time a ballot is cast,” Newaskar
said…Vani Mittal, a second year graduation student of Delhi University,
did not find using the EVM difficult at all when she voted for the first
time in the assembly elections last year.

http://blog.taragana.com/n/electronic-voting-machines-the-leitmotif-of-indian-democracy-86599/

The above excerpts are from a report by Azera Rehman (GAEA news) of 19 June 2009.

In
his letter to the CEC, Saigal alleged that the software written onto
the EVMs has never been checked by the Election Commission ever since
these machines were manufactured more than 6-7 years
back.http://janamejayan.wordpress.com/

Deputy Election
Commissioner Balakrishnan was asked to conduct the inquiry on the basis
of a report handed over by Saigal to the CEC, along with the software he
had developed to show how the e-voting machines could be rigged.

Saigal,
who is an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), New Delhi alumni,
demanded an urgent check of the programme that runs the EVMs used in
elections since 2004. The demonstration showed that after just keying in
a certain code, the EVMs put every fifth vote in favour of a certain
candidate. In his letter to the CEC, Saigal alleged that the EVM
software had not been checked by the EC since the machines were
manufactured more than 6 to 7 years ago.

His argued that the EC
merely relied on the certificates provided by the manufacturers, the
government-run Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Electronics
Corporation of India Limited (ECIL). He alleged that the two firms had
subcontracted private parties who actually provided the certificates.

http://ia.rediff.com/www/news/2009/jul/04was-election-2009-rigged.htm

 

Kalyanaraman 5 July 2009

 

PMK petitions HC on EVM’s
7/3/2009

Madras
High Court returned a writ petition filed by Pattali Makkal Katchi
(PMK) President G K Mani seeking direction to the Election Commission of
India to forbear the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) in future
elections.

A Division Bench Comprising Justice D Murugesan and
Justice K Venkatraman directed petitioner to alter his prayer and submit
the petition afresh.

In his petition, Mr Mani submitted that the EVMs could be tampered with by anybody.

It was tampered with in Tamil Nadu in the last Parliament Elections held in May, he claimed.

The petitioner further claimed that an expert committee had proved the malfunctioning of the EVMs.

In
his main prayer, the petitioner sought the court to direct the Election
Commission to forbear the use of EVMs in future elections In his
interim prayer, the petitioner pleaded the court to appoint an expert
committee to ascertain the functioning of the EVMs and obtain its
report.

The court should direct the Election Commission not to use EVMs till the report was submitted to it, he prayed.

When the matter came up for hearing, the judges wondered how to pass orders on two different prayers.

They directed the petitioner counsel to make changes to the prayers and submit a single prayer and file the petition afresh.

The
Bench also clubbed the matter along with similar petition filed by
Desia Munnetra Dravidar Kazhagam (DMDK) led by Actor Vijayakanth and
posted the case to July 31 for further hearing.

 

http://www.indlawnews.com/Newsdisplay.aspx?ff553f54-3593-4c95-bc31-0aef8aed82c6

 

PMK moves court on ‘faulty’ EVMs

4 Jul 2009, 0611 hrs IST, TNN

 

CHENNAI:
The Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) has moved the Madras high court seeking
an opportunity to demonstrate that the electronic voting machines (EVM)
could be manipulated and that poll results were doctored to suit the
ruling party.

Justice M Jaichandren, before whom the public
interest writ petition of PMK president GK Mani came up for hearing on
Friday, adjourned the matter to July 9.

Mani, noting that the
PMK’s similar offer to the makers of the EVMs The Electronic Corporation
of India Limited and the Bharat Electronics Limited has not evoked any
replied from the companies, said the party was ready to demonstrate the
pliability of EVMs before an expert committee. 

Noting that even
developed countries like Europe, Germany and the USA had reverted to
the ballot paper method, the PMK leader said EVMs were not completely
tamper-proof or fool-proof.

While in the ballot paper system the
voter could physically verify and ensure that his vote had gone to the
particular candidate, the EVMs give out only a beep sound. There is no
visual proof, he added. 

Citing the recent general elections,
Mani said ruling parties at the centre and the state had indulged in all
sorts of illegalities to snatch a victory.

 

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/msid-4736631,prtpage-1.cms

Advani has doubts about EVM, wants ballot papers back

Suman K Jha Posted online: Sunday , Jul 05, 2009 at 0409 hrs       

 

New
Delhi : BJP leader L.K. Advani has demanded the reintroduction of
ballot papers in elections, beginning with the Maharashtra Assembly
elections in October, and three other states later this year.

“We
should revert to ballot papers unless the Election Commission is able
to ensure that Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) are foolproof and every
possibility of their malfunctioning is taken care of,” Advani told The
Sunday Express here on Saturday.

While the Election Commission,
during the recent general elections, once toyed with the idea of using
ballot papers instead of EVMs (essentially due to large number of
independent candidates in states like Tamil Nadu), this is the first
time that a mainstream political party has raised questions over the
reliability of EVMs.

Citing the instances of Germany (which has
banned electronic voting altogether) and the US (which has elaborate
guidelines for voting through EVMs), Advani stressed that “no one was
raising any questions like rigging or malpractices in the elections”,
but larger questions about the “possibility of EVMs’
malfunctioning…must be addressed”.

Election Commissioner S.Y.
Quraishi, however, said the “poll panel was absolutely satisfied that
EVMs couldn’t be manipulated” and that a technical committee headed by
former IIT-Madras director, P.V. Indiresan, appointed by a parliamentary
sub-committee, was in place, “to ensure this”.

After the recent
elections, some state units of the BJP had levelled allegations of
“malpractices through EVMs”. The issue also figured in a meeting of the
BJP’s newly-elected MPs last month.

The debate over the
possibility of EVMs’ malfunctioning was reignited with former Delhi
chief secretary Omesh Saigal claiming that “rigging of EVMs was very
much possible” and that a programme written by a junior programmer
showed that the final results could vary “if the pre-programmed code
number was keyed in into the machine”.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/485248/

http://government.wikia.com/wiki/Case_to_ban_EVM

 

The case for banning EVMs

 

Annexure
I lists out the various lacunae in the entire electronic voting
process. It highlights the various vulnerabilities that result from the
existing technology- not just the political and operational process.
These  vulnerabilities result from the public databases, the private
databases, the EVMs, the mechanics of tracking votes using technology,
the secrecy of the process and the reform agenda.

 

Annexure
II lists out the various facts and artifacts that resulted during the
2009 Election for the 14th Lok Sabha in each of these areas and
highlight the failure to ensure the transparency, verifiability and
fidelity of the process.

 

Annexure III explains the
inability to distinguish human votes from machine votes thus not being
able to certify that the votes polled by a candidate as being the votes
cast by voters for the candidate.

 

Annexure IV lists a few of the many ways in which machine votes may be cast by an EVM.

 

Annexure V lists some of the grounds for rejection of EVM’s in other countries.

 

Annexure VI highlights the absence of any agenda to address any of the concerns raised here in the reform agenda.

 

From all of these there is not just an adequate, but overwhelming case to ban the EVMs.

 

Can EVMs subvert elections?  — Rajeev Srinivasan

 

July 3, 2009

Reposting
on wanderlust’s suggestion. The full text is appended below, and here
is a link to where the pdf can be downloaded from:
http://rajeev.posterous.com/can-electronic-voting-machines-subvert-electi

This
was a survey as of Jun 20th, and subsequent revelations have been
explosive: someone actually has demonstrated a Trojan Horse as described
here, on Jul 3rd. There is virtually no doubt that EVMs can be mucked
with. Whether they weremucked with is the subject of further research.

Happy American Independence Day, indeed :-)

Can Electronic Voting Machines subvert elections?

By Rajeev Srinivasan[1]

“The
right of voting for representatives is the primary right by which all
other rights are protected. To take away this right is to reduce a man
to slavery.” – Thomas Paine, Dissertation on First Principles of
Government, 1795

“Those who cast the votes decide nothing, those who count the votes decide everything”

“The
first stage of fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism
because it is a merge of State and corporate power” – Benito Mussolini

1.      Abstract

Are
India’s election results an accurate reflection of the will of the
people? Or is it possible that the Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) that
are deployed in large numbers in India’s elections can be manipulated
to subvert the voters’ intent? If that is the case, it would be a
serious matter, because that would reduce India’s democracy, of which
most Indians are so proud, to a charade. In this essay, we consider the
ways in which EVMs could have been used to defraud the Indian voter in
2009. We emphasize that this essay is only about the possibility of
fraud; it is beyond the scope of this note and will take further
analysis and research to demonstrate actual fraud, if such existed.

1.      Introduction

A
number of elections around the world have been condemned for various
levels of fraud, misdemeanor and felony over the years. Undoubtedly,
some of the criticism is well-deserved (for instance, the routine
instances of 100% voter turnout in certain totalitarian countries). In
some cases, it appears elections were “stolen” though manipulation of
the vote tally, thus, in effect, perverting the “will of the people”,
that cornerstone of a genuine democratic, republican regime.

Although
some of the most egregious examples have been in developing countries,
for instance Zimbabwe in 2008[i] and Mexico in 2006[ii], the one that
has got the most attention was the US Presidential election in 2004, and
there is a website[iii]devoted to the idea that John Kerry was defeated
by George W Bush through explicit and subtle fraud[iv]. It is also
widely believed that Al Gore was defeated in 2000 through manipulation
and fraud. It is ironic that the Americans, who lecture everyone else
about free and fair elections, should have – if the critics are right –
suffered some of the worst outrages against democracy. Intriguingly,
this has made them more, not less, allergic to EVMs.

Let us now
fast forward to 2009. The recent elections in Iran, which allowed
President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad to retain power, have been roundly
condemned by the western media[v] as fraudulent, although they have not
explained how the alleged fraud was committed: it is not known if it
involved EVM fraud. Most of the criticism is based on two factors: a)
the extraordinary margin of victory (two-thirds majority, when all the
opinion polls had predicted a tight race), and b) the massive public
protests.

While the western media’s desire for democracy is
admirable, their moral indignation would probably have been far more
muted if their preferred candidate, Mir-Hossein Moussavi, had won.
Iranians with long memories remember the CIA-engineered coup that
overthrew the legitimately-elected Mohammed Mossadeq in 1953 in order to
control Iran’s oil.

The allegations in the western media that
there was ‘fraud’ in the Iranian elections[vi],[vii] are based on
circumstantial evidence – that “it was a landslide”, and “opposition
polls suggested that he [Mr. Moussavi], not Mr. Ahmedinejad, was the one
with the commanding lead.”

This is in interesting contrast with
India’s April-May 2009 general election. The entire spectrum of local
media had projected a tight race, and given the UPA a narrow lead. But
in the event the UPA was declared a  landslide winner; this discrepancy
was not commented upon with the same fervor by the western media. This
leads to the conclusion that their preferred candidate won, and
therefore the military-industrial-media complex in the west saw no
reason to complain.

Remarkably, however, a UPA minister, Glubam
Nabi Azad, Congress general secretary in charge of Orissa, has alleged
that there was voting machine fraud in that state.[viii] This raises the
question:  if Orissa suffered, why would the rest of the country not
have been subject to fraud as well?

Circumstantial evidence
suggests that there might have been a limited number of constituencies
in which fraud was perpetrated. For instance, some MPs had victories
that were practically miraculous: exit polls suggested they would lose,
they were trailing badly during the counting, but there was a
last-minute reprieve for them. In other cases, areas that were
strongholds for one party mysteriously chose the other side. In some
other cases, the losing parties could not account for the erosion of
their committed support, wherein tens of thousands of their loyal votes
apparently failed to materialize. Admittedly, none of this is proof of
actual EVM fraud, however, unless further research demonstrates it.

Regrettably,
the history of voting machines has been checkered at best. The
fundamental problem is twofold: one, that there is no easy way of
formally verifying and certifying them, and two, that there are
increasingly resourceful hackers who can circumvent any simple-minded
security schemes implemented by election officials. It is suicidal to
repose an absurd amount of trust in them, as seems to be the norm in
India.

1.      EVMs around the world

There is a veritable
tsunami of negative reports about Electronic Voting Machines from all
over the world. There is no country in which EVMs have been welcomed so
enthusiastically as they have been in India, and perhaps this is with
good reason. Hardly any major developed country uses EVMs to any extent:
indeed, despite the fuss over “hanging chads” and other arcana in their
2000 elections, even Americans who are partial to technological
solutions have resisted the siren-song of voting machines after due
consideration.

Here is a sample of the concerns raised about EVMs from a variety of perspectives:

United States (data from www.electionfraud2004.org and others as indicated):

In
April 2004, California banned 14,000 EVMs because the manufacturer
(Diebold Election Systems) had installed uncertified software that had
never been tested, and then lied to state officials about the machines.
The machines were decertified and criminal prosecution initiated against
the manufacturer.[ix]

In the 2004 Presidential elections, in Gahanna, Ohio, where only 638 votes were cast, Bush received 4,258 votes to Kerry’s 260

A
study by UC Berkeley’s Quantitative Methods Research Team reported that
irregularities associated with EVMs may have awarded 130,000 – 260,000
votes to Bush in Florida in 2004

There have at least the
following bills in the US legislature, all of which were the result of
perceived problems with EVMs. (It is not known if any of them has
passed; HR = House of Representatives, the lower house, and S = Senate,
the upper house):

HR 550: Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2005

HR 774 and S 330: Voting Integrity and Verification Act of 2005

HR 939 and S 450: Count Every Vote Act of 2005

HR 533 and S 17: Voting Opportunity and Technology Enhancement Rights Act of 2005

HR 278: Know your Vote Counts Act of 2005

HR 5036: Emergency Assistance for Secure Elections Act of 2008

In
2006, a team of Princeton University computer scientists studied
Diebold Election Systems EVMs, and concluded that it was insecure and
could be “installed with vote-stealing software in under a minute”, and
that the machines could transmit viruses from one to another during
normal pre- and post-election activity[x]. Diebold, now Premier Election
Systems, is the largest US manufacturer of EVMs

In 2006,
computer scientists[xi] from Stanford University, the University of Iowa
and IBM suggested that Diebold had “included a ‘back door’ in its
software, allowing anyone to change or modify the software… A malicious
individual with access to the voting machine could rig the software
without being detected”

Germany (2009)

The Federal Constitutional Court of Germany declared EVMs unconstitutional[xii]

The Netherlands (2006)

The
ministry of the interior withdrew the licenses of 1187 voting machines
because it was proven that one could eavesdrop on voting from up to 40
meters away. The suit was brought by a Dutch citizen’s group named “We
Do Not Trust Voting Machines”[xiii]. This group demonstrated that in
five minutes they could hack into the machines with neither voters nor
election officials being aware of it.

Finland (2009)

The Supreme Court declared invalid the results of a pilot electronic vote in three municipalities.[xiv]

United Kingdom (2007)

The
Open Rights Group declared it could not express confidence in the
results for the areas that it observed[xv]. Their report cites “problems
with the procurement, planning, management and implementation of the
systems concerned.”

Ireland (2006)

Ireland embarked on an ambitious e-voting scheme, but abandoned it due to public pressure[xvi]

Brazil (2006)

There were serious discrepancies in the Diebold systems predominantly used in Brazil’s 2006 elections[xvii]

India

2004
General Elections: allegations that good old booth-capturing was taking
place[xviii] in Bihar, even with the spanking-new EVMs

2009
General Elections: Subramanian Swamy alleged in April 2009 that a group
of people who had been convicted in the US for hacking bank accounts and
credit cards had been recruited by a certain political party to
possibly rig the elections.

The Shiv Sena alleged that EVM
malfunction caused its candidate Mohan Rawale to lose in South Mumbai.
Said Rawale: “I wonder how I got only 5 votes from an area that is a
Shiv Sena stronghold”[xix]

Journalist Cho Ramaswamy discussed how
in MDMK leader Vaiko’s constituency, Virudhunagar, Tamil Nadu, “while
counting, the votes increased by 23,000 more than the polled votes”[xx]

An
ongoing debate and additional new information is posted on S
Kalyanaraman’s live blog[xxi] which is updated often; a detailed
analysis is at Senthil Raja’s blog[xxii] of May 24th

A
report[xxiii] in Newsweek magazine provides more details about how
people around the world are rejecting electronic voting. The Open Rights
Group has provided many examples and more details about some of the
above in its paper “Electronic Voting: A challenge to democracy?”[xxiv].
Their conclusion: “E-voting threatens the integrity of our elections
and we oppose its use in our democracy.”

1.      Possible ways of manipulating EVMs

Are
EVMs particularly bad, compared to the old paper ballot box? The answer
has to be a resounding “yes”. The reason is that paper ballots, despite
their many flaws[xxv], have one sterling characteristic: there is an
audit trail, an actual piece of paper exists, and a recount, while
laborious and time-consuming, is possible.

EVMs have the great
advantage of quick tabulation of results. But the problem is
fundamental: trust. Since the vote cast does not result in anything
palpable, but only creates a digital impulse, it is hard to verify the
accuracy of the result, and therefore it is hard to trust.

Digitized
data is malleable and easily manipulated: indeed, this is one of its
principal attractions in ordinary computing. For instance, a digital
photograph can be enhanced, edited, color-corrected, cleaned-up,
brightened, the background changed, and otherwise modified in ways that a
traditional analog (most film is analog) photograph cannot be.
Unfortunately, this very malleability is a problem when it comes to
voting, because it is hard to *prove* that the voting data has not been
tampered with. It would be hard to detect any manipulation unless
expensive and thorough preventive steps are taken.

Data can be
manipulated at almost every step on the way: during vote, in transit, or
during counting. None of this is easily detected because the EVM is
presented to the user as a typical “black box” which is deemed
unalterable and tamper-proof. In other words, the hardware and software
installed, are deemed trustworthy by edict, and not based on formal
verification by a third party.

This trust is misplaced. Embedded
systems – that is computers that run just their installed programs (for
instance in a watch or a microwave oven), rather than a computer like a
PC which an end user can add programs to and run in a manner he pleases –
are notoriously prone to error, which is why the Y2K bug was considered
so dangerous: there was concern that embedded systems in planes, banks,
electric utilities, transportation systems, etc. would fail
catastrophically. This is the reason why some critical systems (eg.
control systems for nuclear power plants) continue to be
electro-mechanical rather than digital.

There are several
technical reasons why embedded systems are tricky: one is that the
software used in these systems (which have limited memory, unlike
capacious PCs) is tightly-written machine-language code, which is hard
for humans to comprehend, unlike code that is written in a high-level
language such as Java or C++.

Secondly, the software may not be
adequately tested taking into account the various extreme cases of data
it might encounter. This can be compared to a 1994 problem with Intel’s
Pentium chips[xxvi]: they were found to produce erroneous results in
some simple arithmetic calculations. When unanticipated data is entered,
the system may behave erratically.

The above examples pertain to
inadvertent errors; similarly, manufacturing faults in the hardware may
result in malfunctions. More sinister issues arise from malicious and
intentional tampering. The programs used are proprietary and not open
for inspection, unlike, say, open source programs which any individual
can test out.

There are several ways in which the fraud can be perpetrated with EVMs[xxvii]:

Tampering with the software to add malicious code to alter vote totals or favor any candidate

Tampering with the hardware of the machine to alter vote totals or favor any candidate

Intentional mis-configuration of the ballot design to misidentify a candidate’s party

Abusing the administrative access to the machine by election officials might also allow individuals to vote multiple times

The
most obvious way to add malicious code is to create a Trojan
Horse[xxviii], a program that has an undocumented back-door entry, known
only to the writers of the program. Under normal circumstances, the
program will function as specified, in this case correctly capturing the
voter’s choice. However, the Trojan Horse can be triggered off by some
specific mechanism, such as by pressing a particular sequence of buttons
on the EVM. Before or during the voting process, some individual can
trigger off the Trojan Horse, which becomes active. This individual
could well be a party cadre who is a legitimate voter in that
constituency.

The Trojan could then work some algorithms – for
instance, it could assign every twelfth vote to the desired party,
regardless of which blue button the voter pressed. Algorithms can be
quite sophisticated, giving a percentage of the vote that is not
suspiciously high (90%) but plausible – say 42% in a constituency with a
multi-cornered contest.

Furthermore, the Trojan Horse could be
programmed to erase itself when the EVM is turned off at the end of the
day’s voting. It may leave no trace of its erstwhile existence. Trojan
Horse programs are well-known among the hacker community, and are not
particularly difficult to write. But they are fiendishly difficult to
find and eradicate.

How does the Trojan Horse program get
embedded in the machine in the first place? One of the objections to
this scenario is the question as to how the malicious code is introduced
into the EVMs in all 828,804 polling stations? Wouldn’t this level of
tampering require the connivance of hundreds of thousands of people in
the polling booths?

In fact, no. This can be done at a single
point, in the factory, where an innocuous ‘update’ of the software can
be infected with the rogue add-on. Only one or two people need to ever
know about this, if they are well-placed within the factory[xxix] or in
the election machinery. In this context, the previous UPA government’s
selection of Naveen Chawla as Chief Election Commissioner, despite
allegations of bias against him[xxx], looks dubious.

A startling
new revelation suggests how this not-so-innocent ‘update’ could have
been performed in 2009. Writing in the blog taragana.com[xxxi] on June
19th, Azera Rahman provides the following information from Amol
Newaskar, general manager of BEL in Bangalore. Here is the quote,
verbatim:

“However, the ones manufactured from 2007 onwards have
improvised [sic] features like in-built clocks which record the exact
time a ballot is cast” Newaskar said. “Not just that, the EVM also
records the exact time when the whole balloting process starts and when
the last vote is cast. It gives an hourly update of the number of votes
cast, and if there is any unusual trend in the process, it can be easily
detected. Thus, the whole process becomes tamper-proof”, he added… The
Election Commission, according to Newaskar, placed an order for 182,000
EVMs to BEL for the 2009 general election – all of which were supplied
by January. The other company authorized by the Election Commission to
manufacture EVMs is the Hyderabad-based Electronics Corporation of India
(ECIL) that has supplied 78,000 machines with the improvised [sic]
features…”

This could well be the smoking gun. The ‘improvised’
code in the 260,000 new EVMs could well hold the key. Exactly what was
changed? Does this possibly have an embedded Trojan? Has any independent
verification authority certified the new code? Doesn’t this new code
invalidate the Indiresan Committee report of 2006? Can the instances of
suspected fraud be correlated with polling stations where the new EVMs
were deployed? Is the new data collected as described above stored in a
non-reprogrammable and permanent manner? How can researchers get access
to it?

A second objection[xxxii] is procedural: how is the Trojan
Horse triggered? The assignment of the buttons to parties is done late
in the game, so that it would require at least one person to keep track
of the buttons and trigger the Trojan Horse in each of the 800,000+
polling stations – and it is hard to keep a secret that so many people
know. Once again, the answer is a no. First of all, there is no need to
subvert every one of the polling stations, it would be sufficient to
concentrate on only a few constituencies and the associated polling
booths.

Second, another possibility is that the Trojan is the
norm, and it will run by default *unless* the triggering is done, in
which case it will become dormant. More alarmingly, there is the
possibility of remote control, by substituting radio-aware chips for the
normal chips in the voting machines. According the Election
Commission’s[xxxiii] FAQ, “the microchip used in EVMs is sealed at the
time of import. It cannot be opened and any rewriting of program can
[sic] be done by anyone without damaging the chip.” This implies that
the chip is “imported” from somewhere, and any number of manufacturers
especially in China have mastered the art of making fake chips. Why
isn’t there transparency about the chip and its manufacturers?

Imagine
that the new chip that was swapped in has a radio capability. That
means it can be controlled by a cellular signal or other radio signal.
For instance, it might be possible to send a signal via a standard GSM
or CDMA cellular handset, if the chip is compatible. Thus, it may be
possible for a single person to drive around to all the polling booths
in a constituency, and, from outside, trigger the Trojan Horse. This
drastically reduces the number of people who need to be involved! It
does not have be a low-level party cadre, it can be the district head,
for instance. Thus, if only 50 constituencies were tampered with, only
50 highly trusted people need to know about the whole operation.

Radio-aware
chips are common, especially now that RFID (radio-frequency identity
tagging) is becoming widespread. There is the interesting case of the
Iraqi Air Force and its Hewlett-Packard printers. Unbeknownst to the
Iraqis, American officials swapped out the standard printer chips with
chips that were additionally GPS-aware and could broadcast their
location. When the printers ended up in Iraqi anti-aircraft batteries, a
GPS satellite passing by overhead could accurately pinpoint the
location of the printers, allowing warplanes to target them. HP has also
announced[xxxiv] another chip “the size of a grain of rice” that can
store 100 pages of text and swap data via wireless.

The examples
above only consider the possible fraud before and during voting; similar
scenarios can be developed while the machines are in transit, and while
the counting is going on. These possibilities merely scratch the
surface; undoubtedly, resourceful minds have come up with even better
ways of doing the deed. Here are in fact some of the specifics
discovered in the Brazil case:

Problems from the Brazil case referred to above:

1.      

1.      The boot system may be modified by software

2.      It is possible to modify the internal programs by external digital methods

3.      The OS (Windows CE) does not possess strong resources of security

4.      The system of physical seals is insufficient and the case is easy to open, without destroying anything

5.      It is possible to reconfigure the security resources by means of jumpers on the motherboard

6.      There exists an internal socket for multimedia memory cards

7.      The external button labeled “battery test” can be used for attacks set off by a voter

A query to a computer science researcher in the US produced the following response which I quote in its entirety:

Shipping
bug free software is proven to be impossible and it is found that in
practice it is significantly harder to produce software without any
security holes than it is to find and exploit a bug[xxxv]. This raises
significant questions about reliability of electronic voting machines.
Malicious logic can be easily hidden by a “company insider” within the
code, such that the machine records votes incorrectly to favor one
candidate over another. While a study conducted by the researchers at
the Rice University elucidated the ease with which voting systems could
be infected by a Trojan horse[xxxvi], it is found that the Web sites and
databases of major corporations are regularly hacked. Often a
well-designed Trojan horse can tell when it’s being tested and they may
appear only for brief instants of time, while completely disappearing at
other times[xxxvii]. A number of methods for hiding Trojans in voting
machines have been suggested ranging from as simple as misleading
documentation to burying the malicious code deep in subroutines, macro
expansions, header files, conditional compilations or making changes
directly to object or machine code thereby bypassing the human readable
source code completely[xxxviii].

Is it possible to reduce the
probability of EVM fraud? Yes, one way is through deep testing, although
that is still not entirely foolproof:

Parallel testing, where an
independent set of results is compared against the original machine
results. During election, Statistically significant numbers of voters
need to verify that their intended vote matches the electronic and paper
votes

Statistically significant number of voting machines can be
randomly selected from polling stations and used for testing. This can
be defeated by Trojan Horses

Logic and accuracy testing before elections

Independent
software verification and certification. Can use code signatures to
ensure software is identical. Open source may also be a good idea

1.      Process improvements needed

At
the heart of the problem is a system issue: the EVMs are a useful
technology that has been thrown into the chaotic election process
without due thought, understanding or introspection. They are like guns:
they can be used well or they can be used badly. Throwing technology at
a problem does not solve it. On the contrary, the EVM makes the process
more opaque and more easily subverted. A full system review needs to be
done before India continues with EVMs in future elections.

Writing
in the IEEE Computer magazine of May[xxxix] 2009, respected computer
scientist and networking expert Andrew Tanenbaum suggested that it is
necessary to take “a system view, incorporating a trustworthy process
based on open source software, simplified procedures, and built-in
redundant safeguards that prevent tampering.”

Tanenbaum outlines a
nine-step process that he believes is necessary as an adjunct to EVMs,
and necessary to make the process fool-proof. These are quite elaborate,
with fool-proof encryption, and in summary they are:

1.      

1.      Generate and distribute precinct master keys (for cryptography)

2.      Create voter registration records

3.      Mail proof of registration to voters

4.     
Prepare voting machines (by hashing the voting list with the precinct’s
public key[xl] and writing onto a read-only medium)

5.      Assemble key pairs at precinct (for decryption of the voting list)

6.      Check in voters (they have to bring in the card they received in the mail)

7.      Have voters cast their votes

8.      Tabulate votes

9.      Publish results

It
is clear that in the Indian case, none of the essential cryptography
was done, and as per Tanenbaum, that would mean the EVMs are not likely
to produce reliable results.

1.      PILs in Indian courts

There
have been a number of cases (usually Public Interest Litigation) filed
in Indian courts about the possibility of EVM fraud. Retired computer
science professor Satinath Choudhary[xli] claimed that “producing
doctored EVMs is child’s play” as early as 2004. The Linux Journal[xlii]
at the time suggested that the fact that details of the hardware and
software in the EVMs had not been published and the source code not made
available meant citizens “could not be assured of the fairness of the
EVM”. According to Choudhary, the Supreme Court had ruled in his PIL as
follows: “Heard the petitioner, who is appearing in-person. In case the
petitioner files any representation, the Election Commission may
consider his suggestions. With the observations made above, the writ
petition stands disposed of.” However, the Election Commission did 
nothing to take into account his concerns and suggestions. In his
followup, Choudhary suggests a number of steps that should be taken.

Banwarilal
B. Purohit vs. Election Commission of India was filed in 2004 in the
Maharashtra High Court at Nagpur. The deposition of Ravi Visvesvaraya
Prasad, an electrical and computer engineer, provides substantial
insight into the ways in which EVMs can be manipulated.[xliii]

Shailendra
Pradhan filed a PIL in 2009 in the Madhya Pradesh High Court at
Jabalpur, with the Election Commission and the manufacturers as
respondents, suggesting that the lack of a voter-verifiable audit system
made EVMs faulty and that there was no basis for the belief that the
embedded programs are tamper-proof, among other claims. [xliv]

The
PMK, which suffered a shock defeat in Virudhunagar constituency, has
filed[xlv] an appeal to the Election Commission and will file a PIL if
the appeal to the EC fails.

The DDMK has filed a PIL in Madras High Court against EVMs.[xlvi]

1.      Next steps

In
order to give voters and observers a certain sense of comfort that they
can indeed depend on the EVMs, a number of steps need to be taken
urgently. First of all, there is the Expert Committee Report[xlvii] on 
EVMs. The report considers a number of possible fraud scenarios,
including the tampering of various parts of the system. In all the cases
considered, the report found that the EVM has sufficient safeguards to
ensure fair polling. But the Report does not go beyond a ‘black box’
analysis, and does not give any information about the reliability or
otherwise of the operating system used, the circuit boards, or the
chipset, not to mention the embedded software. This report also does not
necessarily respond to all the concerns raised by Tanenbaum, Choudhary
and Prasad above, it would be a good first step to analyze the EVMs in
light of this new set of concerns.

Secondly, the new and
‘improved’ 2009 EVMs reported by Newaskar are obviously outside the
ambit of the 2006 report, and so it is necessary to constitute a new
Committee to investigate them.

Thirdly, the 2006 report says on
Page 4: “a log is maintained of all key presses”. This is intended as a
permanent record of all activity on the EVM itself, and it is claimed
that the record is tamper-proof and cannot be erased electronically and
that it is available for an extended period.

Therefore,
researchers should acquire via a Right-To-Information petition the
complete logs of all EVMs (including the time-stamp data Newaskar refers
to with the new EVMs) in at least one sample constituency where they
suspect fraud. If the log is a permanent and tamper-proof record as
claimed, a painstaking analysis of the log using data-mining techniques
should indicate the presence or absence of fraud. If this exercise is
done over the entire constituency, not on a sampling basis but on a
survey basis, it would be possible to get a complete picture of whether
the EVMs functioned as advertized.

Once this step is completed,
if suspicions persist, a random sample of the logs from a statistically
valid sample of EVMs from around the country needs to be taken, and the
same kind of detailed data-mining analysis performed on them to see if
there are any suspicious patterns of keystrokes emerging: for instance,
are there sequences that look like triggers for Trojan Horses? Are there
suspiciously uniform patterns of voting?

The next step would be
to scrutinize the actual source code of the software that is installed
in the systems. Given the gravity of the function performed by them,
there is no room for opaqueness: the public has a  right to know exactly
what the code contains, and the manufacturer should be forced to reveal
it. The code, and its embedded version, must be given to independent
labs for thorough testing to see if there are anomalies. The same is
true of the hardware, including the chip as well as the schematics of
the EVM itself.

Another, parallel, step would be to build an
actual proof-of-concept on the EVM of how a Trojan Horse can be
implemented with the kinds of characteristics described above. The
manufacturers of the EVM should provide complete technical details of
the chips, along with any firmware and software used, as well as sample
chips and EVM devices to independent testing labs so that they could
demonstrate Trojan Horse on the actual EVM devices.

In light of
all of the above, it is clear that there is reasonable doubt about the
reliability of EVMs. A PIL should be filed in the Supreme Court to
postpone any further use of EVMs until a proper audit and verification
has been performed on them.

Finally, the kinds of procedural
checks and balances recommended by Tanenbaum and other experts need to
be incorporated into the system before another election in India that
depends entirely on EVMs.

1.      Conclusion

Given the
poor experience with Electronic Voting Machines worldwide, it is
difficult to believe that India’s EVMs are somehow far superior to those
used elsewhere, and somehow immune to fraud. This has to be
demonstrated. A priori, the evidence suggests that India’s EVMs are
susceptible to fraud in a number of dimensions.

It appears that
both technical and procedural measures must be put in place to allay the
concerns about the reliability, or lack thereof, of electronic voting
machines.

It is entirely possible that the election machinery has
taken every possible step in good faith, but that clever criminals have
subverted the system for their own ends. Improved transparency, and
public scrutiny of the system, including an analysis of ways in which it
can be made more secure are urgent and imperative before any future
elections.

[1] Rajeev Srinivasan is a management consultant in
strategy, innovation and energy. He has spent over twenty years in the
computer industry, mostly in the Silicon Valley, in engineering and
management roles. His columns appear inrediff.com, The Pioneer, The New
Indian Express and Mint. He also teaches periodically at various IIMs.

[i]
“Opposition vows to fight Zimbabwe election fraud”, Reuters, Sun Mar
23, 2008http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSL236998620080323

[ii] “Fraud video claim in Mexico poll”, BBC, Tue Jul 11, 2006

[iii] www.electionfraud2004.org, which the opening quote from Thomas Paine has been taken

[iv] “Was the 2004 Election Stolen?”, Robert F Kennedy Jr, Rolling Stone, Jun 1, 2006

[v]
“Landslide or Fraud? The Debate Online Over Iran’s Election Results”,
New York Times, June 13,
2009http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/13/landslide-or-fraud-the-debate-online-over-irans-election-results/

[vi] “Neither Real  nor Free”, Editorial, New York Times, Jun 15, 2009

[vii] “Iran Elections: Mahmoud Ahmedinejad and Hossein Mousai both claim victory”, UK Telegraph, Jun 12, 2009

[viii] “EVMs ‘manipulated’ in Orissa polls, claims Azad, Union Health Minister”, IANS, 18 Jun 2009

[ix] Wikipedia entry on “Electronic voting”

[x] Wikipedia entry on “Electronic voting”

[xi] “The Diebold Bombshell”, OpEdNews.com, 23 July 2006

[xii] German Federal Constitutional Court, Press Release No. 19/2009, of 3 Mar 2009

[xiii] “Dutch government scraps plans to use voting computers in 35 cities including Amsterdam”, AP, 30 Oct 2006

[xiv] Wikipedia entry on “Electronic voting”

[xv] “ORG Election Report highlights problems with the voting technology used”, 20 Jun 2007

[xvi] “Are electronic voting machines tamper-proof?” Subramanian Swamy, The Hindu, 17 Jun 2009

[xvii]
“Brazil: The Perfect Electoral Crime”, James Burk, Portland Indymedia
Center, 21 Oct 2006, quoting Amilcar Brunazo Filho, www.votoseguro.org

[xviii] “On New Voting Machine, the Same Old Fraud”, New York Times, 27 Apr 2004

[xix] “Sena alleges EVM malfunction in South Mumbai”, Rediff.com, 16 May 2009

[xx] “Rahul could become a desirable leader”, Rediff.com, 19 May, 2009

[xxi] http://sites.google.com/site/hindunew/electronic-voting-machines

[xxii] http://psenthilraja.wordpress.com/2009/05/24/remote-controlling-evm-manufacturing-election-results/

[xxiii] “We Do Not Trust Machines”, Evgeny Morozov, Newsweek, 1 Jun, 2009

[xxiv] http://www.openrightsgroup.org/wp-content/uploads/org-evoting-briefing-pack-final.pdf

[xxv]
According to the faq by the Election Commission at
//eci.nic.faq/EVM.asp the great advantage of the EVM is speed of
tabulating the results

[xxvi] “Ideas and Trends: The Chip on Intel’s shoulder”, New York Times, 18 Dec, 1994

[xxvii] Wikipedia entery on “Electoral fraud”

[xxviii]
Obviously named after the mythological – and malicious — Trojan Horse
the Greeks gifted to Troy. See the Wikipedia entry on “Trojan Horses”

[xxix] In the case of India, it is the BEL in Bangalore and ECIL in Hyderabad which produce the EVMs

[xxx]
The outgoing Chief Election Commissioner made a suo moto recommendation
that Naveen Chawla, Election Commissioner, should be removed, based on a
report by the Shah Commission investigating the Emergency that indicted
Chawla for having been ‘authoritarian and callous’ and for gross misuse
of power. It declared that he was “unfit to hold any public office
which demands an attitude of fair play and consideration for others”

[xxxi]
“Electronic voting machines – the leitmotif of Indian democracy”,
AzeraRahman,
http://blog.taragana.com/n/electronic-voting-machines-the-leitmotif-of-indian-democracy-86599/

[xxxii] http://theoverlord.wordpress.com/2009/05/19/the-indian-electronic-voting-machines

[xxxiii] Ibid. eci.nic.faq/EVM.asp

[xxxiv] “Tiny wireless memory chip debuts”, BBC, 17 Jul, 2006

[xxxv]
Bannet, J.; Price, D.W.; Rudys, A.; Singer, J.; Wallach, D.S.,
“Hack-a-vote: Security issues with electronic voting systems,” IEEE
Security & Privacy, vol.2, no.1, pp. 32-37, Jan.-Feb. 2004.

[xxxvi]
D. S. Wallach, “Electronic voting: Accuracy, accessibility and fraud.”,
Report for Democratic National
Committee.www.democrats.org/pdfs/ohvrireport/section07.pdf

[xxxvii] P. G. Neumann, “Security criteria for electronic voting,” 16th National Computer Security Conference, September, 1993

[xxxviii]
Barbara Simons, “Who gets to count your vote? Computerized and internet
voting,” talk at Spatial Cognition Research Center, 2003

[xxxix] “Trustworthy voting: from machine to system”, Nathanael Paul and Andrew S. Tanenbaum, IEEE Computer, May 2009

[xl] Public-key private-key systems of cryptography are essentially tamper-proof

[xli]
“Winning elections made easy”, Satinath Choudhary, Indian Express, 19
Apr 2004. He was president, Better Democracy Forum, The Bronx, New York.

[xlii] “India’s electronic voting faces lawsuit over accountability”, Linux Journal, 3 May, 2004

[xliii] www.scribd.com/doc/15745499/EVMs-Supporting-Documents

[xliv] www.samarthbharat.com/files/evmpetition.pdf

[xlv] “PMK to move court against EVMs”, The Hindu, 14 Jun, 2009

[xlvi] “PIL to ban use of EVMs in future elections admitted in Madras High Court”, 26 May, 2009

[xlvii] www.scribd.com/doc/6794194/Expert-Committee-Report-on-EVM has the report dated Sep 2006, retrieved under RTI

http://rajeev2007.wordpress.com/2009/07/03/can-evms-subvert-elections-full-post/

Was Election 2009 rigged?

A Correspondent in New Delhi | July 04, 2009 | 10:35 IST

The
Election Commission has now officially taken up the investigation of
charges of rigging and fraud through the Electronic Voting Machines.

Chief
Election Commissioner Navin Chawla is sitting over a major scandal of a
possible massive rigging of elections by manipulation of software of
the Electronic Voting Machines.

But for the charge levelled by a
former Delhi chief secretary five years senior to him in the Indian
Administrative Service cadre, Chawla would have rejected such claims of
rigging.

Omesh Saigal, a 1964 batch IAS officer of the Union
Territory, stunned him with a presentation to force him to order an
inquiry into any possibility of such a rigging.

Chawla is himself a Union Territory cadre IAS of 1969 batch.

Deputy
Election Commissioner Balakrishnan has been asked to conduct the
inquiry on the basis of a report handed over by Saigal to the CEC, with a
software he got developed to show how the elections can be rigged.

Saigal,
who is an Indian Institute of Technology alumni, has demanded an urgent
check of the programme that runs the EVMs used in elections since 2004.

He
demonstrated with his software that its manipulation ensured that one
has to just key in a certain code number and that will ensure every
fifth vote cast in a particular polling booth goes in favour of a
certain candidate.

In his letter to the CEC, Saigal alleged that
the software written onto the EVMs has never been checked by the
Election Commission ever since these machines were manufactured than 6-7
years back.

His contention is that the EC merely relied on the
certificates supplied by the manufacturers, the government-run BEL and
ECIL. He alleged that these government firms had subcontracted private
parties who actually provided these certificates.

“A public
software audit of these machines from time to time, especially after and
before an election, was a must to retain the credibility of the
elections,” Saigal affirmed, demanding that for the sake of transparency
names and ownerships of these private companies must be disclosed, as
also the details of the factories where they were actually manufactured.

The records retained in the factories must also be immediately
taken over by the EC to prevent any tampering and to facilitate an
audit, he said.

He also pointed out how, after nearly two years
of deliberation, Germany’s Supreme Court ruled last March that e-voting
was unconstitutional because the average citizen could not be expected
to understand the  exact steps involved in the recording and tallying of
votes. Earlier, Ireland had given up e-voting for similar reasons.

In
the United States too, after considerable controversy the Federal
Election Commission has come up in 2005 with detailed voting system
guidelines which run into more than 400 pages.

Saigal said that it is noteworthy that not a single safeguard mentioned in these guidelines are in place in India.

Saigal
said he had gone into all the safeguards built into the e-voting system
in India with the help of former colleagues and IT experts and finds it
both ‘possible and plausible’ to rig these machines and get a crooked
result.

�”If the credibility of the electoral process is to be
ensured,� pre- and post-election checks of the software now fused onto
the chips of the EVMs is a must,” Saigal said.

It is not that all
the 10 lakh odd machines used in the poll need to be checked. If we
take only those booths where one of the candidates has received 75 per
cent of the votes and in constituencies where the
margin of the winner is less than 15,000, not more than 7,000-odd machines will need to be checked.

Saigal argued in his report that “if we cannot do this we must revert to the paper ballot.”

“The need for a fair, free and transparent polling system transcends any reasons anyone may have to the contrary,” he added.

 

July 12, 2009

 

Debate

EVM is fallible, too many complaints
EVM should be replaced by ballot paper
By Biswabhusan Harichandan

When
people are suspicious about the correct functioning of EVMs, which
posed a danger to the democracy and the rights of the citizens, our
keenness to continue with the system is deplorable. Should we not know
that our votes are correctly recorded by the EVM?

The issue of
rigging of election by Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) has been raised
in different states of the country. In Orissa, all the political
parties, except the ruling BJD, are accusing the latter of tampering
with EVMs, which crowned them with unexpected victory. Before discussing
the large scale rigging by EVMs in Orissa assembly election, I think it
appropriate to deal with the important question whether the Electronic
Voting Machines are tamper-proof? If there is any doubt in its
integrity, what compels us to take recourse to this method instead of
ballots papers.

Arguments are being made that it is convenient
and speedy. Can we sacrifice our valuable democratic rights for the sake
of convenience? Is it not the most valuable right of a citizen to know
as to in whose favour he casts his vote? I am of the firm view that the
constitutional right of a citizen is being infringed by this method of
voting where he has no scope to see or know in whose favour his vote has
been recorded. It is not only unconstitutional, but this is violative
of democratic norms and principles. The Supreme Court of Germany ruled
in last March that e-voting was unconstitutional because the average
citizen could not be expected to understand the exact steps involved in
the recording and tallying of votes. It is not only Germany, almost all
the developed countries of the world including US and other European
countries have adopted ballot paper system as they have maximum respect
for this valuable democratic rights of the citizens. But I fail to
understand why we are adopting the said system when the countries whom
we have followed in this respect have gone back to the ballot paper.

It
is noteworthy that Shri KS Sudarsan, former Sarsanghachalak of RSS, has
also clearly said that various political parties successfully tampered
with EVMs to remain in power in his speech in Cuttack. He further
questioned why we are having this system when developed countries like
US and Germany have gone back to ballot paper. The article of Dr
Subramanian Swamy which has been published in Organiser, is very
analytical and thought provoking. He has referred to the articles of
very learned Professors of computer science, published in reputed
Computer Engineering journals and popular international press which not
only raised doubts about the integrity of Electronic Voting Machines but
opined that it can be tampered with. Dr Swamy placed different
materials and established that it is not tamper proof. In a country like
ours where percentage of the illiterate people is almost more than half
who are being guided by the Presiding Officers in the polling booths
why we are interested to have these EVMs. Should we sacrifice these
valuable democratic rights of ours to the dictates of some power hungry
and unscrupulous rulers and their power brokers?

When people are
suspicious about the correct functioning of EVM which posed a danger to
the democracy and the rights of the citizens, our keenness to continue
with the system is deplorable. Should we not know that our votes are
correctly recorded by the EVM? If a person is going to be hanged in a
death sentence by a court of law, he is made known about the crime he
has committed, but when you are hanging a candidate or his voter by your
Electronic Voting Machine, you are not giving him any opportunity to
know how his vote had been recorded. In my view this is a crime which
should be get rid of. Some people argue that it is being tampered with
should be proved. Direct proof or evidences are not always available in
all crimes. In such cases the investigating agencies and the courts
depend on circumstantial evidence to establish the case and to convict
the criminals.

In the last general elections in Orissa there was
a massive tampering with the EVM to support the ruling party BJD and
both direct and circumstantial evidences are also available to prove
such tampering. In different parts of the state, in some poling booths
direct proofs are available. In Nima Sahi booth of Cuttack there was
re-polling on public pressure when it was detected that all votes are
being recorded in BJD symbol though different buttons were pressed.
Complaints from other places of the state were not entertained. The case
of Bhubaneswar may be cited as an example. Here I made a hattrick by
winning assembly elections continuously for 3 terms and in the election
of 2000 and 2004 margin of winning was 96,000 and 86,000 respectively
from my nearest rivals. Here is a constituency where only state level
senior and reputed leaders are elected and no light weight has ever been
entertained since Independence. This time it is an exception which the
people of Bhubaneswar are not prepared to believe. All organisations
like the employees’ organisations, the religious organisations like
Satsangh of Thakur Anukulchandra, Satyasai, Srima, Trahi Achyut and
others and community leaders of Marwari, Sikh, Gujarati, Bihari, Telgu
and all others were campaigning for me. Everybody knows that in the
development of the state and Bhubaneswar, I have a key role and I
entertain all sorts of grievances of the people of all walks of life and
find solution to them. Still then I have been defeated which the people
of Bhubaneswar as well as Orissa are not prepared to believe. The
people of Bhubaneswar believe that due to the tampering of EVM, this
could be possible.

It is not only in Bhubaneswar in all parts of
the state specially in the second phase of election, candidates have
become easy prey of Electronic Voting Machines. Entire state has been
surprised to see how due to the tampering of EVM in the second phase the
ruling BJD with its associates could capture 72 seats out of 77 where
BJD alone has 64 seats. Was there any political super cyclone in its
favour. People of Orissa know that there was no wave in favour of BJD in
Orissa. Many candidates of BJD who had never dreamt of winning and were
sure to lose in public estimation and according to their own versions
have won the election with unbelievable margins of 25,000 to 60,000
votes. Some have now admited that it is due to the appropriate
programming of EVM, they have won the election with such high margin.

It
is very significant to note that in all the three constituencies of
Bhubaneswar and its two adjoining constituencies the BJP candidates have
got about 11,000 votes each. How accurately the programming of the EVM
has been made? In Bhubaneswar (Central) of mine it is 11486, Bhubaneswar
(North) 11350, Bhubaneswar (Ekamra) 11070, Delang-Pipili 11170 and
Jaydev 10800. Criminals destroy all the evidence after the crime is
committed by them but in many cases they leave behind some proof
unconsciously which become fatal for them. Due to over anxiety to smash
the prospects of the BJP candidates in these constituencies, EVM
programming has been made in such a way that each of them got about
11,000 votes. This type of circumstantial evidence will be very helpful
in proving the case of tampering with EVM.

Another significant
feature of Orissa election is that all the seasoned and popular leaders
of opposition specially BJP and Congress have been defeated. As it
appears the ruling BJD has made a list of all these leaders and in a
very planned way killed them by EVM. I feel the political parties should
rise to save democracy from the clutches of EVM.

(The writer is a former Law Minister, Government of Orissa.)

http://www.organiser.org/dynamic/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=299&page=15

 

http://www.rediff.com///news/2009/jul/04was-election-2009-rigged.htm

India’s e-elections rigged?

By janamejayan

R Rajagopalan
8:53 PM (14 minutes ago)
4 July 2009

ELECTIONS BE RIGGED THROUGH EVMs?

From Our Delhi Bureau

NEW
DELHI: Chief Election Commissioner Navin Chawla is sitting over a major
scandal of a possible massive rigging of elections by manipulation of
software of the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).

But for the
charge levelled by a former Delhi chief secretary five years senior to
him in the IAS cadre, Chawla would have rejected such claims of rigging.

Omesh
Saigal, a 1964 batch IAS officer of the Union Territory, stunned him
with a presentation to force him to order an inquiry into any
possibility of such a rigging. Chawla is himself a Union Territory cadre
IAS of 1969 batch.

Deputy Election Commissioner Balakrishnan has
been asked to conduct the inquiry on the basis of a report handed over
by Saigal to the CEC, with a software he got developed to show how the
elections can be rigged.

Saigal, who is an IIT alumni, has
demanded an urgent check of the programme that runs the EVMs used in
elections since 2004. He demonstrated with his software that its
manipulation ensured that one has to just key in a certain code number
and that will ensure every fifth vote cast in a particular polling booth
goes in favour of a certain candidate.

He got interested to find
out truth about a score of news reports in Press and on the net about
candidates and parties expressing suspicion about the EVMs not recording
the votes correctly as he wanted to ascertain whether these EVMs meet
the standard of national integrity or safeguards the sanctity of the
democracy.

In his letter to the CEC, Saigal alleged that the
software written onto the EVMs has never been checked by the Election
Commission ever since these machines were manufactured more than 6-7
years back.

His contention is that the EC merely relied on the
certificates supplied by the manufacturers, the government-run BEL and
ECIL. He alleged that these government firms had subcontracted private
parties who actually provided these certificates.

“A public
software audit of these machines from time to time, especially after and
before an election, was a must to retain the credibility of the
elections,” Saigal affirmed, demanding that for the sake of transparency
names and ownerships of these private companies must be disclosed as
also the details of the factories where they were actually manufactured.

The
records retained in the factories must also be immediately taken over
by the Commission to prevent any tampering and to facilitate an audit,
he said.

He also pointed out how, after nearly two years of
deliberation, Germany’s Supreme Court ruled last March that e-voting was
unconstitutional because the average citizen could not be expected to
understand the  exact steps involved in the recording and tallying of
votes. Earlier, Ireland had given up E-voting for similar reasons.

In
the US too, after considerable controversy the Federal Election
Commission has come up in 2005 with detailed voting system guidelines
which run into more than 400 pages. Saigal said it is noteworthy that
not any of the safeguards mentioned in these guidelines is in place in
India.

Saigal said he had gone into all the safeguards built into
the E-voting system in India with the help of former colleagues and IT
experts and finds it both ‘possible and plausible’ to rig these machines
and get a crooked result.

He says if the credibility of the
electoral process is to be ensured, pre- and post-election checks of the
software now fused onto the chips of the EVMs is a must.

It is
not that all the 10 lakh and odd machines used in the poll need to be
checked. If we take only those booths where one of the candidates has
received 75 per cent of the votes and in constituencies where the margin
of the winner is less than 15,000, not more than 7000-odd machines will
need to be checked.

Saigal argues in his report that “if we
cannot do this we must revert to the paper ballot.” The need for a fair,
free and transparent polling system transcends any reasons anyone may
have to the contrary, he added.
Saigal says he organised a mock poll
on a laptop to demonstrate how the results can be scewed by inserting a
numerical code which is so simple. Just press F2, followed by the number
of the favoured candidate. The demo showed that this code can be keyed
in at any stage, even at the time of the poll by any voter.

Those
who attended the mock exercise included Ms Asa Das, retired Secretary,
Government of India, K F Fabian, retired IFS officer and former
ambassador, Ravi Kathpalia, ex-controller general of accounts, and S K
Agnihotri and Dr Krishan Saigal, retired former chief secretaries of
Assam.

Saigal says at first glance, it does appear that there are
adequate safeguards in place, as is mentioned in the FAQs on the
Election Commission website, Returning Officers manual and details given
in the website of the manufacturer, BEL.

He, however, asserts in
his letter to CEC that there are huge gaps in the safeguards. “Take the
assurance of the manufacturer that ‘Programme codes once written and
fused in this OTPROM (One Time Programmable Read Only Memory) cannot be
read back or altered by anyone including the manufacturer’.

Does
this mean that even the Election Commission, when it received the
machines, did not check and has not checked since whether the programme
fused in by the manufacturer did not have a secret code as a string like
the one that we have prepared, Saigal asked.

“If, as it seems,
the EC it relying on the certificate given by the manufacturer, we have
no protection whatsoever against the manufacturer itself preparing a
program like the one prepared by the undersigned and  fusing it onto the
chip/circuit board,” he affirms.

Once the election process
begins, the EC claims total transparency in all its actions. First of
all the machines are taken out of storage and sent to the Districts.
Thereafter, according to a Govt of India website, ‘….these machines are
checked only by the engineers of the two PSUs before each election…..’

Saigal
says it is not clear what this ‘checking’ is all about and whether
these ‘engineers’ are under the control of the EC. They use some
‘equipment’ to prepare the machine by removing the result of the
previous election and do not tamper or check the software chip in any
way, the EC claims.

“If this is all they do, why they need to
come at all: surely the result could be deleted by simply pressing a
button, which any official of EC could do! It is like you and me calling
on Microsoft engineers to come in every time we need to permanently
delete some program from our desktops!”

The EC claims that among
the safeguards is the fact that randomisation is done at many levels so
that it is impossible to find out which particular machine will go to
which particular booth. Moreover, the order in which candidates are
going to be listed in the electoral roll is known only a few days before
the poll; so it is not possible for someone to rig the EVM’s software
to favour a particular candidate.

Saigal, however, contests it.
He says it is easy to say that randomisation will be of no help if the
software is tricked. As for the fact that order of candidates is decided
only a few days before the poll, with a specially prepared software the
poll can be rigged at the time of the poll by any voter, he points out.

“No, these safeguards are mere cosmetics; what we really need
is a fool-proof method of checking whether the software in any/all
machines has been corrupted through lapse of time or deliberate
tampering or was so corrupted in the first place,” the former Delhi
chief secretary added.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

NEW DELHI:
The Indian Election Commission (EC) could be sitting on a major
election-rigging scandal, following a presentation on Fridayshowing how
the software used in the electronic voting machines(EVMs) can be
manipulated.

Omesh Saigal, an engineering graduate and former
Delhi chief secretary, stunned the EC with a presentation showing that
the software used in the EVMs can be manipulated to favour a particular
party or candidate. Following the presentation, Chief Election
Commissioner (CEC) Navin Chawla ordered an inquiry into the possibility
of such rigging during the recently concluded elections in India and
Indian-held Kashmir (IHK).

Deputy Election Commissioner
Balakrishnan was asked to conduct the inquiry on the basis of a report
handed over by Saigal to the CEC, along with the software he had
developed to show how the e-voting machines could be rigged.

Saigal,
who is an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), New Delhi alumni,
demanded an urgent check of the programme that runs the EVMs used in
elections since 2004. The demonstration showed that after just keying in
a certain code, the EVMs put every fifth vote in favour of a certain
candidate. In his letter to the CEC, Saigal alleged that the EVM
software had not been checked by the EC since the machines were
manufactured more than 6 to 7 years ago.

His argued that the EC
merely relied on the certificates provided by the manufacturers, the
government-run Bharat Electronics Limited(BEL) and Electronics
Corporation of India Limited (ECIL). He alleged that the two firms had
subcontracted private parties who actually provided the certificates.

http://www.dailytim es.com.pk/ default.asp? page=2009\ 074\story_ 4-7-2009_ pg7_4

http://janamejayan.wordpress.com/2009/07/04/india’s-e-elections-rigged/

India’s e-elections rigged?

Saturday, July 04, 2009

NEW
DELHI: The Indian Election Commission (EC) could be sitting on a major
election-rigging scandal, following a presentation on Friday showing how
the software used in the electronic voting machines (EVMs) can be
manipulated.

Omesh Saigal, an engineering graduate and former
Delhi chief secretary, stunned the EC with a presentation showing that
the software used in the EVMs can be manipulated to favour a particular
party or candidate. Following the presentation, Chief Election
Commissioner (CEC) Navin Chawla ordered an inquiry into the possibility
of such rigging during the recently concluded elections in India and
Indian-held Kashmir (IHK).

Deputy Election Commissioner
Balakrishnan was asked to conduct the inquiry on the basis of a report
handed over by Saigal to the CEC, along with the software he had
developed to show how the e-voting machines could be rigged.

Saigal,
who is an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), New Delhi alumni,
demanded an urgent check of the programme that runs the EVMs used in
elections since 2004. The demonstration showed that after just keying in
a certain code, the EVMs put every fifth vote in favour of a certain
candidate. In his letter to the CEC, Saigal alleged that the EVM
software had not been checked by the EC since the machines were
manufactured more than 6 to 7 years ago.

His argued that the EC
merely relied on the certificates provided by the manufacturers, the
government-run Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Electronics
Corporation of India Limited (ECIL). He alleged that the two firms had
subcontracted private parties who actually provided the certificates.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2009\07\04\story_4-7-2009_pg7_4

Rigging possible through EVMs: ex-bureaucrat

Maneesh Chhibber Posted online: Friday , Jul 03, 2009 at 0047 hrs

New
Delhi : A former civil servant has raised questions about the claims by
the Election Commission of India (ECI) that the electronic voting
machines (EVMs) can’t be rigged or hacked.

Omesh Saigal, who has
served as Chief Secretary of Delhi and retired as Secretary to
Government of India, had written to Chief Election Commissioner Navin
Chawla, claiming that a detailed study conducted by him with the help of
information technology experts had shown that rigging of EVMs is
“possible and plausible”.

When contacted, Saigal told The Indian
Express that he met Chawla on Wednesday to explain the methodology
adopted by him for the study and its results.

“It is an important
issue as the fate of this country’s democratic set-up hinges on the
fairness of the elections. There shouldn’t be an iota of doubt about the
same,” he said.

Saigal also cited a study conducted by the Johns
Hopkins University and Rice University, which established that if one
gets to know the source code of an EVM, it is possible for a single
person to cast unlimited ballots without detection.

“To see if a
similar fraud could be done in India, on my request a young programmer
wrote a very simple programme which could skew the result if a
pre-programmed code number was keyed in. A mock poll showed that every
5th vote after the first 10 would go in favour of a particular
candidate. This poll was conducted in the presence of some eminent
people, whose names have also been sent to the CEC. I intend to conduct
this poll before the EC,” Saigal said.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/484802/

First,
it was Ghulam Nabi Azad who spoke about EVM tampering in Orissa. Now,
it is a veteran leader speaking about lack of transparency in EVM and
EVM technical snags in MP.

It is time Chawla, Chief Election Commissioner wakes up to his responsibilities and acts.

Kalyanaraman

Faults in Electronic Voting Machines(EVMs) lead to defeat of Congress in Madhya Pradesh: Srinivas

New
Delhi, Jul 1 : Veteran Congress leader and former Madhya Pradesh
Assembly Speaker Srinivas Tiwari today said defeat of the Congress in
the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections in the state was due to technical
snags in Electronic Voting Machines(EVMs).

He termed the defeat of the Congress in the state a ‘’ defeat on paper'’.

In
a discussion with UNI reporters at the agency HQ here, Mr Tiwari said
there is no transparency in the EVMs because the machine does not
clearly show the voter about the party or candidate for whom the vote
was cast.

Lack of transparency in the EVMs is against the spirit of democracy, he said.

He strongly asserted that it is the democratic right of voters to know about the party for which they have cast their votes.

He
said there is a system followed in many countries where the voters know
about the party or candidate for which they have voted.

He demanded that such a system be adopted by the Election Commission ofIndia.

He
hailed the victory of the Congress in the recent Lok Sabha elections
and said the reason behind the victory was that people wanted a stable
and single party to come into power.

He said the people have voted with full democratic spirit in the Lok Sabha polls.

Earlier,
the Congress suffered because it was doing the ‘’politics of
compromise'’ with other parties. But now the Congress has moved ahead
and contested the election on its own and due to which it has gained
solidarity.

— UNI

http://www.newkerala.com/nkfullnews-1-65212.html

Manipulation of EVMs in 2009 polls – petitions in Madras HC; Chawla: EVM can handle only 16 X4 candidates

 

Azhagiri, Baalu’s entry to LS challenged in HC

 

NT Bureau | Tue, 30 Jun, 2009 , 02:40 PM

.

The
Election Commission has declared them as winners in the recently
concluded Lok Sabha elections. But the opponents are not ready to take
things that easy.

Petitions challenging the election of Union
Minister M K Azhagiri, former Union Minister and leader of DMK
Parliamentary party T R Baalu and AIADMK MP P Kumar were filed in the
Madras High Court on Monday, seeking to declare the elections as null
and void.

Charging Azhagiri, son of Chief Minister M Karunanidhi,
with bribing voters of Madurai Lok Sabha constituency, losing CPI (M)
candidate P Mohan, in his petition, sought a direction to declare him
elected instead.

Stating that police had registered a case based
on complaints that Azhagiri had distributed money to bribe voters, Mohan
alleged that about 70 per cent of voters in the constituency had been
induced by the Minister through persons acting as his agents with his
consent and knowledge.

Mohan also accused the State government
PRO of abusing his official position and acting as an agent for
Azhagiri. Challenging the election of Baalu from Sriperumbudur
Parliamentary constituency, PMK candidate A K Moorthy claimed there was a
contradiction in the total number of votes polled in EVMs and official
details of Assembly segment-wise votes polled.

Claiming that
votes polled in EVMs of six Assembly segments comprising the
constituency were 7,96,461, he said the official document of Assembly
segment-wise total of EVMs showed only 7,93,597 votes had been
registered, indicating a difference of 2,864 votes.

Moorthy also
contended that there were numerous contradictions in details on dispatch
of EVMs and their actual use. He claimed that EVMs used were found to
be either doctored or defective as they never showed correct
particulars. ‘This has materially affected the result of the election in
so far as the returned candidates is concerned,’ he said.

Moorthy
further alleged that Baalu had printed over 11.92 lakh booklets at a
cost of over Rs 2.38 crore, containing glossy pictures of DMK leaders
and a voters-slip with the voters name, thus violating section 77 of
RPA. Moorthy had lost by a margin of 25,024 votes. An independent
candidate P Nagarajan also challenged the election of Baalu.

Alleging
improper inclusion of votes by wrong statements prepared from EVMs,
Sarubala R Thondaiman, the losing Congress candidate from Tiruchi
Parliamentary constituency, sought to declare election of AIADMK’s P
Kumar as ‘illegal, null and void’.

Sarubala claimed that she had
led in all segments as per official details furnished for each Assembly
segment making up the Lok Sabha constituency but the final tally showed
that Kumar had secured 70,949 votes in Srirangam segment as against
50,767 polled by her.

She said her election agent had drawn the
attention of poll officials of the ‘discrepancies’ in votes polled in
the segment and had requested the Returning Officer to recount and
re-total the votes. However, the request was ignored.

http://newstodaynet.com/printer.php?id=17842

Spate of petitions challenge LS verdicts

30 Jun 2009, 0158 hrs IST, A Subramani, TNN

 

CHENNAI:
In Tamil Nadu, the election process does not get over with the
declaration of results — or so it seems. So far, the election of six of
the 39 victorious candidates have been challenged with the filing of as
many election petitions in the Madras high court. This includes top
guns like Union home minister P Chidambaram and union minister for
chemicals and fertilizers M K Azhagiri, the elder son of chief minister M
Karunanidhi.

Others, who face a challenge to their election,
are Union minister of state for information and broadcasting
Jagathrakshakan (Arakkonam), former Union minister T R Baalu (DMK) and
film actor J K Ritheesh (DMK). The election of P Kumar from Tiruchi
constituency on an AIADMK ticket too has been questioned by former mayor
of Tiruchi and losing candidate Sarubala R Thondaiman (Congress).

Three
separate election petitions challeging the election of Azhagiri, Baalu
and Kumar were filed on Monday. “More petitions are expected on Tuesday,
as the mandatory 45-day limitation period expires that day,” said a
court official. Section 81 of the Representation of the People Act
mandates that any election could be challenged if a petition is filed
within 45 days of the declaration of results. The petitions, which are
yet to be admitted, are likely to be posted before separate benches.

In
his election petition, P Mohan, CPM candidate from Madurai, alleged
that Azhagiri and his men had bribed or sought to woo at least 70% of
the electorate with financial inducements. “Besides bribing voters, DMK
cadres paid Rs 500 each to women who performed aarathi for Azhagiri,” he
said. “Free dhotis and sarees too were distributed in many villages,”
he claimed.

According to Mohan, public relation officers in
state service abused their official positions and acted as agents of
Azhagiri. Besides, he used his influence to pressure transport
corporations to ply buses to several areas, he said. Referring to the
transfer of Madurai city commissioner of police Nandabalan, the CPM
candidate said it established the commission of corrupt practices.

Two
petitions - one by A K Moorthy (PMK) and the other by P Nagarajan
(independent) - have been filed challenging the validity of the election
of Baalu from Sriperumbudur constituency.

Moorthy, himself a
former Union minister, echoed the AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa’s
allegation that electronic voting machines had been tampered with in
this constituency. The PMK leader claimed that the control unit of the
EVMs were manipulated in such a way that only one vote would be
registered against his name even if he received five votes. “The
remaining four votes would automatically be recorded as if they were
polled in favour of Baalu,” Moorthy said.

Nagarajan cited the
sudden reduction of bus fare by state transport corporations to show
that the poll was skewed in favour of Baalu, and added that it was a
brazen illegality and amounted to corrupt electoral practice.

Sarubala
Thondaiman is the only candidate from the UPA camp to question the
election of a rival. Assailing the election of P Kumar of the AIADMK,
she said the returning officer announced the results in a whimsical
manner despite her poll agent demanding recounting of votes polled in
Srirangam assembly constituency. Claiming that a “vast discrepancy” was
noticed in polling figures in that constituency, she said counting norms
were violated by officials.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chennai/Spate-of-petitions-challenge-LS-verdicts/articleshow/4717774.cms

 

Reprogrammed EVMs (with date/time stamping) vulnerable for tampering.

Introduction of time-stamping programs in EVMs make the machines vulnerable for tampering

Chief
Election Commissioner Chawla in his remark of June 23, 2009, does NOT
refer to the fact that the EVMs control systems were modified in January
2009 to introduce time-date stamping.

A total of about 13,60,000 EVMs were used in the 2009 polls in 828,000 polling booths.

OF
these, 180,000 EVMs supplied by BEL and ECIL were EVMs with improvised
program features for date/time stamping. The news report seems to
indicate that this improvised program was NOT incorporated in ALL the
13,60,000 EVMs. This means that machines with different program features
were used in different polling booths.

On the introduction of the date/time stamp improvised program modification

This changes the nature of the EVMs from ‘stand-alone’ machines which Navin Chawla claims ‘Cannot be manipulated’.

Starting
time and date have to be external inputs in to the Programmable Read
Only Memory (PROM) and then alone the EVMs (Balloting units) can
continue to maintain the time clock. Any number of manipulations could
have been made in the chip which contained this time-stamping program.
What internal and external auditing procedures were adopte by EC to
ensure that the new machines supplied in January 2009 did in fact
function as per the specifications prescribed by the EC?

Kalyanaraman

EVMs cannot be tampered, vouches CED Chawla

June 23, 2009

Allaying
all doubts on the possibility of Electronic Voting Machine tampering,
Chief Election Commissioner Navin Chawla on Tuesday said the machines
used in India are stand-alone machines and cannot be manipulated.

http://birlaa.com/news/evms-cannot-be-tampered-vouches-cec-chawla/294873

Quartus II Tcl Example: Date Time Stamp

This
example shows how to create date time stamps with Tcl. You can use a
date time stamp in a scripted design flow to record exactly when the
script ran. Writing the date time stamp into your design files provides
on-chip storage of when the design was compiled.

You can use Tcl
commands to generate a custom-formatted date time string with just the
date and time elements you want. Use the Tcl command clock seconds to
return the current time and clock format to generate a custom-formatted
date time string. Refer to the Date and Time Formatting web page for
more information about formatting date time strings. It includes
examples and a table of formatting keywords.

Here are two examples of different formatting options for a date time string.

Example 1

The following command generates a formatted date time string with the following elements, in this order:

1.       Four digit year

2.       Two digit month (01-12)

3.       Two digit day (01-31)

4.       Two digit hour in 24-hour format (00-23)

5.       Two digit minute (00-59)

6.       Two digit seconds (00-59)

clock format [clock seconds] -format {%Y %m %d %H %M %S}

That command generates a string like this:

2005 01 10 15 16 55

Example 2

The second example generates a formatted date time string with the following elements, in this order:

1.       Abbreviated month name followed by a period

2.       Two digit day of the month followed by a comma

3.       Four digit year

4.       The time in HH:MM:SS format

5.       An AM/PM indicator

clock format [clock seconds] -format {%b. %d, %Y %I:%M:%S %p}

That command generates a string like this:

Jan. 10, 2005 03:31:20 PM

Converting the Date Time String

You
usually have to convert the ASCII date time string to another format
(such as hexadecimal or binary) to store it in a register bank or
memory. Here are two examples of format conversion.

Decimal to Hexadecimal

If
you use date time elements that generate only numeric values, you can
treat them as decimal numbers for the purpose of conversion. The
following command generates a date stamp of the day number in the year
(001 - 366), followed by the hour in 24-hour format, then the minute.

set str [clock format [clock seconds] -format {%j%H%M}]

set out [format “%X” $str]

That command generates a string like this in the variable out:

17D40F

ASCII to Hexadecimal

The
following command generates a date time string and converts it to a
packed hexadecimal string stored in the variable out. Each pair of
hexadecimal digits is the hexadecimal code for the ASCII character.

set str [clock format [clock seconds] -format {%b. %d, %Y %I:%M:%S %p}]

binary scan $str “H*” out

That command generates a string like this in the variable out:

4a616e2e2031302c20323030352030333a33363a303520504d

Design Examples Disclaimer

These
design examples may only be used within Altera Corporation devices and
remain the property of Altera. They are being provided on an “as-is”
basis and as an accommodation; therefore, all warranties,
representations, or guarantees of any kind (whether express, implied, or
statutory) including, without limitation, warranties of
merchantability, non-infringement, or fitness for a particular purpose,
are specifically disclaimed. Altera expressly does not recommend,
suggest, or require that these examples be used in combination with any
other product not provided by Altera.

http://www.altera.com/support/examples/tcl/tcl-date-time-stamp.html

 

Smarter EVMs to make voting tamper proof

The Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) supplied for the April-May elections have more improvised features than the older ones

Published on 3/30/2009 4:29:18 PM
By Azera Rahman

New
Delhi: The Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) supplied for the April-May
elections have more improvised features than the older ones. The new and
improved machines will also give hourly updates of balloting besides
registering vote and the exact time of casting it.

” It has
improvised features like in-built clocks which record the exact time a
ballot is cast,” Bharat Electronics (BEL) General Manager, Amol Newaskar
said.

BEL is one of the two public sector companies manufacturing EVMs for the Election Commission.

“Not
just that, the EVM also records the exact time when the whole balloting
process starts and when the last vote is being cast. It gives an hourly
update of the number of votes cast, and if there is any unusual trend
in the process, it can be easily detected. Thus the whole process
becomes tamper-proof,” he added.

For instance, if there is a
heavy rush in polling at a particular hour, the officials can be on
alert or if a voter thinks that his vote is being tampered with, the
exact time when he cast his vote can be retrieved.

The Election
Commission had placed an order for 102,000 EVMs to BEL for the 2009
general elections - all of which have been supplied by January, Newaskar
said.

Besides BEL, the other company authorised by the Election
Commission to manufacture EVMs is the Hyderabad-based Electronics
Corporation of India (ECIL). Both the companies supply an almost equal
number of EVMs.

According to ECIL Chairman K.S. Rajasekhara Rao,
78,000 machines with the improvised features have been supplied to the
Election Commission.

“We have to supply another 3,000 EVMs by March 31,” Rao said.

Explaining
some of the new features of the machine, Newaskar said, the new EVMs
are also more user-friendly. Earlier most of the instructions on the
machine were printed in short form which was not easily understood, but
now more images are used instead.

For the benefit of the visually impaired, the EVMs also have Braille markings on them.

“So
that a visually impaired person does not have any trouble in casting
his or her vote, Braille markings have been made close to the serial
number of the candidates. Since 2007, we have manufactured 250,000 such
EVMs with Braille markings,” Newaskar said.

The new EVMs, he
added, also have a better battery life. If a machine is not used for 10
minutes, it goes on sleep mode and shows in its indicator if the charge
is low. Data however is not lost in either case.

An estimated 1.36 million electronic voting machines will be used in 828,000 polling booths across the country.

 http://www.igovernment.in/site/Smarter-EVMs-to-make-voting-tamper-proof/

http://sites.google.com/site/hindunew/electronic-voting-machines

 

So,
selective district level tampering of EVMs for district level
constituencies was possible during 2009 polls. Together with new smarter
EVMs introduced for 2009 elections, the responsibility for EC for
auditing the systems increased many fold. Was EC equal to the gigantic
system auditing task? Was systems audit (using both internal and
external auditors) in fact done for the EVMs with smarter programs? The
public nature of the election process demands answers from EC. Who is to
bell the cat? kalyanaraman  

EC to undertake EVM randomisation for the first time

Press
Trust of India / New Delhi April 5, 2009, 16:20 IST In a bid to prevent
any tampering of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), the Election
Commission (EC) has decided to use for the first time a two-stage
randomisation of the machines to avoid pre-programming in favour of any
particular candidate.Under the process, the machines will be selected
randomly before being sent to the polling stations to make sure that
nobody comes to know beforehand to which polling station a specific EVM
will be used.”EVM randomisation procedure is being introduced in this
general elections. This is a precautionary measure to ensure that nobody
can know beforehand about which constituency or polling station a
specific EVM will be sent or used,” a senior election official told PTI
here.During the first stage, serial numbers of the EVMs will be listed
under the jurisdiction of a District Election Officer. Then, the EVMs,
to be used in a particular constituency, will be randomly selected
through a computerised process.Further randomisation will be done by
Returning Officer afterwards to determine which specific EVM will be
used in a particular polling station of that constituency.EVM
randomisation procedure was introduced in the recent assembly elections,
including to that of the Delhi assembly, the official
said.                                                                                                                             
http://www.business-standard.com/india/printpage.php?autono=58029&tp=on
Smarter EVMs to make voting tamper proof

The Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) supplied for the April-May elections have more improvised features than the older ones

Published on 3/30/2009 4:29:18 PM

By Azera Rahman

New
Delhi: The Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) supplied for the April-May
elections have more improvised features than the older ones. The new and
improved machines will also give hourly updates of balloting besides
registering vote and the exact time of casting it.

” It has
improvised features like in-built clocks which record the exact time a
ballot is cast,” Bharat Electronics (BEL) General Manager, Amol Newaskar
said.

BEL is one of the two public sector companies manufacturing EVMs for the Election Commission.

“Not
just that, the EVM also records the exact time when the whole balloting
process starts and when the last vote is being cast. It gives an hourly
update of the number of votes cast, and if there is any unusual trend
in the process, it can be easily detected. Thus the whole process
becomes tamper-proof,” he added.

For instance, if there is a
heavy rush in polling at a particular hour, the officials can be on
alert or if a voter thinks that his vote is being tampered with, the
exact time when he cast his vote can be retrieved.

The Election
Commission had placed an order for 102,000 EVMs to BEL for the 2009
general elections - all of which have been supplied by January, Newaskar
said.

Besides BEL, the other company authorised by the Election
Commission to manufacture EVMs is the Hyderabad-based Electronics
Corporation of India (ECIL). Both the companies supply an almost equal
number of EVMs.

According to ECIL Chairman K.S. Rajasekhara Rao,
78,000 machines with the improvised features have been supplied to the
Election Commission.

“We have to supply another 3,000 EVMs by March 31,” Rao said.

Explaining
some of the new features of the machine, Newaskar said, the new EVMs
are also more user-friendly. Earlier most of the instructions on the
machine were printed in short form which was not easily understood, but
now more images are used instead.

For the benefit of the visually impaired, the EVMs also have Braille markings on them.

“So
that a visually impaired person does not have any trouble in casting
his or her vote, Braille markings have been made close to the serial
number of the candidates. Since 2007, we have manufactured 250,000 such
EVMs with Braille markings,” Newaskar said.

The new EVMs, he
added, also have a better battery life. If a machine is not used for 10
minutes, it goes on sleep mode and shows in its indicator if the charge
is low. Data however is not lost in either case.

An estimated 1.36 million electronic voting machines will be used in 828,000 polling booths across the country.

 http://www.igovernment.in/site/Smarter-EVMs-to-make-voting-tamper-proof/

From: Frederick [FN] Noronha * फ्रेडरिक नोरोन्या <fredericknoronha@…>
Subject: EVMs .. .some more discussion
Newsgroups: gmane.org.telecom.india-gii
Date: 2009-04-24 23:32:26 GMT (8 weeks, 3 days, 5 hours and 4 minutes ago)
Expires: This article expires on 2009-05-09

Q&A | ‘It’s possible to trace back every vote in EVM’
A
G Rao (left) and Ravi Poovaiah, professors at the Indian Institute of
Technology-Bombay, are responsible for altering the manner in which
India casts its ballot. They spoke with Hemali Chhapia on what went into
designing the Electronic Voting Machine in 198… The EVMs are totally
tamper-proof. In case of a court order, it is possible to
trace back every vote.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Editorial/QA–Its-possible-to-trace-back-every-vote-in-EVM/articleshow/4410881.cms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CEO to bring EVM tampering to EC’s notice for action

 

 

 

HYDERABAD:
Taking a serious note of reports questioning the tamper-proof feature
of electronic voting machines (EVM), Chief Electoral Officer I. V. Subba
Rao on Monday decided to bring these instances to the notice of the
Election Commission for suitable action against them under law. In a
blog, an IIT graduate challenged this particular feature of the EVM
being claimed by the EC as well as its

 

 

 

makers
— Electronic Corporation of India Limited (ECIL), saying that the data
introduced into the EVM could be erased by exposing magnetic field to
the machine.  The CEO also received reports suggesting that the EVM also
would lose its memory if it was exposed to magnetised polythene paper
or if a cloth coated with detergent powder was rubbed against it.
http://www.hindu.com/2009/04/14/stories/2009041450110100.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EVMs snag hits city polls

 

 

 

HYDERABAD:
Polling process got delayed at several polling stations in the city
with electronic voting machines (EVMs) developing technical glitches on
Thursday. Balloting units were replaced by election authorities at these
places to continue the polling process. Every EVM has a ballot unit
(where a voter presses the button to cast his vote)and a control unit
(where the vote is recorded). Problems cropped up in either ballot units
or control units. These EVMs encountered problems in connection (link
between control and ballot units), cable problems and other errors.

 

 

 

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Hyderabad/EVMs-snag-hits-city-polls/articleshow/4412053.cms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* * *http://article.gmane.org/gmane.org.telecom.india-gii/15033

A
request under RTI Act should be made to EC of India to clarify: 1. If
programs used on EVMs were modified in January 2009 to install
date/time-recoding of a ballot; 2. if all the new EVMs (about 200,000)
acquired in January 2009 were the only ones used in the 2009 elections;
and 3. procedures adopted to audit and validate transparently, in
consultation with political parties, to ensure that Jan. 2009 revisions
were properly implemented without allowing for any external tampering
using wireless chip implants in selected constituencies.

Kalyanaraman

How to Trust Electronic Voting

June 22, 2009

EDITORIAL NY TIMES

Electronic
voting machines that do not produce a paper record of every vote cast
cannot be trusted. In 2008, more than one-third of the states, including
New Jersey and Texas, still did not require all votes to be recorded on
paper. Representative Rush Holt has introduced a good bill that would
ban paperless electronic voting in all federal elections. Congress
should pass it while there is still time to get ready for 2010.

In
paperless electronic voting, voters mark their choices, and when the
votes have all been cast, the machine spits out the results. There is no
way to be sure that a glitch or intentional vote theft — by malicious
software or computer hacking — did not change the outcome. If there is a
close election, there is also no way of conducting a meaningful
recount.

Mr. Holt’s bill would require paper ballots to be used
for every vote cast in November 2010. It would help prod election
officials toward the best of the currently available technologies:
optical-scan voting. With optical scans, voters fill out a paper ballot
that is then read by computer — much like a standardized test. The votes
are counted quickly and efficiently by computer, but the paper ballot
remains the official vote, which can then be recounted by hand.

The
bill would also require the states to conduct random hand recounts of
paper ballots in 3 percent of the precincts in federal elections, and
more in very close races. These routine audits are an important check on
the accuracy of the computer count.

The bill has several
provisions designed to ease the transition for cash-strapped local
governments. It authorizes $1 billion in financing to replace
non-complying voting systems, and more money to pay for the audits. It
also allows states extra time to phase out A.T.M.-style machines, in
which voters make their choices on a computer screen and the machine
produces a paper record — like a receipt — of the vote.

Such
machines are more reliable than paperless voting. But they are still not
ideal, since voters do not always check the paper record to be sure it
is accurate. By 2014, machines that produce paper trails would have to
be replaced by ones in which voters directly record their votes on paper
— the best system of all.

The House leadership should make
passing Mr. Holt’s bill a priority. Few issues matter as much as
ensuring that election results can be trusted.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/22/opinion/22mon2.html?_r=1&pagewanted=print

Voting Machines Can Never Be Trusted, Says GOP Computer Security Expert By , Velvet Revolution

 

Printed on June 21, 2009
http://www.alternet.org/story/94895/

In
an interview from October, 2006, that has only now seen the light of
day, Stephen Spoonamore, one of the world’s leading experts in cyber
crime and a self-described “life-long Republican” destroys Diebold’s
already non-existent credibility.

Spoonamore lays it out for
anyone to see and understand. If you care about America and it’s
survival as a democratic republic, you’ll watch this interview.

The interviews are on YouTube and are being carried by a new site created by Velvet Revolution, RoveCyberGate.com.

Read below the fold for details and background.

There
is a civil suit pending in Ohio, King Lincoln Bronzeville v. Blackwell.
We covered a July 17 press conference about this case here. The issues
in this case are complex, but in a nutshell, some Ohio voters filed a
lawsuit about the 2004 election. These voters want to get the deposition
of Mike Connell, a Republican IT expert who set up Ohio’s computers for
the 2004 election while simultaneously running the IT network for the
Bush/Cheney 2004 campaign.

Connell’s allegiance is clear; he is
the co-owner of Connell Donatelli Inc., the company that was the
registrant, administrator, and tech organizer of the website for the
so-called Swiftboat Veterans for Truth. Connell has also been called “a
high-tech Forrest Gump” who was “‘at the scene of every crime’ for
numerous questionable elections since 2000.”

The plaintiffs are
working with an expert witness, Stephen Spoonamore. Spoonamore,according
to Arnebeck, “works for credit card companies chasing data thieves,
identity thieves around the globe, and also consults with government
agencies including the Secret Service, the Pentagon, and the Federal
Bureau of Investigation in criminal matters. [He’s] really one of the
top, and in fact the top private cop in the world on the subject of data
security.”

In this interview, “Spoon,” as his friends call him,
cuts through the lies and dissembling of Diebold and explains in
language that anyone can understand how our elections have been stolen
and how they are going to be stolen again. Even though this interview is
almost two years old, the issues are still, unfortunately, germane to
our elections.

The interview is broken into eight segments, and
each segment is only a few minutes long. We urge you to watch each
segment for yourself, which won’t take very long. It is only through an
electorate that is educated about the problems with electronic voting
and the lies told by the e-voting companies that we will have a chance
to take our elections back from the crooks who are currently in control
of them.

Following are some excerpts from the interview, but we urge you to watch the entire thing.

In segment one:

Spoon
explains that Diebold “refuse[s] to show the architecture [of their
voting machines] or allow it to be exposed to any kind of significant
expert.” He says, “The people who … they claim have certified their
machines have no knowledge of architecture whatsoever.”

Spoon
continues, “The fundamental structures that Diebold has used to set up
their voting machines are inherently flawed. They are what I would
consider IT junk.”

He explains how a Diebold ATM is set up with
checks, double checks, triple checks, and even quadruple checks to
ensure that the machine works the way it is supposed to. And, adds
Spoon, “Those people [the people who check a bank’s ATM] are not from
Diebold. One of them is from the installation group and one of them is
from the bank. Otherwise, the [ATM] machine is not certified for use.”

When
the interviewer says, “So what you’re saying is there’s more security
regarding the dispensing of a $20 bill and the fact that if you don’t
get that $20 bill, there is more of an audit system set up [as compared
to any audit system for the counting of our votes],” Spoon replies, “Of
course.”

Regarding the 2000 elections, he says, “There is a very
strong argument to be made that the 2000 election was electronically
stolen, the hanging chads were just a distraction.”

In segment two:

Spoon
talks about the Department of Homeland Security’s warning via the
US-CERT Center (the United States’ Cyber Emergency Response Team)
“warning that the way Diebold systems are architected in the way the
tabulators communicate to the central state tabulation center is subject
to foreign national hacking [as well as hacking from within the U.S.].
They put out a warning about it. To the best of my knowledge, this is
still the case.” He explains how this can happen.

On to segment three.

In
talking about memory cards, which hold the electronic votes and are fed
into tabulation machines and which have extensive security flaws, Spoon
explains a serious issue regarding negative vote numbers.

Spoonamore:

There
has been repeated issues [sic] where people have said they’ve seen
votes backing up in tabulators as cards are put in [meaning votes are
being subtracted instead of added]. Okay, well that would indicate that
something in that program is not adding cards forward, it may be adding
cards backward.

There is no reason in the world a
negative number should ever be able to exist on a voting card. And yet,
in all the voting card code that I’ve looked at, Diebold has a negative
field that allows a negative number to be entered in a vote total. Why?
Why would you want — to steal votes. That way you can start with a card
that has negative a hundred votes for somebody, then it takes them a
hundred votes before they’re even back to zero.

Interviewer:

And yet Diebold does not allow, for proprietary reasons, anyone to review the vote tabulation software?

Spoonamore:

They let us work on their cash machines, but no, they won’t let anybody see their software.

Interviewer:

Any thoughts as to why?

Spoonamore:

Because they’re stealing elections.

Referring
to the 2002 election results in Georgia, where Republican Saxby
Chamblissdefeated incumbent Senator Max Cleland, Spoon says, “If you
look at the case of Saxby Chambliss, that’s ridiculous. The man was not
elected. He lost that election by five points. Max Cleland won. They
flipped the votes, clear as day.”

Spoonamore continues:

“I
do not believe George Bush won [in 2004], I believe Kerry won. And I’m a
member of the GOP. But I want to make it clear: we need to live in a
place where your [a candidate’s] election actually is reflected in the
vote. I want my candidate to win, but if my candidate loses, I care a
lot more about the process than I care about the victory.”

Would that all Americans thought that way.

And segment four.

Spoon
discusses the infamous Georgia patch from the 2002 election. “I’ve
personally reviewed a number of pieces of code from Diebold. It’s
garbage. Some of the code is awful. I reviewed the patch that they put
in Georgia, 2002, that many of them claimed is a clock function. It’s
not a clock function, it’s a comparator function. … If it were me and I
were to guess what that code is, it’s a vote flipping code. It’s not a
clock function, that I know.”

Segment Five:

Interviewer:

So this is not a partisan issue?

 

Spoonamore:

It
shouldn’t be. This is a fascist issue. People who don’t want voting and
want fascist control but have people think they’re voting. I mean,
people forget the fact there was voting in Hitler’s Germany. Guess what?
He won with 90% of the vote all the time. There was voting in Saddam’s
Iraq. And guess what? Saddam won the vote all the time. Well, did they
win? Was that actually the will of the voter? Was that the way the votes
were even cast?

Spoonamore goes on to explain that with credit
cards, at least 2.5% of all transactions are fraudulent, and that they
cannot get that number any lower. He believes that electronic voting, no
matter how transparent and secure, will also have an error rate,
whether from fraud or flawed technology or both, of at least 2.5%.

Do
you want to have a system in place where there is a permanent
background of electronic voting fraud of 2-and-a-half percent? That
means you have to win an election by a minimum of 3% to know that you’ve
won? I don’t. Paper ballots, please. That’s the only thing that can be
secure.

Segment six:

Interviewer:

[Regarding the Harri Hursti hack] Diebold has come back every time and said, “Well, you know, that hack can’t happen.”

 

Spoonamore:

They’re lying. They’re lying. Diebold is lying.

 

Interviewer:

What, their systems can’t be hacked?

 

Spoonamore:

There
is no system, electronic, in the world that cannot be hacked. I’ve
spent my entire life building or hacking electronic systems. … There is
no system in the world — none — that cannot be hacked. … End of
discussion.

Interviewer:

Then how do you secure such a piece of equipment then?

Spoonamore:

You
don’t. You use paper ballots. I can’t make it any clearer than this.
You cannot have secure electronic voting. It doesn’t exist. … You must
have paper ballots.

Spoon continues: “There are people out there
– and there is [sic] a lot of them — who don’t really want to win
elections. What they want to do is they want to steal them. … I don’t
want to have a society where we’re not sure who won. I want to live in a
democracy where there is a valid capacity to audit the entire trail.”

Well said, Mr. Spoonamore.

Segment seven:

“I
think they [the Diebold machines] are brilliantly designed. They’re
designed to steal elections. … There are back doors in the tabulations
machines, which is what the US-CERT warning is about. There’s a backdoor
communication that allows secondary computers to talk to the actual
tabulators electronically from a distance.” Spoon goes on to describe
some of the technical details of electronic voting machine election
fraud.

And lastly, segment eight:

Interviewer:

Many people who are denying problems, they’re saying, “Oh well, these are just Democrats signaling alarms — “

 

Spoonamore:

I’m
a Republican. I’m a Republican, I worked on Giuliani’s campaign, I
worked on Bloomberg’s campaign, I worked on John McCain’s campaign. I’ve
been a life-long member of the party. This is not a Democrat/Republican
issue. This is not a partisan issue. This is a democracy issue. If you
actually care about a constitutional democracy in which each person
votes, that vote is validated, and the people who end up in office are
reflected on the basis of the way people voted, you care about this
issue.

If you don’t want people to vote, if you don’t want
people’s vote to count, and you want to rule without owning it by a
mandate, then you are very supportive of Diebold.

Relative to
this statement from Mr. Spoonamore, please watch this youtube clip of
Paul Weyrich, co-founder of the Heritage Foundation and the Moral
Majority, talking about voting:

That’s a rare and candid admission of a still on-going strategy to prevent Americans from registering and/or voting.

The interview continues:

Interviewer:

I mean, who’s stealing the votes? If what you say is true, who wants to steal the elections?

Spoonamore:

I
certainly know that in all the statistical information, it seems that
in every single bizarre circumstance where exit data, polling data, or
informational data swings, it has all been in favor of Republicans. But
not the sort of Republicans who I want to see in office at all. These
are people who lie and people who cheat. That is not the conservative
way. Conservatives conserve things. We are respectful and we are
constitutionally based.

You know what the real problem is? People
do not want to believe that people want to steal elections in this
country. I’ve done extensive work over the years for voting monitoring
overseas. If we had a variance in the exit polling of even 2% from what
actually was tabulated — which is exactly how the Orange Revolution
came about in Ukraine — we would be in there explaining to people
something is wrong.

We have had numerous elections in this
country now in which — where you use Diebold Election System machines
– that what happens with the vote isway off, five, ten, as much as
twelve percent from the exit polling and the actual survey. These
statistical numbers are impossible.

And the problem is Americans
do not want to believe that we have people stealing our elections. And
they must come to the realization there arepeople in this country who
want to steal elections, and we must stop them.

If you’ve read
this far, you clearly care about this issue. Please, we implore all
Americans to contact their state’s secretary of state, their House
representative, and their Senators and DEMAND they ban the use of
electronic voting machines. Demand that all elections in the United
States be conducted:

1) with a hand-marked paper ballot for every vote;

2) the ballots counted publicly and transparently at each precinct;

3) citizens allowed by law to observe the ballots being counted;

4) precinct results posted publicly before being sent to the central tabulator.

http://www.alternet.org/module/printversion/94895

 EC had known the fundamental flaws of EVMs since 2000; not remedied – Prof. Radhakrishnan

 

The first 100 days of UPA: A deceptive democracy – 3

 

By Professor P Radhakrishnan Asian Tribune (June 20, 2009)

 

 The
result of the April-May 2009 General Elections to the 15th Lok Sabha
has proved that Indian psephologists and media pundits on Indian
politics, particularly from the electronic media, are worse than
astrologers. But like astrologers even after they err they righteously
peddle their wrongs as rights, and d keep the viewers in their
shibboleth. As this is an integral part of their disingenuous commercial
and survival strategy, the less said, the better.

There have
been complaints about election rigging. As this is nothing new, India
has not had violence and mayhem as Iran witnessed recently. All the same
the complaints cannot be taken lightly.

 

In an Op-Ed
“Dangers of trusting them too much” in The New Indian Expressof  29 May
2009, reproduced with minor modifications as another Op-Ed “Are
electronic voting machines tamper-proof?” in The Hindu of 17 June 2009, 
Subramanian Swamy wrote:

Is there a possibility of rigging
electoral outcomes in a general election to the Lok Sabha? This question
has arisen not only because of the unexpected number of seats won or
lost by some parties in the recent contest. It is accentuated by the
recent spate of articles published in reputed computer engineering
journals and in the popular international press, which raise doubts
about the integrity of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).

 

Why are the EVMs so vulnerable? Swamy’s explanation is important:

 

 Each
step in the life cycle of a voting machine — from the time it is
developed and installed to when the votes are recorded and the data
transferred to a central repository for tallying — involves different
people gaining access to the machines, often installing new software. It
wouldn’t be hard for, say, an election official to paint a parallel
programme under another password on one or many voting machines that
would, before voters arrived at the poll stations, ensure a
pre-determined outcome.

 

Swamy’s article is of huge political relevance in India, as evident from his own claims:

 

The
Election Commission of India has known of these dangers since 2000. Dr
M. S. Gill, the then CEC, had arranged at my initiative for Professor
Sanjay Sarma, the father of RFID software fame at the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology (MIT), and his wife Dr Gitanjali Swamy of
Harvard, to demonstrate how unsafeguarded the chips in EVMs were. Some
changes in procedure were made subsequently by the EC. But the
fundamental flaws, which made them compliant to hacking, remained.

 

In
2004, the Supreme Court’s First Bench, comprising Chief Justice V. N.
Khare and Justices Babu and Kapadia, directed the Election Commission to
consider the technical flaws in EVMs put forward by Satinath Choudhary,
a U.S.-based software engineer, in a PIL. But the EC has failed to
consider his representation.

 

Now several High Courts are
hearing PILs on the EVMs. This is good news. I believe the time has
arrived for the Supreme Court to transfer these cases to itself, and
take a long, hard look at these riggable machines that favour a ruling
party that can ensure a pliant Election Commission. Else, elections will
soon lose their credibility and the demise of democracy will be near.
Hence evidence must now be collected by all political parties to
determine the number of constituencies in which they suspect rigging.
The number will not exceed 75, in my opinion. We can identify them as
follows: any 2009 general election result in which the main losing
candidate of a recognised party found that more than 10 per cent of the
polling booths showed fewer than five votes per booth should be taken,
prima facie, as a constituency in which rigging took place. This is
because the main recognised parties usually have more than five party
workers per booth, and hence with their families will poll a minimum of
25 votes per booth for their party candidate. If these 25 voters can
give affidavits affirming who they voted for, the High Court can treat
this as evidence and order a full inquiry.

 

If the cases
are transferred to the Supreme Court, in adjudicating them time is the
essence. If the court deals with them in its usual lackadaisical style
Swamy’s prophesy of doom, that is, elections soon losing their
credibility and  the demise of democracy will be near, may turn out to
be a reality…

 

http://asiantribune.com/06/21/the-first-100-days-of-upa-a-deceptive-democracy-–-3/

 SATURDAY, JUNE 20, 2009

EVM’s reliable : Swameiye soliyachu

Normally
Retired bureaucrats in this country even if upright in work, start
singing an altered tune either for post retirement benefits or for the
sake of his next generation- Well none of this need apply to Gopalaswami
and may be he is not going to get any berth in Rahul’s Ministry nor the
DMK’s. But if what he told is correct then all Americans, and all
Indians except Rahul, Karunanidhi and him are fools for according to him
any one who suspects an EVM is a fool. Or probably it is the ingenuity
of the people who remoted[ a new word for a new method] , that they
could do it without the know how of the chief of EC. He choosing Chennai
to clarify, means more than the words?

Seeking to allay fears
expressed by some political parties that the EVMs can be tampered with,
former Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) N Gopalaswami today said the
Electronic Voting Machines are “totally reliable”. “EVM is a stand-alone
machine, which is totally reliable,” Gopalaswami, who retired as CEC in
the midst of the recent Lok Sabha elections, said.

Unlike in
other countries, EVMs used in India are of the “single way
communication” type, he said, adding that software in a chip placed
inside the EVMs cannot be tampered with. Only less than 0.5 per cent of
the EVMs in the country reportedly malfunctioned in the recent General
election, he said, speaking at a function on ‘election 2009-an
analysis’.

Referring to the general elections, he said out of the
543 Lok Sabha seats, 448 successful candidates secured only less than
50 per cent votes.[ EVM error?]

Posted by vj at 11:47 PM

 

http://www.chennaitvnews.com/2009/06/evms-reliable-swameiye-soliyachu.html

EVMs of 2009 polls used

‘improvised features’ in the control programs

The cat is out of the bag. Azera Rahman reports that EVMs used in 2009 polls use new programs/control systems.

What impact did these program revisions have on the increased possibilities of EVM tampering?

Serious
questions arise which cannot be brushed away under the carpet
considering the public nature of the election process held for 2009 Lok
Sabha elections and the likelihood that further use of EVMs may be
declared unconstitutional.

Indiresan Commission Report had noted
that *every* key stroke on EVM is logged and recorded. The report dated
19 June 2009 of Azera Rahman (appended below) notes that the programs
used on EVMs had been modified and machines with modified programs
(”improvised features like in-built clocks which record the exact time a
ballot is cast”) — 102,000 units from BEL and 78,000 units from ECIL
were said to have been procured in January 2009.

Who audited
these ‘improvised features’? Was the fact that program modifications
were made communicated to the parties contesting the 2009 election so
that the polling agents could have stayed alert to identify the new
machines with improvised features?

This is a serious issue pointing to the possibility of introducing trojan horses on select new EVMs.

 

Supreme
Court should intervene immediately and issue a stay order on the
further use of EVMs until a comprehensive systems audit is completed on
the lines of the audit done in USA by academic institutions and computer
experts.

 

Prof. Indiresan Commitee Report on Electronic Voting Machines provided by the Election Commission of India through RTI.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/6794194/Expert-Committee-Report-on-EVM

Blog link http://theoverlord.wordpress.com/2009/05/19/the-indian-electronic-voting-machines/

See discussions at: http://rajeev2004.blogspot.com/2009/05/linux-journal-2004-on-evm-fraud.html

 

Kalyanaraman

Electronic voting machines - the leitmotif of Indian democracy

Azera Rahman (GAEA news)

19 june 2009

 

The
Indian election is about the 714 million electorate, the many thousands
who play the electoral field and the virtual army of people working
behind the scenes.

But it is also about a pintsized contraption -
the electronic voting machine (EVM) - that has become the leitmotif of
the world’s largest democratic exercise and gets smarter with each
avatar.

It not only does the obvious - records the vote - but
also notes the exact time it is cast. The new and improved machines also
give hourly updates of balloting, besides of course aiding in the
counting of votes.

Forget about counting chads, the inconvenient
little slips that had tripped the US presidential election in 2000, the
EVMs have ensured that the counting of the many million votes is done in
a matter of hours. Results of the general election, or an assembly
election in one of the states, are declared a short while after the
counting start.

In Election 2009 held in April and May, an
estimated 1.36 million EVMs were used in 828,000 polling booths across
this vast country.

According to Amol Newaskar, general manager of
Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) in India’s IT city of Bangalore, the
machines supplied for the elections conducted over five phases have
improvised on the older version.

BEL, which is one of the two
public sector companies manufacturing EVMs for the Election Commission,
has supplied 65,000 EVMs since 2000.

“However, the ones
manufactured from 2007 onwards have improvised features like in-built
clocks which record the exact time a ballot is cast,” Newaskar said.

“Not
just that, the EVM also records the exact time when the whole balloting
process starts and when the last vote is cast. It gives an hourly
update of the number of votes cast, and if there is any unusual trend in
the process, it can be easily detected. Thus, the whole process becomes
tamper-proof,” he added.

For instance, if there is a heavy rush
in polling at a particular hour, the officials can be on alert or if a
voter thinks that his vote is being tampered with, the exact time when
he cast his vote can be retrieved.

The Election Commission,
according to Newaskar, placed an order for 102,000 EVMs to BEL for the
2009 general election - all of which were supplied by January.

The
other company authorised by the Election Commission to manufacture EVMs
is the Hyderabad-based Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL)
that has supplied 78,000 machines with the improvised features.

For the benefit of the visually impaired, the EVMs also have Braille markings on them.

Costing 9,800 rupees (about $195), it is no wonder that EVMs are a mega hit on the global stage as well.

Bhutan
got 4,140 of them for its elections last year and Nepal has acquired
them too. And inquiries for the Indian-made election tool have come in
from

all over. The Namibian government has placed orders for
2,000 voting machines, while Ghana, South Africa and Nigeria have
evinced interest as

have neighbours Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Malaysia,
said Newaskar, had also shown interest. According to K.S. Rajasekhara
Rao, chairman of ECIL, which supplied the EVMs in the Bhutan elections:
“Many others countries like Sri Lanka, Ghana, South Africa, Nigeria and
Bangladesh have expressed a keen interest in acquiring these machines
too.”

Although the new EVMs have improvised features, most countries want the machines with further modifications.

The
basic unit, easy to carry and no bigger than a briefcase, comes in two
interconnected parts - the ballot unit, accessed by the voter who
punches her vote, and the control unit that registers all related data
like the total votes cast.

Most voters find it easy to use.

Vani
Mittal, a second year graduation student of Delhi University, did not
find using the EVM difficult at all when she voted for the first time in
the assembly elections last year.

“The EVM is quite
user-friendly. You have the name of the candidate and the party symbol
clearly stated; so there is no question of any confusion,” Mittal said.

“As a child, whenever my father used to go to vote I used to accompany him.

So
I knew how tedious the earlier process was. After deciding whom you
want to vote for, you have to fold the ballot paper in a particular
manner and

drop it in the box. The EVMs have made the process so much easier,” she added.

Even
so, to attract voters in the general election, the election office in
the capital New Delhi has uploaded a video on using EVMs on YouTube.

“Sometimes
people are confused and unaware of how to use EVMs. So, in order to
spread more awareness, we have uploaded a training video on usage of
EVMs on popular video sharing website YouTube,” said Delhi’s chief
electoral officer Satbir Silas Bedi.

http://blog.taragana.com/n/electronic-voting-machines-the-leitmotif-of-indian-democracy-86599/

It
is time for all parties to raise the issue of EVM tampering in the
Parliament and bring the Election Commission to account – to save
democracy.

 

Kalyanaraman

 

EVMs ‘manipulated’ in Orissa polls, claims Azad, Union Health Minister

 

By IANS
18 Jun 2009 04:27:33 PM IST

BHUBANESWAR:
Congress general secretary in charge of the party’s affairs in Orissa
Ghulam Nabi Azad Thursday alleged “manipulation” of electronic voting
machines (EVMs) had led to the party’s defeat in the assembly and
parliamentary elections in the state.

“EVMs were manipulated
during the poll which resulted in defeat of many Congress candidates,”
Azad said in a press conference here.

The Congress won only 27 of
the state’s 147 assembly seats and six of the 21 Lok Sabha
constituencies in Orissa. The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD), led by Chief
Minister Naveen Patnaik, bagged 103 assembly and 14 Lok Sabha seats.

Azad
met the candidates in the twin polls and reviewed the reasons of dismal
show, constituency wise. After the review meeting, he also charged the
BJD with misusing the official machinery during the polls.

There
was a wide-scale misuse of official machinery by the ruling BJD, which
led to the debacle of the Congress party in the poll,” he alleged.

Azad
blamed the BJD for converting the flagship schemes initiated by the
United Progressive Alliance (UPA) into other schemes of state
government, extracting all the mileage. He conceded the “last minute
changes in leadership and failure to choose the right candidate” were
also responsible for the Congress’s defeat.

The meeting was
attended by all the candidates, district level office-bearers and other
senior leaders of the party. However, Azad did not say anything about
any likely change in the state unit leadership following the poll
debacle.

http://tinyurl.com/mtwsxr

 

The same
charge has been levied by
Sudarshan.http://www.organiser.org/dynamic/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=296&page=3
“The general elections have become a contempt of democracy as machines
playing greater role than the voters,” Shri Sudarshan said while
addressing the concluding ceremony of Sangh Shiksha Varga held at OMP
Ground in Cuttack.

 

http://www.organiser.org/dynamic/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=296&page=8
This is a report on widespread EVM tampering in Orissa.

 Elections still can be fixed, even if voting machines can’t

by David Karlsruher

When
I cast my vote, does the machine record it properly? And how would I
know? That’s a great question. Then there’s also the question of whether
electronic receipts would expose who voted for whom.

Posted on June 17, 2009

There
has been no lack of controversy over electronic voting machines in
recent years. What started out as a technological progression of
convenience in casting and counting ballots has turned out to be a giant
argument of security, anonymity and the old saying, “if it ain’t broke,
don’t fix it.”

Just the other day El Paso County Judge Anthony
Cobos put an item on the regular agenda to propose purchasing electronic
voting machines that produce a receipt after a ballot is cast. Seems
pretty simple, right? Not really.

I’m sure you remember as well
as I do the controversy that has surrounded our foray into electronic
voting, but do you know the history? Let’s review.

The first
thing you need to know is that in the voting machine industry the touch
screen type of ballot casting system you use is referred to as a Direct
Recording Electronic voting system, or a “DRE” if you want to sound cool
the next time you run into an elections department head. If you trust
the government they’ll tell you that way back in 1996 a whopping 7.7
percent of Americans cast their ballot on a DRE voting machine. [link]

The
machines at that time were approved sparingly by state governments.
Remember, the Constitution provides for the states to conduct elections,
which means they are responsible for setting the rules. That all
changed in 2002. Why?

The infamous “hanging chads” of the 2000
election convinced Congress to pass the Help America Vote Act of 2002.
While the act did not require every precinct in the nation to use DRE
voting systems, it pretty much made it the most viable option for states
to comply with the new standards. The government even made money
available to municipalities to make the switch all that much easier.
Wikipedia has pretty decent rundown of the requirements put forth in the
act. [link]

The presidential election in 2004 was the first
major test of the new machines. One of the major manufacturers of DRE
voting systems was Diebold, Inc. Their CEO, Walden O’Dell, announced in
August of 2003 that he was a fundraiser for then-President George W.
Bush. Needless to say a storm of controversy has since surrounded not
just Diebold-produced machines, but all DRE voting machines. Shortly
thereafter charges of being able to hack the DRE machines with
MacGyver-like skills and tools surged through the media, convincing
almost everyone who had lost their election that they had been cheated.

Using
the simplest historical high points, that’s how we find ourselves here.
Feel free to rage about your personal experiences with DRE machines or
the vast right wing conspiracy in the comments section below. However,
do know that I didn’t steal your vote, invent the machines or ask the
State of Texas to approve them. But go ahead and call me an asshole if
it makes you feel better.

We now find ourselves with a question
of how to authenticate our election results so that we know the winner
is really the winner.

We could go back to optical scan sheets or
paper ballots. They leave the often sought “paper trail” people are so
sure will keep all elections secure. The initial problem with both
options is the possibility of someone casting an “over vote.” An over
vote occurs when a voter marks more than one candidate for a particular
office. This results in the vote being thrown out given that it cannot
be determined what the voter’s intent was. This was the exact problem
they faced in 2000 in Florida. You can’t over vote on a DRE machine – it
simply won’t let you.

The DRE machine prevents the events of
Florida from recurring, but it doesn’t make any of us feel better about
what happens when we electronically cast our vote. When I cast my vote,
does the machine record it properly? And how would I know?

That’s a great question. A question you should have also been asking about your old paper ballots as well.

There’s
no guarantee that when you take your paper ballot and put it in the
ballot box as you leave that it will be counted later that night at all.
Voter fraud using paper ballots is historically the most common way of
stealing an election by the sheer amount of time the system has been
around. Let me explain how simply this can be done.

All one needs
to do to compromise a paper ballot system is to have anyone in the
process of transporting the ballot box or handling the ballots on the
take. Paper ballots are only counted to make sure they match up with the
number of voters on that precinct’s register. At any point a new batch
of ballots that have been pre-marked and of the same count can be
substituted. You have no way of knowing if this happens. There is zero
chance for you to verify that your vote was accurately cast. You can
only check the voter rolls after the election to see if they have you
marked as having voted in the last election. Nobody knows but you how
you voted. If you think they got your vote wrong, what proof do you have
of it? None, zero, nada – when you drop that ballot in that box you are
as helpless in the process as when you cast your ballot on a DRE
machine. You have no real “paper trail” with paper ballots. Your “I
Voted” sticker doesn’t count, either.

Ah, but where does one get a
paper ballot? They must be impossible to replicate and are under strict
lock and key at all times, right? Nope. I used to have stacks of the
different kinds of ballots from all around the country in my office in
Washington, D.C. I simply called up the FEC and state elections offices
and asked them for samples because I spent my days on the road working
on getting people registered to vote and trained on how to use a voting
machine. They were always more than happy to help.

I had
provisional ballots, ex-pat ballots, absentee ballots, optical scan
ballots and regular paper ballots. The only difference was that the
optical scan and paper ballots didn’t have the printed progressive
numbers below the perforated edge. A quick trip to any print shop or a
person with a good number stamp could knock out thousands of
valid-looking paper ballots in a day. Besides, they are quite easy to
replicate. We’re not exactly talking about the new $20 bill here, are
we?

Going back to the paper ballots would also mean we spent a
lot of money on DRE machines we can’t use anymore. So what is a county
government to do?

Well, maybe they could buy new DRE machines
that print out a receipt of your vote. This doesn’t solve the problem of
abandoning a bunch of expensive DRE machines, but it does appear to
leave a “paper trail.” Are there any drawbacks to this perfect solution?
Yes.

The folks in Ohio have required that the machines spit out a
receipt of a cast ballot and have run into a very disturbing problem –
people can see who voted for whom! [link

If you’re too lazy to
click the link, I’ll explain. When a person casts their vote the
computer must keep a record of it, obviously. When giving you a receipt
it must mark that receipt in some manner that allows someone to go back
and verify the ticket against the computer. A “time stamp” is the most
common method of validating the receipt. Obviously the elections
department retains a copy of the receipts on their system because it is
what tallies the votes. All anyone has to do is get that tally and
compare the time stamp to the registrar’s book. They match up the time
people came in and the vote cast at that time and they know exactly how
you voted. So much for a secret ballot, I guess. Anybody who has those
two pieces of information has a lot of power.

Critics of the DRE
voting machines giving out a receipt also point out that the receipts
don’t go home with the voter as many assume. They go into a ballot box
at the polling place and are considered the official count. Again,
there’s no guarantee that the computer didn’t print one thing and tally
another. Then there’s the whole problem with the receipts being
corrupted, lost or counterfeited. You still have no record of your vote.

Basically
what I’m getting to here at the end of this journey is that there isn’t
currently a full proof solution on the table. We are left to either
accept the imperfect methods in front of us, or keep searching. I guess
what I’m saying is that if you aren’t busy, there could be a lucrative
market out there for a better ballot casting and counting system.

Any
change to be made at the municipal level would have to take a basic
principal of change into account. Is the solution that much more secure
for the cost? If the solution costs a lot of money and isn’t that much
more secure, then we should probably wait until the right system comes
along before we make a move.

The only request I have is that when we do find a new system – we vote on it.

***

David Karlsruher writes an occasional column for NewspaperTree.com, and blogs at Refuse the Juice.

http://www.newspapertree.com/opinion/3958-elections-still-can-be-fixed-even-if-voting-machines-can-t

EVMs not trustworthy. Scrap them. Complaints mount.

Widespread
complaints of EVM tampering continue to appear. Such complaints do not
add credit to the democratic process in Hindusthan. That the debate
should rage is to be viewed in the context of the political turmoil
caused by the assassination of Swami Lakshmanananda ji, BJD’s severance
of ties with BJP and visits of people from the Church to the then CM.
Interference of the church in elections had earlier been reported in
Tamil Nadu in the wake of the withdrawal of the anti-conversion law and
the murder charge on Kanchi Acharya. The use of moneybags by the church
to achieve conversions has been reported recently on 15 June 2009 during
the inter-faith dialogue in Mumbai. The increasing intrusion of the
church in activities of the State should be a matter of serious concern
in a democracy trying to define pseudo-secularism.

A system which
people do not trust, do not understand cannot be constitutional. This
was clearly enunciated in March 2009 by the German Supreme Court.

Abuse
of EVMs, their transparency and auditability continue to be raging
issues in USA as detailed in criticisms on security systems in EVMs. The
latest report to appear (appended below) appeared on 16 June 2009

It is time Parliament is seized of this issue to re-establish credibility in the democratic processes in the country.

Kalyanaraman

Widespread complaints of EVM tampering in Orissa

Parties unite in condemning BJD manipulation
By Deepak Kumar Rath

The
massive mandate in favour of BJD in Orissa has surprised the people of
the state, who have raised their eyebrows at the election outcome and
are questioning whether it is the people’s mandate or that of the
electronic voting machines (EVMs). All predictions and surveys have
proved to be wrong including that of the special branch of the
government.

The election in Orissa was conducted in two
phases—on April 16 and 23. In the first phase, EVM tampering was
allegedly done in some selected pockets of Ganjam district. In the
second phase, it was reported to have been done on a massive scale. As a
result of this, the BJD with its partners was able to capture 64
assembly seats out of 77 seats and seven parliamentary seats out of 11
seats in that phase alone. After the counting was over, it was found
that the candidates, who were sure to lose even according to their own
estimation, won the election by an unbelievable margin of 30 thousand to
50 thousand votes.

It is learnt from the reliable sources that
some BJD MLAs, who had never dreamt of winning the election, are
attributing their win to the blessings of the BJD chief and his loyal
official machinery, which allegedly helped in tampering the EVMs.Some of
the BJD MLAs before the counting of the votes were told by some of the
collectors that they would definitely win the election by some definite
margin, which was confirmed after the counting.

Senior Congress
leader and former Chief Minister Shri JB Patnaik alleged that the BJD
had won the election by distributing huge amount of black money and
tampering with EVMs. He demands an inquiry into the matter so that all
the misdeeds of BJD could be exposed. At a press conference, the
Congress leaders like Shri Sivananda Ray, state vice president, Shri
Lalatendu Bidyadhar Mahapatra, state working president, and Shri
Ramakrishna Patnaik also made allegations of tampering with EVMs.

The
BJP legislative party leader Shri KV Singhdeo, while talking to
Organiser, said: “The issue of EVM tampering cannot be ruled out. This
needs to be inquired into by a non-government international agency,
involved in software development and electronic. An all-party panel
should be formed, which would monitor the inquiry so that the issue
could be put to rest for all time to come.” He pointed out that after
the polling was over, the EVMs stored in the strong rooms, were not
sealed up to 36 to 48 hours under the pretext of segregating and
bifurcating votes cast to MPs and MLAs into one envelope. No political
party was allowed entry within 100 metres of the strong rooms. What
actually happened during that period is anybody’s guess, Shri Singhdeo
added.

The BJP state core committee presided by BJP state
president Shri Suresh Pujari and attended by Shri BB Harichandan, Shri
Jual Oram, Shri Dilip Roy, Shri Bijoy Mahapatra, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan
and others made the similar allegations of blatant tampering with EVMs.
Orissa state president of Samajwadi Party Shri Kailash Mishra and the
Samrudha Orissa state president Shri Jyotish Mahanty also made
accusations of tampering with EVMs citing various instances. For
instance, take the case of Bhubaneswar, which this correspondent I very
closely observed when he toured all over the state to observe the
election there. Shri BB Harichandan, who was not only the leader of the
BJP legislative party but as a minister had handled many portfolios
since 1977 very effectively. In the assembly elections of 2000 and 2004,
he won from the same Bhubaneswar constituency by massive margins of
96,000 and 86,000 votes respectively against his nearest rivals. Those
were the highest margins in the state in both the elections. In the 2009
election, his rival the BJD candidate who appeared unworthy in the
estimation of the people, won from this constituency. This was not the
scenario in Bhubaneswar alone, on all the 77 assembly seats and 11 Lok
Sabha seats in the second phase of election, all the popular leaders of
the opposition, i.e. BJP and Congress, have been defeated, which the
people are not prepared to believe.

Tampering with EVMs was
allegedly detected at many places in the state. At the Nima Sahi booth
in Cuttack it was detected that all votes are recorded on the BJD
symbol, though different buttons were pressed by the voters. After this
issue was brought to light by the BJP candidate Shri Samir Day, there
was public pressure and re-polling was conducted at this booth. Although
there were similar complaints from Bhubaneswar and different parts of
the state, they were not entertained.

Another surprising factor
is that the original Bhubaneswar assembly constituency has now been
divided into three constituencies. In all the three constituencies, the
BJP candidates including Shri Harichandan got  about 11 thousand votes
each—in Bhubaneswar (Central) 11,400, Bhubaneswar (Northern) 11,300 and
Ekamra, (Bhubaneswar) 11,070. Not only that, in the three adjoining
constituencies of Bhubaneswar, the BJP candidates got about 11 thousand
votes, i.e. in Delang and Pipili 11,170 votes each and Jayadev 10,800.
Is it a mere coincidence or a fishy political propaganda that all BJP
candidates in those constituencies  could get about votes to a definite
figure, i.e., 11,000 votes? Thus, it confirms the belief that EVMs have
been very meticulously programmed and tampered with.

There is
another astonishing aspect in this election that all the wellknown and
reputed leaders of the opposition both BJP and Congress, who were sure
to win in the public estimation, have been defeated. BJP leaders like
Shri Bijay Mahapatra, Shri Brijkishore Tripathy, Shri Jual Oram, Shri
Kharvel Swain and Shri Dhamendra Pradhan, and Congress leaders like Shri
Nalinikant Mohanty, Shri Ramakrishna Patnaik, Shri Lalatendu Bidyadhar
Mahapatra, Shri Chandrasekhar Sahu, Shri Niranjan Patnaik, Shri Jayadev
Jena, and Shri Soumyaranjan Patnaik have been defeated. It appears as if
a list of such leaders was prepared and then they have been butchered
in a planned manner with the help of EVMs.Therefore, in Orissa the
election outcome is now called yantradesh, not janadesh, i.e. it is not
the mandate of the people but of the EVMs.

 http://www.organiser.org/dynamic/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=296&page=8

Sudarshanji questions EVMs’ credibility
By Golak Chandra Das  (excerpts)

Cuttack
(Visakeo): The former RSS Sarsanghachalak Shri KS Sudarshan has
questioned the credibility of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) that are
being used during polls instead of ballot papers.

“The general
elections have become a contempt of democracy as machines playing
greater role than the voters,” Shri Sudarshan said while addressing the
concluding ceremony of Sangh Shiksha Varga held at OMP Ground here. The
Pratham Verga had kicked off on May 15 and concluded on June 4. A total
of 219 youth participated in the Varga at Keonjhar and Bhawanipatana.

Second
year camp started on May 15 and concluded on June 5. A total of 86
swayamsevaks participated in the second year Varga at Cuttack.
Various
political parties have successfully tampered EVMs to keep power, which
was witnessed in West Bengal in way back in 2004, he added.
“It was a
shock for the democracy,” he said adding that the EVMs are not being
used in developed countries like Germany and the USA.
The party with
more than 50 per cent of the whole population opposing, is ruling now,
Shri Sudarshan said indirectly referring to Congress.

http://www.organiser.org/dynamic/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=296&page=3

Voting machine expert criticizes “clueless” industry report

Published 16 June 2009

The
Election Technology Council (ETC), a trade group comprised of the most
prominent electronic voting machine vendors, has published a paper that
argues against mandating source disclosure for electronic voting machine
systems. The paper (PDF), which broadly conflates source disclosure and
open source software licensing, dubiously contends that enabling public
scrutiny of voting technology would lead to compromised security. The
ETC’s position is viewed with skepticism by both election transparency
advocates and computer security experts. Dan Wallach—a Rice University
computer science professor who has testified about voting security
issues before various government bodies—wrote a rebuttal, which was
published last week on the Freedom to Tinker blog. He laments the
“distinctive cluelessness” of the ETC report and accuses the
organization of misrepresenting the voting machine security studies that
are cited in the document. The ETC attempts to argue that mandatory
source disclosure for voting technology would be abusive to vendors and
detrimental to the soundness of the election process. The most
controversial aspect of the report is its assessment of the potential
security risks associated with disclosure. The ETC argues that the
potential long-term security benefits of source disclosure are not
applicable to electronic voting software. In an open source software
project, the availability of source code makes it possible for
contributors to detect and repair vulnerabilities through a
collaborative process of incremental improvement. The ETC, however,
argues that election software development is not entirely conducive to
participatory incrementalism, because major voting machine software
updates have to go through the Election Assistance Commission’s
certification process. According to the ETC, the regulatory process
would make it difficult to rapidly deploy fixes when members of the
public detect vulnerabilities. The ETC also argues that the machines
would be vulnerable to malicious attackers until the software reaches
the point where it has attracted enough well-intentioned scrutiny that
the holes are collaboratively found and patched. Open source communities
do not emerge overnight, the ETC says, so it’s unclear that disclosure
would immediately lead to improvements. “It is conceded that a pure open
source development model may yield comparable benefits in the
long-term. However, taking a software product that was once proprietary
and disclosing its full source code to the general public will result in
complete forfeiture of the software’s security,” the report says.
Wallach doesn’t buy the argument. The consensus in the security
community is that obscuring vulnerabilities doesn’t insulate software
from being exploited. “Disclosing the source code only results in a
complete forfeiture of the software’s security if there was never any
security there in the first place,” he insists. He points out that
vulnerabilities are regularly found and exploited in proprietary
software, even without access to the source code. All that is needed to
compromise the security of any opaque software system is access to the
executables and a few common debugging tools. As we have reported on
several

previous occasions, the physical security of voting
machines is not especially robust. There are many reported incidents,
for example, where machines have been left entirely unattended. Security
studies have also determined that standard voting machine physical
security mechanisms—such as “tamper-proof” locks and seals—are extremely
easy to circumvent without leaving a trace. This means that attackers
could have ample access with which to devise exploits regardless of
source code availability. Researchers have consistently been able to
detect vulnerabilities in commercial voting machines and generally
contend that the lack of source code availability hasn’t made the
process a whole lot more challenging. It’s also worth noting that
proprietary source code can be leaked to malicious parties without the
knowledge or authorization of the vendor. On the basis of that alone, it
seems like depending on secrecy to protect the integrity of voting
machine systems is utter folly. Diebold—now called Premier Election
Solutions—has suffered several public source code leaks over the years.
The ETC paper also makes some highly questionable claims about
intellectual property. The authors contend that mandatory source
disclosure could potentially be unconstitutional, an assertion that is
deeply misleading. “If policymakers attempt to strip the intellectual
property from voting system software,” the report says, “[it raises] the
issue of property takings without due process and compensation, which
is prohibited under the United States Constitution.” There is little
basis for including such a statement in a paper about the implications
of code disclosure and voting transparency. Nobody is suggesting that
the government should forcibly seize the code of electronic voting
machines so it can be distributed under an open source license.
Legislative mandates for code disclosure would never take that form.
Instead, the government could potentially require code disclosure as a
preqrequisite for consideration in the voting machine procurement
process. There is absolutely nothing unconstitutional or unethical about
that. Further, it is disingenuous to suggest that disclosure would
necessarily require intellectual property rights to be ceded. As Wallach
points out in his blog entry, you can have mandatory source disclosure
without requiring distribution under open source licenses—meaning that
vendors could open their code to public scrutiny but still retain
possession of the copyrights and patents that would allow them to
protect their investment. Even if all voting machine vendors did use a
common open source code base, it would not eliminate the financial
incentive to build voting machines. The  major voting machine vendors
are fundamentally selling hardware appliances, not software. Their
business model would continue to be sustainable even if all of the
software on the machines was broadly available under an open source
license. In light of the countless technical problems that have been
uncovered by expert studies of voting machines, it’s possible that the
ETC’s opposition to code disclosure is motivated chiefly by
embarrassment about the poor quality of the source code in commercial
voting machines—and by a desire to obscure other failings, such as
alleged intellectual property misappropriations. Public scrutiny could
expose a large number of technical problems that the vendors want to
keep hidden, despite the risk to election integrity that these pose.

 

http://www.nationalcybersecurity.com/blogs/1125/Voting-machine-expert-criticizes-clueless-industry-report.html

Review the 2009 Lok Sabha Election Process: Promises and Reality

Elections
were held in 5 phases across India. The last phase of polling was
completed on the 13th of May 2009. The counting of votes was to begin on
the 16th of May 2009.

Prior to the election the Election
Commission had ruled that the election will be held in 5 phases with
each phase dealing with voting in geographically discrete locations.
Furthermore, to avoid any potential effect of the voting pattern in a
given phase over that in subsequent phase(s), Exit Polls were formally
disallowed and no interim counting of votes would be conducted or
permissible prior to the completion of polls in all phases. Thus by
virtue of the decisions of the Election Commission the final counting of
the votes was to be undertaken and completed on the 16th of May 2009.
Consequently Election Commission had specifically given the impression
that it had formally disallowed any preemptive counting of votes
including sampling either through Exit Polls or by downloading EVM data.

The
data on the final votes polled would be expected to be uploaded/made
available on the http://eci.nic.in/candidateinfo/frmcandidate.aspx on
the 16th of May 2009. The nature of these data would concern names of
the candidates, individual party affiliation, name of the constituency,
the voting phase, votes polled by each candidate. It is only a matter of
serendipity that, in order to obtain the information on the names of
candidates their constituencies and party affiliations that on May 6th
2009 Prof Madhav Nalapat and Dr. Anupam Saraph went to the site and must
have been amazed to discover the results of the votes compiled for all
five phases although the election/voting were yet to take place in phase
iv and v. It thus appears that either this was mischief by some hacker
or that some data was actually uploaded. The site was visited again on
the 7th and 11th with the same result. In conclusion, contrary to the
rules set up by the election commission, not only was the voting data
for the first three phases available but surprisingly data for the two
subsequent phases (before actual polling took place) appeared.

Could
this have been a mistake? Some software mixup? Some sort of
interference from interested parties? On the 11th they downloaded the
data again to find that

The same “votes polled” data was still available

Barring a few candidates, the data was the same for most others

The
data on votes was available for 8023 candidates out of 8070 for 543 Lok
Sabha Constituencies well before the completion of the election process

It
will be interesting to note the actual voting dates for different
phases and the names of the constituencies, candidates and parties, the
information for which the original exercise was undertaken by Prof
Madhav Nalapat and Dr. Anupam Saraph.

The extraordinary feature
of this discovery concerns availability of data at a time when the
events had yet to take place such as votes for elections and vote counts
yet to be held prior to the date of their availability on the
http://eci.nic.in/candidateinfo/frmcandidate.aspx website. To verify the
validity of this information the concerned website was continuously
monitored and enquiry made with the Election Commission about possible
irregularity in the vote counting and revealing processes. Surprisingly
however the “votes polled” data disappeared on the 15th and did not
reappear as one would have expected on the 16th, or immediately
thereafter, i.e., the date of formal declarations of the results by the
Election Commission. Eventually ECI seems to have uploaded the final
data on June 3rd 2009. It is at this point that the June 3rd data were
compared to those appeared on May 6th, 7th and 11th May. This comparison
clearly shows that the actual trends preempted for all phases were
mostly the same. This raises a serious question as to how was it
possible to predict/prempt the voting trends for phases i to iii for
which the voting had been completed but neither exit polls nor immediate
counting were allowed/implied/undertaken/completed. It is even more
surprising that the voting trends for the phase iv and v for which the
elections had yet not taken place
preempted/published/allowed/implied/undertaken/completed were similar to
those from the data published on June 3rd.

The sequence of these
events preceded by the nature of rules and regulations set forth by the
Election Commission as a priori for the conduct of the election process
for Lok Sabha 2009, India, were not followed in practice and grossly
violated in form of publication of voting data on the ECI website,
completely contrary to the premise of sanctity presumably guaranteed by
the Election Commission. Indeed it almost makes one feel that the final
result of the election was electronically preplanned. Is this possible?
With all the promises made on the fool-proofedness of the security of
the poll data, its storage as well as retrieval process, would it have
been possible to prematurely access, download and manipulate the data
contents on the EVM’s? It is clear that EVM’s need to be
manually/electronically accessed to retrieve the data but it does not
appear impossible to transmit to modify existing data. Furthermore the
actual process of downloading contents from EVM’s involves a “control
unit” that retrieves the information/data from the “ballot unit” and
reads the stored votes for manual compilation. While it is possible to
manipulate data during manual compilation, this seems to be fraught with
presence of too many individual operators involved in the final
counting process. In contrast, however, if the control unit has a
program that reads of “votes polled” that were downloaded to it from an
excel spreadsheet, not unlike those that were available in coded form
between May 6th and 11th the number of votes for each candidate could be
manipulated.

In conclusion there is a strong
possibility/probability that the election process was/could have been
rigged such that specific group of candidates/political parties were
favored to garner majority votes irrespective of the actual votes cast
by the electorate. This is not only possible in India but it is well
known that a similar situation affected the vote counting process during
the US Presidential Elections in 2004 in the State of Florida.

According
to Brad who quotes this article by Atul A. the EVM’s used in India can
be readily rigged by a Computer Scientist. With so many ifs and buts,
therefore, a time has come to undertake independent inquiries by the
Supreme Court and CVC and two stay the results of the last election.

–Devlem 14:57, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

 

From: http://government.wikia.com/wiki/Review_the_2009_Lok_Sabha_Election_Process:_Promises_and_Reality

Review the 2009 Lok Sabha Election Process: Promises and Reality

Elections
were held in 5 phases across India. The last phase of polling was
completed on the 13th of May 2009. The counting of votes was to begin on
the 16th of May 2009.

Prior to the election the Election
Commission had ruled that the election will be held in 5 phases with
each phase dealing with voting in geographically discrete locations.
Furthermore, to avoid any potential effect of the voting pattern in a
given phase over that in subsequent phase(s), Exit Polls were formally
disallowed and no interim counting of votes would be conducted or
permissible prior to the completion of polls in all phases. Thus by
virtue of the decisions of the Election Commission the final counting of
the votes was to be undertaken and completed on the 16th of May 2009.
Consequently Election Commission had specifically given the impression
that it had formally disallowed any preemptive counting of votes
including sampling either through Exit Polls or by downloading EVM data.

The
data on the final votes polled would be expected to be uploaded/made
available on the http://eci.nic.in/candidateinfo/frmcandidate.aspx on
the 16th of May 2009. The nature of these data would concern names of
the candidates, individual party affiliation, name of the constituency,
the voting phase, votes polled by each candidate. It is only a matter of
serendipity that, in order to obtain the information on the names of
candidates their constituencies and party affiliations that on May 6th
2009 Prof Madhav Nalapat and Dr. Anupam Saraph went to the site and must
have been amazed to discover the results of the votes compiled for all
five phases although the election/voting were yet to take place in phase
iv and v. It thus appears that either this was mischief by some hacker
or that some data was actually uploaded. The site was visited again on
the 7th and 11th with the same result. In conclusion, contrary to the
rules set up by the election commission, not only was the voting data
for the first three phases available but surprisingly data for the two
subsequent phases (before actual polling took place) appeared.

Could
this have been a mistake? Some software mixup? Some sort of
interference from interested parties? On the 11th they downloaded the
data again to find that

The same “votes polled” data was still available

Barring a few candidates, the data was the same for most others

The
data on votes was available for 8023 candidates out of 8070 for 543 Lok
Sabha Constituencies well before the completion of the election process

It
will be interesting to note the actual voting dates for different
phases and the names of the constituencies, candidates and parties, the
information for which the original exercise was undertaken by Prof
Madhav Nalapat and Dr. Anupam Saraph.

The extraordinary feature
of this discovery concerns availability of data at a time when the
events had yet to take place such as votes for elections and vote counts
yet to be held prior to the date of their availability on the
http://eci.nic.in/candidateinfo/frmcandidate.aspx website. To verify the
validity of this information the concerned website was continuously
monitored and enquiry made with the Election Commission about possible
irregularity in the vote counting and revealing processes. Surprisingly
however the “votes polled” data disappeared on the 15th and did not
reappear as one would have expected on the 16th, or immediately
thereafter, i.e., the date of formal declarations of the results by the
Election Commission. Eventually ECI seems to have uploaded the final
data on June 3rd 2009. It is at this point that the June 3rd data were
compared to those appeared on May 6th, 7th and 11th May. This comparison
clearly shows that the actual trends preempted for all phases were
mostly the same. This raises a serious question as to how was it
possible to predict/prempt the voting trends for phases i to iii for
which the voting had been completed but neither exit polls nor immediate
counting were allowed/implied/undertaken/completed. It is even more
surprising that the voting trends for the phase iv and v for which the
elections had yet not taken place
preempted/published/allowed/implied/undertaken/completed were similar to
those from the data published on June 3rd.

The sequence of these
events preceded by the nature of rules and regulations set forth by the
Election Commission as a priori for the conduct of the election process
for Lok Sabha 2009, India, were not followed in practice and grossly
violated in form of publication of voting data on the ECI website,
completely contrary to the premise of sanctity presumably guaranteed by
the Election Commission. Indeed it almost makes one feel that the final
result of the election was electronically preplanned. Is this possible?
With all the promises made on the fool-proofedness of the security of
the poll data, its storage as well as retrieval process, would it have
been possible to prematurely access, download and manipulate the data
contents on the EVM’s? It is clear that EVM’s need to be
manually/electronically accessed to retrieve the data but it does not
appear impossible to transmit to modify existing data. Furthermore the
actual process of downloading contents from EVM’s involves a “control
unit” that retrieves the information/data from the “ballot unit” and
reads the stored votes for manual compilation. While it is possible to
manipulate data during manual compilation, this seems to be fraught with
presence of too many individual operators involved in the final
counting process. In contrast, however, if the control unit has a
program that reads of “votes polled” that were downloaded to it from an
excel spreadsheet, not unlike those that were available in coded form
between May 6th and 11th the number of votes for each candidate could be
manipulated.

In conclusion there is a strong
possibility/probability that the election process was/could have been
rigged such that specific group of candidates/political parties were
favored to garner majority votes irrespective of the actual votes cast
by the electorate. This is not only possible in India but it is well
known that a similar situation affected the vote counting process during
the US Presidential Elections in 2004 in the State of Florida.

According
to Brad who quotes this article by Atul A. the EVM’s used in India can
be readily rigged by a Computer Scientist. With so many ifs and buts,
therefore, a time has come to undertake independent inquiries by the
Supreme Court and CVC and two stay the results of the last election.

–Devlem 14:57, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

 

From: http://government.wikia.com/wiki/Review_the_2009_Lok_Sabha_Election_Process:_Promises_and_Reality

Say yes to Hand Counted Paper Ballots (HCPB); say no to Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs)

9 June 2009

Here is an overview to establish that use of EVMs are unconstitutional.

Let
us revert to the democratic election process prescribed in the
Uttaramerur inscription of 10th century; let us follow the true
democratic traditions of Hindusthan.

9th November 1948 Constituent Assemby debate

Shri
T. Prakasam (Madras: General): The Honourable Mr.Madhava Rau said that
the ballot box and ballot paper werenot known to our ancestors. I would
like to point out tohim, Sir, that the ballot box and the ballet papers
weredescribed in an inscription on the walls of a temple in thevillages
of Uttaramerur, twenty miles from Conjeevaram.Every detail is given
there. The ballot box was a pot withthe mouth tied and placed on the
ground with a hole made atthe bottom and the ballot paper was the kadjan
leaf andadult franchise was exercised. The election took place notonly
for that village but for the whole of India. This wasjust a thousand
years ago.

http://164.100.47.134/newls/constituent/vol7p5b.html

Kalyanaraman

Electronic Vocing Machines (EVMs) contradict the public nature of elections – German Supreme Court (March 2009).

An
average citizen should be able to understand how the vote is recorded
and tallied. EVMs make this impossible, hence they are declared
unconstitutional, violating the principle of equal .rights. A computer
nerd using PROMs (Programmable Read Only Memories), not even Bharat
Electronics nor Electronic Corporation of India who are supposed to make
the EVMs used in Indian elections, cannot take away this equal
protection constitutional mandate.

Occam’s razor applies; the
simplest system is the best…Hand-counted paper ballots (HCPB) are used
around the world…HCPB represents the best system for democratic
elections.  It is the least expensive, the easiest to secure from fraud,
and the most transparent.  Paper ballots should be hand-counted at the
polling site on election night before all who wish to observe.  The
count could be videotaped and web-streamed to ensure greater access in
observing the vote count.  Precinct level (polling site) results should
be immediately posted at the polling site for public inspection over the
next several days, to ensure that county level reporting matches
polling site reports.

Josef Stalin warned, “it’s not who votes that counts; it’s who counts the votes.”

…The
right of an elector to vote is conferred by the Constitution…. [the
elector] is entitled to see that his vote has been given full force and
effect…. any method of holding an election which would deprive the
electors…. of the right of casting their ballots and having effect given
to the votes so cast would plainly be unconstitutional. (Emphasis
supplied)  See Deister v Wintermute, 194 NY 99, 108…

The system
requires ultimate trust, since it produces an election outcome that
cannot be independently verified.   .. As long as we continue to vote on
systems which count the vote in secret, we lack democracy.  Without
transparent elections, we are no longer a free people.  But by direct
participation in a hand-counted process, we quickly move toward the
democratic ideal of a free people.  

In the case of voting
systems, the only meaningful security against insider attacks is to have
a voting mechanism of which all the details are published and that a
substantial portion of the general public is capable of comprehending
in-depth..

A key idea underlying high assurance techniques is
that security should be part of the design and implementation of the
system and not added on “after the fact”..

http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/voting_systems/ttbr/red_overview.pdf

 

Source: http://www.myfedgrants.com/federal-grants/dec-2007-annotated-bibliography-of-voting-system-reports/2009/06

Dec. 2007 Annotated Bibliography of Voting System Reportshttp://www.wheresthepaper.org/DecRadyAnandaTechReports.pdf

 

U.S. Commission on Federal Election Reform. Building Confidence in U.S.

Elections. September 2005. Accessed December 11, 2007.

http://www.american.edu/ia/cfer/report/full_report.pdf

Former Secretary of State James A. Baker III and former President Jimmy Carter, who

were co-chairmen of the bipartisan Commission on Federal Election Reform, warned in

their 2005 final report that (fraud) could happen.

“Software can be modified maliciously before being installed into individual voting machines.

There is no reason to trust insiders in the election industry any more than in other

industries.”

…a small number of votes is loaded for one candidate, offset by a large

number of votes for the opposing candidate such that the sum of the numbers, because of

the overflow, will be zero. The large number is designed to trigger an integer overflow such

that after a certain number of votes is received it will flip the vote counter over to begin

counting from zero for that candidate.

 

Main security strengths of the election process

 

·  the openness of the election process, which permits observation of counting and

other aspects of election procedure;

·  the decentralization of elections and the division of labor among different levels

of government and different groups of people;

·  equipment that produces redundant trusted recordings of votes; and

·  the public nature and control of the election process.

 

Germany’s
Supreme Court court has ruled in March 2009 that the use of electronic
voting in the last general election was unconstitutional… Constitutional
judge Andreas Vosskuhle said that the judgment did not rule out digital
voting for once and for all, but added that the equipment used four
years ago did have shortcomings.

The use of electronic voting
was challenged by a father-and-son team. Political scientist Joachim
Wiesner and son, physicist Ulrich Wiesner complained that push button
voting was not transparent because the voter could not see what actually
happened to his vote inside the computer and was required to place
“blind faith” in the technology.

In addition, the two plaintiffs argued that the results were open to manipulation.

http://www.bradblog.com/?p=6961

 

German voters to revert to pen and paper, court rules

March 3rd, 2009 - 5:29 pm ICT by IANS -

Berlin,
March 3 (DPA) Voting booths in Germany can no longer be equipped with
electronic “vote computers”, the German Constitutional Court ruled
Tuesday.
At this year’s general election due in September, voters can
expect to use pen and paper, after the Karlsruhe-based court ruled that
the machines contradict the public nature of elections.

The
terminals, which electronically register a voter’s choice, have been
used in German elections for 10 years, including the 2005 general
election when 2 million people voted by button.

Voters should not
need to be computer literate to register their choice, the judges
ruled. They also criticised the fact that the machines didn’t let voters
check what choice they had made.

For this reason it was difficult to detect programming errors or deliberate manipulation of the machines.

There has been no evidence of the machines having failed in the past, therefore the results of previous elections remain valid.

http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/politics/german-voters-to-revert-to-pen-and-paper-court-rules_100162114.html

 

March 24, 2009-07-08 McClatchy Washington Bureau

 

Most electronic voting isn’t secure, CIA expert says

Greg Gordon | McClatchy Newspapers

last updated: March 24, 2009 04:27:14 PM

WASHINGTON
— The CIA, which has been monitoring foreign countries’ use of
electronic voting systems, has reported apparent vote-rigging schemes in
Venezuela, Macedonia and Ukraine and a raft of concerns about the
machines’ vulnerability to tampering.

Appearing last month before
a U.S. Election Assistance Commission field hearing in Orlando, Fla., a
CIA cybersecurity expert suggested that Venezuelan President Hugo
Chavez and his allies fixed a 2004 election recount, an assertion that
could further roil U.S. relations with the Latin leader.

In a
presentation that could provide disturbing lessons for the United
States, where electronic voting is becoming universal, Steve Stigall
summarized what he described as attempts to use computers to undermine
democratic elections in developing nations. His remarks have received no
news media attention until now.

Stigall told the Election
Assistance Commission, a tiny agency that Congress created in 2002 to
modernize U.S. voting, that computerized electoral systems can be
manipulated at five stages, from altering voter registration lists to
posting results.

“You heard the old adage ‘follow the money,’ ”
Stigall said, according to a transcript of his hour-long presentation
that McClatchy obtained. “I follow the vote. And wherever the vote
becomes an electron and touches a computer, that’s an opportunity for a
malicious actor potentially to . . . make bad things happen.”

Stigall
said that voting equipment connected to the Internet could be hacked,
and machines that weren’t connected could be compromised wirelessly.
Eleven U.S. states have banned or limited wireless capability in voting
equipment, but Stigall said that election officials didn’t always know
it when wireless cards were embedded in their machines.

While
Stigall said that he wasn’t speaking for the CIA and wouldn’t address
U.S. voting systems, his presentation appeared to undercut calls by some
U.S. politicians to shift to Internet balloting, at least for military
personnel and other American citizens living overseas. Stigall said that
most Web-based ballot systems had proved to be insecure.

The
commission has been criticized for giving states more than $1 billion to
buy electronic equipment without first setting performance standards.
Numerous computer-security experts have concluded that U.S. systems can
be hacked, and allegations of tampering in Ohio, Florida and other swing
states have triggered a campaign to require all voting machines to
produce paper audit trails.

The CIA got interested in electronic
systems a few years ago, Stigall said, after concluding that foreigners
might try to hack U.S. election systems. He said he couldn’t elaborate
“in an open, unclassified forum,” but that any concerns would be relayed
to U.S. election officials.

Stigall, who’s studied electronic
systems in about three dozen countries, said that most countries’
machines produced paper receipts that voters then dropped into boxes.
However, even that doesn’t prevent corruption, he said.

Turning
to Venezuela, he said that Chavez controlled all of the country’s voting
equipment before he won a 2004 nationwide recall vote that had
threatened to end his rule.

When Chavez won, Venezuelan
mathematicians challenged results that showed him to be consistently
strong in parts of the country where he had weak support. The
mathematicians found “a very subtle algorithm” that appeared to adjust
the vote in Chavez’s favor, Stigall said.

Calls for a recount left Chavez facing a dilemma, because the voting machines produced paper ballots, Stigall said.

“How
do you defeat the paper ballots the machines spit out?” Stigall asked.
“Those numbers must agree, must they not, with the electronic
voting-machine count? . . . In this case, he simply took a gamble.”

Stigall said that Chavez agreed to allow 100 of 19,000 voting machines to be audited.

“It
is my understanding that the computer software program that generated
the random number list of voting machines that were being randomly
audited, that program was provided by Chavez,” Stigall said. “That’s my
understanding. It generated a list of computers that could be audited,
and they audited those computers.

“You know. No pattern of fraud there.”

A Venezuelan Embassy representative in Washington declined immediate comment.

The
disclosure of Stigall’s remarks comes amid recent hostile rhetoric
between President Barack Obama and Chavez. On Sunday, Chavez was quoted
as reacting hotly to Obama’s assertion that he’s been “exporting
terrorism,” referring to the new U.S. president as a “poor ignorant
person.”

Questions about Venezuela’s voting equipment caused a
stir in the United States long before Obama became president, because
Smartmatic, a voting machine company that partnered with a firm hired by
Chavez’s government, owned U.S.-based Sequoia Voting Systems until
2007. Sequoia machines were in use in 16 states and the District of
Columbia at the time.

Reacting to complaints that the arrangement
was a national security concern, the Treasury Department’s Committee on
Foreign Investment in the United States launched an investigation.
Smartmatic then announced in November 2007 that it had sold Sequoia to a
group of investors led by Sequoia’s U.S.-based management team, thus
ending the inquiry.

In the former Soviet republic of Georgia,
Stigall said, hackers took resurrecting the dead to “a new art form” by
adding the names of people who’d died in the 18th century to
computerized voter-registration lists. Macedonia was accused of “voter
genocide” because the names of so many Albanians living in the country
were eradicated from the computerized lists, Stigall said.

He
said that elections also could be manipulated when votes were cast, when
ballots were moved or transmitted to central collection points, when
official results were tabulated and when the totals were posted on the
Internet.

In Ukraine, Stigall said, opposition leader Viktor
Yushchenko lost a 2004 presidential election runoff because supporters
of Russian-backed Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych “introduced an
unauthorized computer into the Ukraine election committee national
headquarters. They snuck it in.

“The implication is that these
people were . . . making subtle adjustments to the vote. In other words,
intercepting the votes before it goes to the official computer for
tabulation.”

Taped cell-phone calls of the ensuing cover-up led to nationwide protests and a second runoff, which Yushchenko won.

Election
Assistance Commission officials didn’t trumpet Stigall’s appearance
Feb. 27, and he began by saying that he didn’t wish to be identified.
However, the election agency had posted his name and biography on its
Web site before his appearance.

Electronic voting systems have
been controversial in advanced countries, too. Germany’s constitutional
court banned computerized machines this month on the grounds that they
don’t allow voters to check their choices.

Stigall said that some countries had taken novel steps that improved security.

For
example, he said, Internet systems that encrypt vote results so they’re
unrecognizable during transmission “greatly complicates malicious
corruption.” Switzerland, he noted, has had success in securing Internet
voting by mailing every registered citizen scratch cards that contain
unique identification numbers for signing on to the Internet. Then the
voters must answer personal security questions, such as naming their
mothers’ birthplaces.

Stigall commended Russia for transmitting
vote totals over classified communication lines and inviting hackers to
test its electronic voting system for vulnerabilities. He said that
Russia now hoped to enable its citizens to vote via cell phones by next
year.

“As Russia moves to a one-party state,” he said, “they’re
trying to make their elections available . . . so everyone can vote for
the one party. That’s the irony.”

After reviewing Stigall’s
remarks, Susannah Goodman, the director of election reform for the
citizens’ lobby Common Cause, said they showed that “we can no longer
ignore the fact that all of these risks are present right here at home .
. . and must secure our election system by requiring every voter to
have his or her vote recorded on a paper ballot.”

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/226/story/64711.html

 

Uttaramerur Inscription

Recording the Mode of Election

to Village Assemblies

Tenth Century A.D. (From V. Venkayya, in Annual Report on Epigraphy, 1904.)

…The Village

We, the members of the assembly of Uttaramerur-caturvedi-mangalam in its own subdivision of Kaliyurkottam,

Officer Present

Karanjai Kondaya-Kramavitta bhattan alias Somasiperuman of Srivanganagar in Purangarambainadu, a district of the Chola country,

Settlement

Sitting
with us and convening the committee in accordance with the royal
command, made a settlement as follows according to the terms of the
royal letter for choosing once every year from this year forward members
for the “Annual Committee”, “Garden Committee”, and “Tank Committee” :

Wards

There shall be thirty wards,

Qualifications

In
these thirty wards, those that live in each ward shall assemble and
shall choose for “pot-tickets” (Kudav Olai) anyone possessing the
following qualifications :

(a) He must own more than a quarter veli of tax-paying land ;

(b) He must live in a house built on his own site ;

(c) His age must be below 70 and above 35 ;

(d) He must know the Mantrabrahmana, i.e., he must know it by teaching others ;

(e)  
Even if one owns only one-eighth veli of land, he should have his name
written on the pot-ticket to be put into the pot, in case he has learnt
one Veda and one of the four bhasyas by explaining it to others.

Among those possessing the foregoing qualifications :

(f) Only such as are well conversant with business and are virtuous shall be taken and,

(g)
One who possesses honest earnings, whose mind is pure and who has not
been on any of the committees for the last three years shall also be
chosen…

Mode of Election

Excluding all these, thus
specified, names shall be written for pot-tickets in the thirty wards
and each of the wards in these twelve streets of Uttaramerur shall
prepare a separate covering ticket for each of the thirty wards bundled
separately. These packets shall be put into a pot. When the pot-tickets
have to be drawn, a full meeting of the Great Assembly, including the
young and old members, shall be convened. All the temple priests
(Numbimar) who happen to be in the village on that day, shall, without
any exception whatever, be caused to be seated in the inner hall, where
the great assembly meets.

In the midst of the temple priests one
of them, who happens to be the eldest, shall stand up and lift that pot
looking upwards so as to be seen by all people. One ward, i.e., the
packet representing it, shall be taken out by any young boy standing
close, who does not know what is inside, and shall be transferred to
another empty pot and shaken. From this pot one ticket shall be drawn by
the young boy and made over to the arbitrator (madhyastha). While
taking charge of the ticket thus given to him, the arbitrator shall
receive it on the palm of his hand with the five fingers open. He shall
read out the name in the ticket thus received. The ticket read by him
shall also be read out by all the priests present in the inner hall. The
name thus read out shall be put down (and accepted). Similarly one man
shall be chosen for each of the thirty wards.

Constitution of the Committee

Of
the thirty men thus chosen, those who had previously been on the Garden
committee and on the Tank committee, those who are advanced in
learning, and those who are advanced in age shall be chosen for the
Annual Committee. Of the rest, twelve shall be taken for the Garden
committee and the remaining six shall form the Tank committee. These
last two committees shall be chosen by showing the Karai.

Duration of the Committees    

The
great men of these three committees thus chosen for them shall hold
office for full three hundred and sixty days and then retire.

…Villager’s Decision

We,
the members of the assembly of Uttaramerur Caturvedimangalam, made this
settlement for the prosperity of our village in order that wicked men
may perish and the rest may prosper.

http://varnam.org/blog/2006/03/uttaramerur_inscriptions/

 

 

EVMs in India: scrap them, forthwith; order an enquiry into EC excel files.

 

Duncan May 31, 2009 at 6:19 pm

Thank
you for your fascinating post. To add pieces to the puzzle, you might
want to look athttp://government.wikia.com/wiki/Tracking_the_elections

On
May 6, Dr Anupam Saraph (CIO of Pune, India) and Professor Madhav
Nalapat (Director of the Department of Geopolitics, Manipal University)
accidentally discovered a detailed Excel file of votes cast results for
every candidate in India on the official website of the Election
Commission of India (http://eci.nic.in/candidateinfo/frmcandidate.aspx).
That was 9 days before the final votes were even cast on May 15. Also,
the Election Commission was not supposed to have access to votes cast
data until May 16 when official counting was to be done.

The
Excel file was downloaded again from the Election Commission site on May
7 and 11. The numbers of votes cast for some candidates changed in each
version of the file. In version of the file downloaded on the last day
before the official counting, May 15th, the votes cast results column
was blank.

When news of the files started to spread, the Election
Commission crashed its site from May 23 to 25. It was back up on the
25th, but until the 29th, you couldn’t download the file anymore. You
can now, but the votes cast data for each candidate is gone (you can
just see who won) even though by now, two weeks after the election, is
when that data should be available.

Any idea what this means in the context of some of the potential hacks above? Does it reinforce one theory over another?

Duncan May 30, 2009 at 8:57 pm

Thank you very much for this fascinating post.

As
added pieces to the puzzle, you might like to know that on May 6th,
while looking for routine, publicly available, candidate data during the
election, a detailed Excel file of votes polled results for every
candidate in India was found on the official website of the Election
Commission of India (http://eci.nic.in/candidateinfo/frmcandidate.aspx).

That
was 9 days before the final votes were cast on May 15. And, even so,
the Election Commission was not supposed to have access to votes cast
data until May 16, when official counting was to be done.

On May 7
and 11, the Excel file was downloaded again from the Election
Commission site. The numbers of votes cast for some candidates changed
in each version of the file. In the version of the file downloaded, on
May 15th, the votes cast results column was blank.

The downloaded
files can be found here (the votes cast numbers are in Column N
“votespolled”): http://government.wikia.com/wiki/Tracking_the_elections

(And, in case that site is taken down, it would be appreciated if others stored/posted the files elsewhere.)

When
news of the files started to spread, the Election Commission closed its
site from May 23 to 25. It was back up on the 25th but, until the 29th,
you couldn’t download the file anymore.

You can now, but the
votes cast data for each candidate is gone (you can just see who won)
even though now, two weeks after the election, is when that data should
be available.

Any ideas on how this might affect some of the theories above?

Author: Duncan
Comment:
In
case of interest, I have tried to insert the paragraph below into the
wikipedia site on the election
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_general_election,_2009
but a bot rejects the wikia links to the information on the Excel files. Anyone else want to have a try? D.

Due
to the surprising results, so much at odds with the polling done by all
parties, questions are starting to be asked about the integrity of the
electronic voting machines used during the election.
[http://www.thehindu.com/2009/05/28/stories/2009052850110100.htm]
[http://www.deccanchronicle.com/hyderabad/now%2C-naidu-blames-evms-720]
This is especially the case given that what seems to be the final
results for all candidates for all parties was found on the Election
Commission of India’s server days before final voting had even begun.
[http://government.wikia.com/wiki/Tracking_the_elections]. These numbers
disappeared the day before the final count. As of yet the official vote
count for candidates has yet to be released, making it impossible to
compare the numbers found before the election with the actual tallies.
[http://government.wikia.com/index.php?title=2009_Lok_Sabha_Data_Questions&amp;oldid=49932]

- Hide quoted text -

See all comments on this post here:
http://psenthilraja.wordpress.com/2009/05/24/remote-controlling-evm-manufacturing-election-result/#comments

 

Wireless, remote control of EVMs by EC?

 There
is a possibility that EC could selectively, remotely manipulate the
polled results of EVMs which had been pre-installed with a wireless
device.

 Here is how this could have happened.

 Please see: http://psenthilraja.wordpress.com/ (mirrored below).

Search for excel in the blog. Then see ac-3 or ac-5 with the coded candidate and party names.

 Was this the scenario?

 Election
Commission had set up Excel spreadsheets on its official website.See
the following spreadsheetd downloaded from EC
website.http://www.scribd.com/doc/15676927/CandidateAC3.xls 6 May 2009

http://www.scribd.com/doc/15676489/CandidateAC5.xls  7 May 2009

 Source: http://tinyurl. com/nypuu7

 http://74.125.153.132/search?q=cache:HwmfJY7dpJIJ:government.wikia.com/wiki/Tracking_the_elections+candidateAC.xls&cd=3&hl=en&ct=clnk

Using
specially designed device, the core hacking team, can connect to each
of the EVM’s through satellite connection, and obtain the voting data in
to its computer.  This is possible, since each EVM has a unique ID, and
using that ID, they can connect to each and every EVM accurately.

All the data would be downloaded to a computer, according to EVM’s.

Now,
in the selected constituencies, the votes are adjusted in each EVM’s
used there, to increase the tally of the ruling party.  Suppose, if
there are 1500 boths in a constituency, and each booth having 1000
voters, with an average voting of 750 votes.  If we could adjust,
atleast 50 votes in each booth, it comes around 45,000 votes in all the
1500 booths.  And this 50 votes need not be taken from any single
party.   For example, in a particular constituency, 20 votes from ADMK,
10 votes from DMDK, 5 votes from 4 other small parties/candidates, will
total 50 votes.  And these small adjustments are extremely difficult to
detect and prove.

After the adjustments, these data could be uploaded to the corresponding EVMs automatically through an appropriate devices.

To
give a familiar view of this process, its possible, to download all the
data in an excel sheet along with EVM ID, adjust the values, and then
upload these data back to the EVM, from this excel sheet itself.  This
is very much possible.  Through automation,  any number of EVMs could be
manipulated in a short time.

 Remote Controlling EVM – Manufacturing Election Result

Published May 24, 2009 Uncategorized 10 Comments

A realistic Perspective of the Mass EVM Fraud:

In
my earlier posts, i just gave a wild prediction of how EVMs could be
hacked.  And as the discussion goes on further, we get a realistic
picture of how this fraud could have happened.

Let me put up my views on such possibilities again.

Insertion of Trojan:

Many
people claim that this possibility is low, as the number of persons
involved in this process would be high, and that there are possibilities
that it might be leaked out.  While their point is valid,  we can also
consider the sivaganga constituency, where the result is changed at the
last minute, but the news has been completely blocked. So, even if there
is more number of people involved, the news might be prevented from
leaking out.

The important stage of this Software hacking process
is to insert a trojan code in to the Control Unit software, right at
the manufacturing stage.  The EC claims that, since the same EVM is used
in more than one election, and that the candidate serial number is not
known at the time of manufacturing, this trojan software could not be
effectively used.

However, this is not a FOOL PROOF method.  What
the trojan software needs to know is the exact button assigned to the
beneficiary party.   This button may vary from constituency to
constituency.  So there may be series of key combinations, to make the
software know the button assigned for the particular beneficiary party. 
For example, if the congress is assigned the 3rd button in a particular
constituency, that button is held for a particular time period (say
some 30 seconds to 1 minute), in combination with other buttons. By
this, the software will come to know of the button assigned to the
beneficiary party, and use this for diverting the votes from other
parties.

The EC also claims, that the each chip has a unique code
assigned, and that replacing with any other chip will make the EVM
crash.  This is again a vague reasoning, because, it will not be
difficult, to manufacture the same chip with same unique number when a
determined fraud is happening.

One more claim by the EC is that
most of the EVM’s are manufactured long time back.  But that doesnt
explain the possibility of replacing the chip with another identical
one, just before this election.

Embedding of Minute Wireless Transmitter/ Receiver in EVM Chip:

Most
of the technical persons might be aware of the rapid advancement of
Nano Technology, where the size of the electronic componenet is highly
miniaturised.  Today is the era of embedding everything in to single
chip.  And i strongly raise the this question; Why dont the Controlling
Unit of the EVM’s be embedded with a wireless transmitter/receiver, for
remote access?

The embedding of wireless Transmitter/Receiver
inside the control Unit of the EVM machine is highly possible, and can
be done without being detected.  I believe, this form of manipulating
EVMs through remote control is indeed the most sophisticated, easier,
and advanced way to manipulate the results accurately.

For those, who are rejecting this very idea, please refer the following article in BBC.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/5186650.stm

The
above news is about a HP chip, that stores 100’s of pages, and
transmitts them via wireless, using bluetooth or other Radio Frequency.

And can you believe the size of that chip?

http://psenthilraja.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/hp-wireless.jpg?w=203&h=152

So,
its entirely possible to embed such a wireless transmitter/receiver
inside the control circuit of the EVM’s, and they can be controlled from
any part of the world.

Before, i move on, please read the following articles too.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090310084844.htm

A full fledged bluetooth wireless featured embedded in a single chip.  (antennas, transmitter, receiver, all within chip).

http://embedded-system.net/bluetooth-chip-with-gps-fm-radio-csr-bluecore7.html

Another HP article, that describes about the minute wireless chip that they had designed.
http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/newsroom/press/2006/060717a.html

An article in 2002, reporting about a wireless feature embedded within a chip.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/05/020530073010.htm

A quote at the end of the above article, would give a brief idea on use of embedded wireless devices.

“In
other potential applications, the military has expressed interest in
pairing wireless chips with tiny sensors such as microphones. The idea
is to drop thousands or even hundreds of thousands of these devices in a
region to eavesdrop over a wide area. The chips would form a listening
network by themselves, and the military monitor the system as needed.”

when
a tiny wireless chip is dropped in hundreds to eavesdrop, it means, the
chip is capable of transmitting data back to the control station.  This
point is very important and has to be noted to understand the issue
further.

Nano Technology in US Military:

http://mae.pennnet.com/articles/article_display.cfm?article_id=294946

How the EVMs Could have been manipulated through remote control:

To
discuss this possible scenario, We need to assume that the wireless
transmitter/emitter had been embedded in right at the manufacturing of
the Chip itself.  (Note:  THe chip manufacturing happens at a different
place, well before EVM production)

There is a unique ID assigned to each EVM, and each of the EVM could be contacted separately, using this unique ID.

Can such a wireless component be detected or traced?

The
wireless componenet in a chip, cannot be detected, unless, it transmits
or emits signals.  The Chip might have been programmed to transmit data
only upon receiving certain command through specific frequency.    In
this case, the receiver component might be in listen mode, waiting for a
particular command, known only to a core expert group.  So, in a normal
circumstance, this wireless component will be in hidden mode.

Can the architecture of the CHIP be verified?

To
my knowledge, a chip’s internal circuitry cannot be verified after it
is manufactured.  In our case, the expert committee had verified only
the approved architecture for use in production.  However, it doesnt
gaurantee, that all the Chips manufactured there are as per the original
design.

The current architecture might have been obtained by the
hackers, and additional wireless component introduced, and this new
modified architecture might be produced at some different place and then
used during the assembly of EVMs.

The size, apperance, and even
the Unique ID of the Chip would be emulated as it is, and thus it is
extremely difficult to verify, if the current Chip components used is
indeed the original one.

The EVMs are all despatched to the
respective constituencies, and the high level “Rigging / hacking team”,
will ensure that the EVM’s with wireless component is delievered to the
appropriate constituency.

Now, the election would be conducted regularly, and the EVMs are stored in a highly secured location in each constituency.

Now,
the core hacking team comes in to picture.  We know that there are two
days b/w last phase of voting and counting.  In that time interval, the
following is possible.

Using specially designed device, the core
hacking team, can connect to each of the EVM’s through satellite
connection, and obtain the voting data in to its computer.  This is
possible, since each EVM has a unique ID, and using that ID, they can
connect to each and every EVM accurately.

All the data would be downloaded to a computer, according to EVM’s.

Now,
in the selected constituencies, the votes are adjusted in each EVM’s
used there, to increase the tally of the ruling party.  Suppose, if
there are 1500 boths in a constituency, and each booth having 1000
voters, with an average voting of 750 votes.  If we could adjust,
atleast 50 votes in each booth, it comes around 45,000 votes in all the
1500 booths.  And this 50 votes need not be taken from any single
party.   For example, in a particular constituency, 20 votes from ADMK,
10 votes from DMDK, 5 votes from 4 other small parties/candidates, will
total 50 votes.  And these small adjustments are extremely difficult to
detect and prove.

After the adjustments, these data could be uploaded to the corresponding EVMs automatically through an appropriate devices.

To
give a familiar view of this process, its possible, to download all the
data in an excel sheet along with EVM ID, adjust the values, and then
upload these data back to the EVM, from this excel sheet itself.  This
is very much possible.  Through automation,  any number of EVMs could be
manipulated in a short time.

we have seen how the remote
controlling of EVM’s can be done by a small group of 5 to 10 expert
group.  I cannot prove that this is what could have happened, but i am
pointing out, that this is largely possible, with current technological
advancement, no matter, what amount of safegaurds we have.

Imagine,
if atleast 25% of the EVMs are embedded with such wireless component,
the result can be manipulated in atleast 25% of the constituencies.  
That comes around 136 constituencies of india, where the results can be
adjusted remotely from anywhere in the world.  THis is not a small
number to ignore.

What the political Parties (Mainly the opposition parties) can do now?

First
of all, it would be difficult to prove that a rigging has been
happened, because of the secrecy of the votes.  The political parties
can analyse the voting patter in the booth where they are strong, and
then take a mock survey.

The next thing is that the opposition
parties can fight to ban use of EVMs in the coming elections, and return
to paper ballot mechanism.  This is very important, and can be argued
strongly, citing the numerous possibility of hacking electronic
devices.  Also, the possibility of Rigging elections on a mass scale,
like use of automated software, wireless technology etc, undermines the
very purpose of election.  In Paper Ballot, although some amount of
rigging take place, it cannot be done at a mass scale secretly.

And
if the parties fail to do that, then Indian elections would always be a
“Match Fixing”.  The parties will continue to spend large amount of
money and effort in fighting elections, and atlast lose the elections,
without being aware that a core group would sit inside an A/C room
(either in Delhi or in Newyork), and manipulate the results to make a
particular party to win.

For those who dont accept, or reject
this as non-sense, i can confidently bet, that in the current world of
electronics, Nothing is impossible.

Imagine, if the US could
detect the location of Osama Bin Laden, through his cell phone signals,
its not Impossible to remote control the EVM’s through satellite.

PS:
The US and Britain had a direct stake in the current indian election,
mainly because of the nuclear deal they had done.  They can get the full
co-operation (or perhaps, the servitude, slavery and subjugation) only
from the congress party, and that they had the larger interest in making
congress win.  So, we cannot neglect the role of the US, in
architecting such a large hi-fi election rigging, using a small core
group of hackers.

Tampering EVMs – Some references

Published May 17, 2009 India , Politics 3 Comments
Tags: india-election-2009, tampering-EVM

In
my last post i wrote about the possibilities of EVM’s being tampered. 
And i was surprised to see a similar views expressed in Indian express
by Satinath Choudhary.

http://www.indianexpress.com/storyOld.php?storyId=45296

“In
the above news, satinath says Tampering EVMs is a child play.   He
further quotes as below.Computer chips that control the EVMs can be
easily programmed to do all kinds of improper manipulations. For
example, after a certain number of people (perhaps hundreds) have voted,
the rest of the votes may be channeled to a chosen candidate. This is
just one among many mischievous tricks possible.”

The same view
is expressed by me in my last post.  The author further says that
tampering cannot be detected, as it requires more than 100 votes to be
polled to detect any deviations or tamperings.

Interestingly  he
had filed a PIL in supreme court few years back, demanding release of
the EVM software code and also hardwarde design publicly as open source.

http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/7561

in the above link, it is quoted as

“The
reliability of the EVMs manufactured by the (Indian) public sector
Bharat Electronics Limited and the Electronics Corporation of India
Limited is doubtful. The software and circuits embedded in the EVMs
could very well contain numerous flaws or deliberate backdoors for
tampering,” commented Ravi Visvesvaraya Prasad, writing in the prominent
Delhi-based newspaper ‘Hindustan Times’.”

the above link also says

“How
does the EVM work? Frankly, we don’t know. (A professor from the one of
the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology who explained its
working on TV) could only test the EVMs as a black box. A proper
scrutiny of the EVM is possible only when the source code of the EVM is
public,” argued Ashhar Farhan on the tech-oriented India-GII mailing
list, which focuses on Internet and technology issues. The list is
hosted on the servers of the network of the Computer Professionals for
Social Responsibility, the oldest non-profit, mass membership
organization working on social impacts of computer technology.”

So
its evident that no one knows what is the software that runs inside the
EVMs and also the hardware that is available.  In such a scenario, what
is the gaurantee, that the EVM’s are NOT manipulated, and the software
that runs in it are genuine?

Some experts say, its easy to write a
self-destructing trojan, where it deletes itself after the election is
over.  But those who are in the IT and electronics fields, will know
that sky is the limit with software and hardware and no matter how hard
we strive to protect, there is always a way.

Rajeev srinivasan, a columnists, has posted his views in the rediff.com

http://election.rediff.com/column/2009/may/17/loksabhapoll-after-the-counting-and-other-stories.htm

The
Indian voter is not stupid, and is exquisitely sensitive to things that
affect his wallet. Therefore it is a little surprising that the average
voter drank the UPA’s Kool-Aid.

There is, of course, the
possibility that the average voter did not in fact fall for the UPA’s
charms, and that this election was subject to massive fraud. I am
talking about Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs). Having  spent many
years in the high-tech world, I do not trust computers, especially
embedded systems. Researchers in the US have shown how easy it is to
break into EVMs, which is why they have not adopted them. They have
realised how important it is to have a paper audit trail, hanging chads
and all.

It would not be extraordinarily difficult to install a
programme with a Trojan Horse in it. To outward appearances and to
ordinary testing, the programme would appear normal. However, when it is
fed a sequence of keystrokes by the agent of the party committing the
fraud, the Trojan Horse wakes up, and then, regardless of what buttons
the voter actually presses, it can assign a certain
(non-suspicious-looking) percentage (not 90% but, say 45%) to the
preferred party. The Trojan Horse can even be programmed to quietly
delete itself when the voting is over. Nobody would know any better, as
there is no paper trail.

Let me emphasise that I do not have any
evidence that this happened in 2009, but it is worth investigating.
There were too many surprising — almost miraculous — victories by
certain candidates whom the casual observer would have written off. By
Occam’s Razor, the simplest explanation is fraud. I would like to note
in passing that in 2004, expecting the NDA to commit fraud, an Indian
Communist in the US had prepared a suit alleging EVM fraud. Therefore it
is clear that the thought has occurred to various people that there
could be EVM fraud.

Reports of EVM tampering in the past:

EVM’s tampered in orissa
http://orissamatters.com/2009/04/23/1389_evm/

Jayalalitha against the EVM.

http://news.in.msn.com/national/article.aspx?cp-documentid=1784728

What other countries had to say on this..
http://news.idg.no/cw/art.cfm?id=003AE63C-17A4-0F78-31DDDC0DCFA62609
http://www.wvcag.org/news/fair_use/2004/07_01e.htm
http://arstechnica.com/old/content/2004/05/3721.ars
http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-06-26-e-voting_x.htm
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/226/story/64711.html

Is india doomed forever? a review on 2009 election results

Published May 16, 2009 India , Uncategorized 23 Comments

Now
the long expected election results is out.  Contrary to the popular
views, the results was a shock to everyone, both to the winning UPA and
to the losing NDA.  The reason is that this result is unexpected, and in
some sense, unfeasible, considering the so much of anti-incumbency and
confusion that existed in the past few months.

I strongly
believe, that this election result appears to be highly artificial, and
that some external/internal forces had acted on it to alter the verdict,
to the non-popular italian lady and the rubber stamp Manmohan Singh. 
While i could not specify exactly the kind of riggings/manipulations
that have happened, i just wanted to list down the possibilities and the
reasons why i believe the results could be largely manipulated.

I would analyse this point NOT on NDA’s strength, but rather on the position of UPA before the polls.

Status of the Parties in the Pre-Poll Scenario:

Its
clearly evident, that UPA was running on a heavy anti-incumbency
factor, and was in a state of confusion, with infighting among its UPA
partners.  The Congress was continuously losing the state elections
since 2004, except for few states like rajasthan and delhi.  Even in
rajasthan, congress won only because of BJP’s rivalries and it could not
secure a comfortable majority.

And then the famous UPA
parliamentry scam, where a group of opposition MP’s were bought by the
ruling congress (but the principal architect being the US).  Congress
earned a bad name after that scam, and its popularity further plunged,
because of the simultaneous bomb blasts in major indian cities, within
weeks after the vote for cash scam.  (While this is widely believed to
be handiwork of congress and its american masters to cover up the
rumbles raised by the opposition over the Vote for cash scam).

The
congress also announced series of freebies, like the 60,000 crore loan
waiver for farmers etc, which ultimately did not create any positive
impact on it.  The situation further worsened with skyrocketing price
rises where a kg of rice peaked from Rs.20 to Rs. 40 at the time of
polling.

The other UPA partners also doesnt seems to doing well. 
The DMK was itself at heavy anti-incumbency, while the congress had all
sort of issues with other UPA allies, like RJD, paswan and Sharad
Pawar.  Most of the UPA constituents  fielded candidates against
congress in many places.

In tamilnadu, Jayalalitha was riding at
her peak, with even some of the pro-congress news channels giving her a
sweep of tamilnadu.  People were disgusted at DMK’s rampant corruption
and inactiveness and mainly its double standard over Lankan tamil
issue.  The people were so angry that they were of the opinion that
other than DMK & Congress, any other party can be voted.

In such a scenario, the outcome of the POLLS is highly shocking and unbelievable.

Analysis of the Poll Outcomes:

Let
me start with Tamilnadu.  The DMK has won 18 seats, while the ADMK won
only 9.  This itself is unbelievable, considering the electoral
alliance.  The DMK had only congress and VCK, while the ADMK camp has
MDMK, PMK, and the communists.

Also, the winning margins of DMK
candidates are very high, which again raises the suspicion.  Such high
margins are possible only when there is a wave in favor of DMK, which
clearly is absent in TN.

Also the finance minister P. Chidambaram
was trailing till the last round, but suddenly declared as winner. 
Expecting more details on this.

At the national level too, there
was NO wave in favor of congress, to attain such big victory.  It got
around 200 seats on its own, which is beyond its capability in a genuine
contest and also in terms of its position and popularity, it is beyond
its reach.

In andhra pradesh, the opposition had put up a strong
alliance, and PRP remained a third front.  It seems the congress is
nearing majority, which again is very difficult considering the grand
alliance and also its anti-incumbency.  The TDP really had a favorable
position, along with the support of communists and the TRS.

Is there any behind the scene riggings & Manipulations?

Those
who are from tamilnadu, will immediately say “YES” on seeing the
outcome.  But on the national level, its really difficult to say so, in a
generic way.  But i believe, something has taken place to bring out the
outcome.

The main reason for my prediction is that the way the
congress projected itself in medias, and the way it was confident of 200
seats, and the relaxing posture from it, all make me suspect that the
poll outcome was determined well ahead of the polls.  If we look at the
200 mark of congress, it is more or less the same it was boasting of in
the medias.  (one may say, they said it out of their estimation..  but
no party can predict as close as this, amidst an anti-incumbancy
situation).

So what are the ways, the polls could be manipulated or rigged?

Hacking of EVM Software:

This
is one area, where we cannot reject it completely.  Being a software
engineer myself, i am aware of how much if’s and else’ we can inject in
to the software that runs in the EVMs.  ie, we can implant any amount of
logic or possibilities in to it, so that the results are obtained in
the way they wanted.  Let me quote the few possibilities that could be
hacked in to the EVMs.

1. For every 10 votes in each party, one vote is transferred to the congress.

2.
At the end of voting, just by pressing/holding a specific button, the
final results are adjusted that a specific % of votes (say 5%) from
other parties are transferred to the congress.

3. When the results are counted, point two can happen.

4.
A passive secret minute wireless device integrated in to EVMs, known
only to specific people, so that the results could be manipulated after
the elections, while the EVM’s are stored in a central location.  The
person can do this through remote, just outside that building, and that
he need to break in to the building.  I believe, this is highly possible
given the current technologies, and also due to the fact that the
hacker can establish wireless connection to each of the EVM’s
separately.

Or there can be a software that gets the data from
all the EVM’s at a time, so that the hacker can adjust the data all at
once from a remote location, then update them to the respective EVMs in a
batch mode.  This is the most effective way of poll rigging.

EVMs
with such manipulating software/wireless devices need not be used at
all the locations.  Rather, a specific set of seats, where congress is
strong but could not win might have been chosen, and such EVMS might
have been delivered to those constituencies.  By this, the possibility
of such fraud being detected would be less, as such manipulated EVMs
would be distributed among regular ones, so that the parties could not
detect it effectively.  I think its time consuming to verify all the
EVMS, and that the parties might not be aware of such conspiracies and
hence would not have thought of checking or may not know how to check.

Also,
even the polling officers might not be knowing this, as the software is
developed by not more than a team of 10 engineers.  Only those who
developed the software know of its functioning, and only those who
designed the hardware chips know of the wireless feature.

Since
the software of the EVM’s could be updated at any time any where,
through either data card, or through wireless (in case if its fitted),
this thing could have been done at any time of the election process. 
Even at the last minute.  It has to be noted again, that the time to
reinstall the software might not take more than 10 minutes.

Rigging Elections:

Coming
to the next possibility, the poll rigging has been another effective
tool to manipulate the vote count.  Its a known fact and it happened in
the past, that at the end of the polls (by 4-5 PM), the booth manager,
if he is a supporter of the ruling party, facilitates the respective
booth agents to fill the unpolled votes to their party.  The other party
agents are either blackmailed, or subverted or threatened or thrown out
of the room by using some false accusations.

But this could not
be widely practiced, as it might expose the ruling party.  However, the
congress being extra constitutional party enjoying full media support,
such incidents are never reported.  When the congress could indulge in
buying out votes in the parliament unmindful of the public reaction, its
no wonder that it would fear for public reaction at the local booth
level.

Particularly in Tamilnadu, the DMK has shown the way of how to do rigging without getting accounted for.

The Money Power:

I
think, the BJP secured a self-goal, when it raised its pitch over
bringing back swiss money.  This backfired, as a tiny part of the swiss
money would have been channeled to power broke the elections. 
Considering the fact that more than a two lakh crore rupees are stuffed
in swiss bank, its natural for the corresponding secret account holders
to divert a part of that to prevent BJP from coming to power, thus
saving themselves from a government scrutiny.  No wonder, even the
congress persons themeselves would have lot of money stashed in swiss
bank, which they might have used.

Now coming to the role of money
in influencing the voters, i could accept it as a factor but not a
deciding factor in the results.  Because in the karnataka elections both
ruling and opposition parties distributed money, and ultimately the BJP
won through, inspite of congress distributing money.

Another
possibility is to silence/bribe the BJP/opposition booth commitee
members in key constituencies, to favor congress by being within BJP.  I
believe, there are many such moles available in BJP.

And the
last thing is the distribution of money to the voters.  In tamilnadu, it
was taking place at an unprecendented scale, where for each
constituency, around 50 crores were spent by DMK and the congress.  This
could not be matched by ADMK.

Deliberate Error in Election result:

I
dont know how far the possibility is, but i am NOT ruling out this
option.  What if the person who announces the result in each
constituency,  manipulates in favor of the ruling party.  Who is going
to verify it or recount it?  The respective booth representative just
notes down what is being announced.

However i am aware that this is not that much easy.

The power of beurocracy:

And
finally, i am coming to the most important factor.  The absolute power
of beurocracy, both in terms of governmental power and also in terms of
their Unions.

In tamilnadu, its an open secret that the ADMK
government was brought down last time, because of the conspiracies of
the government servants.  Jayalalitha came down heavily on the
government employees, when they attempted to blackmail the government.

This
was confirmed by me at some of my friends circle where their parents
are government servants.  But i could not speculate on how they could
have done it.  There are many possibilities/opportunities, where they
could do this at various levels, right from polling booth.

Is india Doomed for ever?

Now, let’s consider the situation of India.

The President of India is a congress selected person.

The unaccountable super PM is an italian lady.

The PM of india is the nominated person, who is the most obedient to his italian masters.

The Chief Election Commissioner is Navin Chawla, who is a Congress stooge.

Many government positions now appointed with person of congress loyalty.

I
am really concerned that using these high level circles, the congress
could do anything in the future.  Let me speculate some of the
possibilities…

http://psenthilraja.wordpress.com/

 

DMDK moves HC against use of EVMs

TIMES NEWS NETWORK 27 May 2009

Chennai:
The Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) of actor Vijayakanth on
Tuesday moved the Madras high court for a direction to the Election
Commission to revert to using paper ballots in future elections,
contending that there was a possibility of tampering with electronic
voting machines (EVMs).
    When the writ petition came up for
admission, a vacation bench, comprising Justice V Dhanapalan and Justice
MM Sundresh, ordered issue of notices to the Centre, state government
and the Election Commission on the question of the petition’s
maintainability.
    In the petition, the party contended there was
no way for a voter to verify whether the vote he had cast by pressing a
button had been correctly recorded in favour of the symbol he had
chosen. It alleged that voting machines could be programmed in such a
way that every fifth vote would go in favour of the ruling party. It was
a fraud on the Constitution and raised serious concerns about future
elections, the DMDK petition said.
    It noted that there were
complaints during the recent Lok Sabha polls about the use of faulty
electronic voting machines. There were also instances of delay in
replacing faulty EVMs. In these circumstances, the petitioner sought a
direction to the authorities to stop the use of EVMs and revert to paper
ballots. As an interim measure, the party sought a temporary injunction
restraining the EC from using EVMs in the assembly byelections that are
likely to take place in the state soon. The DMDK had polled just over
10% of the votes in the recent LS polls, but did not win any seats.
http://www.dmdkparty.com/home.htm
http://epaper.timesofindia.com/Default/Scripting/ArticleWin.asp?From=Archive&Source=Page&Skin=TOINEW&BaseHref=TOICH/2009/05/27&PageLabel=7&EntityId=Ar00703&ViewMode=HTML&GZ=T

EC, perish.
Candidate
AC3.xls spreadsheet is attached. This was posted on 6 May 2009 on the
EC website. This shows votes polled by each candidate. File name:
15676927-CandidateAC3 (Can also be downloaded from
http://www.scribd.com/doc/15676927/CandidateAC3.xls )

This
is enough evidence for disbanding the Election Commission for violating
their own norms of not disclosing voting patterns before the votes are
really counted on May 16, 2009. EC had even banned exit polls before 5
PM on May 16, 2009 making psephologists sweat out with their own
fraudulent computations. Learn to count or perish ! EC, perish.

Germany’s
Supreme Court ruled in March 2009 that e-voting was unconstitutional
because the average citizen could not be expected to understand the
exact steps involved in the recording and tallying of votes. EC, perish
for having failed to explain to the average Indian citizen that votes
were getting tabulated even before the counting began.

namaskaram. kalyanaraman

EVMs: Why was EC broadcasting votes polled on internet from May 6, while banning even exit polls before May 16?

2009 Lok Sabha Data Questions

From Governance Wiki

Revision as of 09:34, 1 June 2009 by AnupamSaraph (Talk | contribs)

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Due
to the availibility of the results for all the candidates from the 6th
through the 11th, when the official counting was to take place on the
16th of May, the following questions are being repeatedly asked:

If EVM’s were secure with district collectors, how was the data available to the ECI on files downloaded between these dates?

If data transmitted on the 6th was test/dummy data why does it change for some constituencies on the 6th, 7th and 11th May 2009?

If data transmitted was test/dummy data, how does it match the results?

If data transmitted was test/dummy data, why were the candidate names and party names coded all of a sudden?

If
data transmitted was test/dummy data, why was it not removed on the 7th
after the NIC and ECI were intimated on the 6th? Why was there no
explanation from NIC/ECI to date?

What is the field “DECODE(FINALISED,’YES’,’FINALISED’,)” change over time?

If test/dummy data was uploaded, why is real data not uploaded till date?

On
the 6th of May we had asked the ECI to clarify the following: “The
queries are returning coded names. The spreadsheet is having votes
polled for each candidate- Is this test data, a wrong file or actual
votes polled?”

We have not yet heard from the ECI so we have sent
a reminder on the 31st of May 2009 we have asked the ECI the following:
“Can you kindly indicate what the data in the CandidateAC downloaded
fromhttp://eci.nic.in/candidateinfo/frmcandidate.aspx file between the
6th and 15th is? Why is the Final votes polled data not uploaded till
date at this location? When do you plan to upload it?”

–Prof Madhav Nalapat and Dr. Anupam Saraph 11:59, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

http://government.wikia.com/index.php?title=2009_Lok_Sabha_Data_Questions&oldid=49932

http://sites.google.com/site/hindunew/electronic-voting-machines

Fixing EVMs : Election Commission had records of votes polled for every candidate – well before votes were polled

Tracking the elections

From Governance Wiki

Beginning
16th April 2009 the list of candidates obtained fromCandidateAC.xls
from the Election Commission of India was uploaded to wiki pages. Since
the election was conducted in phases additional information had to be
uploaded as it became available. On the 24th April 2009 a second list
became available CandidateAC-1.xls and the wiki pages were uploaded.

From
the 6th of May through the 15th of May the candidate information was
unavailable as it appeared in “coded form” and with candidate
performance data (6th May: CandidateAC-2.xls, CandidateAC-3.xls, 7th
May: CandidateAC-4.xls,11th May: Candidate AC-5.xls, 15th
May:CandidateAC-6.xls).

The information available on 16th May,
CandidateAC-7.xls, is not yet uploaded as votes polled data is not
available to date (19th May 2009:CandidateAC-8.xls and 20th May:
CandidateAC-9.xls.

Dr. Anupam Saraph with advice from Prof Madhav Nalapat

http://tinyurl.com/nypuu7

You
might be interested to hear that  Dr Anupam Saraph (CIO of Pune, India,
and an adviser to the UN and the Asian Development Society) and
Professor Madhav Nalapat (Director of the Department of Manipal
University, India, as well as a UNESCO Peace Chair holder,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nalapat) accidentally discovered files on
an official Indian government website that seemed to have voting result
numbers long before votes were actually cast.

On May 6th, while
looking for routine, publicly available, candidate data during the
election, a detailed Excel file of votes polled results for every
candidate in India was found on the official website of the Election
Commission of India (http://eci.nic.in/candidateinfo/frmcandidate.aspx).
That was 9 days before the final votes were cast on May 15. And, even
so, the Election Commission was not supposed to have access to votes
cast data until May 16, when official counting was to be done.

On
May 7 and 11, the Excel file was downloaded again from the Election
Commission site. The numbers of votes cast for some candidates changed
in each version of the file. In the version of the file downloaded on
the last day before the official counting, May 15th, the votes cast
results column was blank.

The downloaded files can be found here
(the votes cast numbers are in Column N “votespolled”):
http://government.wikia.com/wiki/Tracking_the_elections

When
news of the files started to spread, the Election Commission closed its
site from May 23 to 25. It was back up on the 25th but, until the 29th,
you couldn’t download the file anymore. You can now, but the votes cast
data for each candidate is gone (you can just see who won) even though
now, two weeks after the election, is when that data should be
available.

The implications are unsettling.

May 30, 2009…6:13 am

EVM Fixing

The
results of recent Indian elections have taken everyone by surprise.
They are really bizzare. There is something rotten going on. How did
Congress and the Western countries which support it slyly managed to get
these dream results? Does the possibility of EVM (electronic voting
machines) rigging exist?

Why were the Congress courtiers
hell-bent on getting Navin Chawla to head the Election Commission? What
role could this despicable doormat of 10 Janpath have possibly played?
EVMs hold the key to this mystery. Interestingly EVMs are thoroughly
discredited the world over because they are prone to manipulation. One
agency has even called them a “threat to national security.”

All
non-Congress parties in India would do well to launch a campaign to ban
the use of EVMs. Or at least ensure that the EVM prints a ballot that is
then dropped into a box for later counting and tallying the results
with the EVMs. Strange things are possible with the use of EVMs. The
most bizzare of these being the last-minute win of Chidambaram when he
was trailing the other candidate the whole day in counting. Seems like
Congress courtiers are allying with some foreign intelligence agencies
to rule India in a “you scratch my back, I scratch yours” pact.

http://indianrealist.wordpress.com/2009/05/30/the-evm-fixing/

Links cited in:

http://www.india-forum.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=2258&pid=97949&st=0&#entry97949

 

Winning Elections Made Easy

Jayalalithaa asks EC to scrap EVMs

Dutch government bans electronic voting

U.S. district judge refuses to lift state ban on electronic voting

California bans the use of some e-voting machines

Analysis finds e-voting machines vulnerable

 Most electronic voting isn’t secure, CIA expert says

California Top to Bottom Review
In
May 2007, California Secretary of State Debra Bowen commissioned a “Top
to Bottom review” of all electronic voting systems in the state. She
engaged computer security experts led by the University of California to
perform security evaluations of voting system source code as well as
“red teams” running “worst case” Election Day scenarios attempting to
identify vulnerabilities to tampering or error. The Top to Bottom review
also included a comprehensive review of manufacturer documentation as
well as a review of accessibility features and alternative language
requirements.

The end results of the tests was released in the
four detailed Secretary of State August 3, 2007 resolutions (for Diebold
Election Systems, Hart InterCivic, Sequoia Voting Systems and Elections
Systems and Software, Inc.) and updated October 25, 2007 revised
resolutions for Diebold and Sequoia voting systems.[47] The security
experts found significant security flaws in all of the manufacturers’
voting systems, flaws that could allow a single non-expert to compromise
an entire election.

 

How to tamper with voting machines! Demo by Amarinder Singh

Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service (March 12, 2001)

Chandigarh, March 11, 2001
Can electronic voting machines (EVMs) be tampered with?

“Yes”,
says Mr Amarinder Singh, president, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee,
supporting his assertion by giving a demonstration of how an EVM with a
cleverly programmed chip installed in it can transfer votes polled by
one candidate to another leaving no remnants of the original voting
pattern.

“Convinced that these EVMs can be manipulated, we are
going to make a presentation to the Chief Election Commissioner, Dr
Manohar Singh Gill, in New Delhi next week and request him to revert to
the original system of voting using ballot papers. If the commission
does not listen to us, we will have no choice but to knock at the door
of the judiciary to get EVMs out of the elections,” asserts Mr Amarinder
Singh.

 

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2001/20010312/2lead.gif
Capt Amarinder Singh demonstrates how a “fudged electronic voting machine” works. — A Tribune photo by Parvesh Chauhan

Mr
Amarinder Singh carries a set of EVMs, including the control unit,
which during elections remains with the presiding officer of a polling
station, and gives a “demonstration of how the programmed chip transfers
the votes of one candidate to another”.

“We got suspicious about
what we call ‘sophisticated booth capturing’ when we found that there
was 129 per cent increase in the votebank of Akalis at Nawanshahr, 100
per cent at Sunam and now 65 per cent at Majitha. The ruling party did
well wherever EVMs were used while at other places, we did well. This we
did by analysing all elections in the state since 1997,” says the PPCC
chief, admitting that “my wife and Mr Jagmeet Singh Brar were elected to
the Lok Sabha from constituencies where EVMs were used. But till that
time, for the ruling Akali Dal, EVMs were something new and unique.

“But
once they put their electronics experts on the job, they could
immediately find a solution. Whatever the Election Commission says about
EVMs is not true. The mother boards, after being removed from the EVMs,
do not crash but work perfectly after being soldered back in the
machine. Similarly, wave welding, which the Election Commission
maintains is not available in India, is very much available at various
places in the country,” asserts the Punjab Congress chief.

“We
put our hardware and software experts on the job. They not only came out
with different programmed chips but also revealed how these EVMs had
been condemned the world over. Many countries, including Germany, France
and the UK, had gone back to the conventional ballot paper polling by
discarding the EVMs,” he said before giving a demonstration of how an
EVM with a programmed chip installed in it “works wonders”.

“A
programmed chip will not cost much. It is both timed and programmed to
convert the votes polled by one candidate to those of another. It is
only the final position that will remain on the hardchip or all three
memories, thus leaving no scope for anyone to find out the original
pattern of voting,” he says during the demonstration. “Seventeen votes
are cast of which three go to candidate number 1, one each to candidates
number two and three, 11 to candidate number 5 and one to candidate
number 7. And after a while, when the votes are counted, the machine
gives 13 votes to candidate number 1 and four to candidate number 2 and
nothing to the rest.

“So each machine can be programmed to
transfer, say, every third vote polled by the Congress to the Shiromani
Akali Dal. In the Chamunda Devi area, which is a traditional Congress
stronghold, our candidate lost during the recent Majitha Assembly
byelection. This strengthens our conviction that EVMs were programmed.

“Let
bygone be bygone. We do not want this ‘sophisticated booth-capturing’
to continue anymore. We do not want EVMs but want that in all future
elections in Punjab the conventional ballot paper should be used.

“The
EVMs remain in the custody of the government, thus leaving scope for
their manipulation. We had requested the Election Commission that if it
wants to use EVMs in Majitha, let it bring EVMs from any other state and
use them. But our suggestion was turned down and the EVMs already with
the election tehsildars in Punjab were used,” he added.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2001/20010312/main4.htm

Italy calls halt to electronic voting

November 30, 2006 8:16 pm in voting, Related Articles

The
Italian Minister of the Interior, Giulano Amato has announced that
following pilots the government has decided not to pursue electronic
voting any further.

“We decided to stop the electronic voting
machine […] During the 2006 elections we experimented with the
machines as a voting system, and not a system that counts the sections,
without any reference to the legally valid votes. Now that we arrived at
the point in which we decide to continue, passing from the experimental
phase to the implementation, using the machines for the counting as
well, it is obvious: we decided to stop. It is a suggestion that came
from the ministerial offices, I presented it to Prodi expressing my
opinion as well, the Premier agreed. It will be the triumph of our
ancestors, but for someone of my generation it isn’t unpleasant either.
Let’s stick to voting and counting physically because less easy to
falsify” (Source)

This is fantastic news for Italians and for all
of us around the world trying to prevent the introduction of e-voting.
In the space of a month the Canadian province of Quebec has introduced
an indefinite moratorium on e-voting, the Netherlands have withdrawn all
of a specific model e-voting machine and now Italy have called a halt
to e-voting. Is the tide turning?

Following up on the earlier
claims that the Italian general election could have been rigged, the
journalists behind the allegations are now being investigated for
publishing false information. Whether the allegations themselves are
being properly investigated isn’t clear - there seems to be a lot of
recrimination at the moment and little in the way of facts.

(Thanks to Emanuele and The Open Rights Group for the links)

http://www.jasonkitcat.com/h/f/JDOM/blog//1//?be_id=320

APCC ridicules Babu’s remarks on EVMs

 

By Express News Service 
30 May 2009 07:13:00 AM IST

HYDERABAD:
The Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee today ridiculed Opposition leader
N Chandrababu Naidu for holding Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs)
responsible for his party’s (TDP) defeat in the recent elections.

“Why
didn’t the TDP leaders raise any objections or make suggestions on EVMs
at the meetings arranged by the Election Commission before polls?,’’ it
questioned. Addressing a press conference at Gandhi Bhavan here, APCC
spokespersons N Thulasi Reddy, B Kamalakar Rao and general secretary and
MLC R Padma Raju pointed out that the TDP had never raised any
objection on functioning of EVMs before the polls. It had started
looking at the reasons for TDP’s debacle in polls, and as part of it it
now blames the EVMs.

Chandrababu Naidu who was known as a hitec
Chief Minister during the TDP rule, was now preferring to continue the
age-old ballot paper system in the elections. They urged the Opposition
leader to play a constructive role and strive to improve his
`credibility’.

The PCC members took strong exception to the
Opposition leader’s remarks that the Rajasekhara Reddy Government was
formed by securing just 36.53 percent votes. Chandrababu’s remarks shows
his `ignorance’ and said that he was living in illusion. Mayawati
Government in Uttar Pradesh was formed by securing just 30.4 percent
votes in 2007 elections, they noted. 

http://www.expressbuzz.com/edition/print.aspx?artid=TU7NLNMGDIE=

Now, Naidu blames EVMs

By By Our Correspondent

May 29 2009

Hyderabad

May
28: The Telugu Desam president, Mr N. Chandrababu Naidu, is now
suspecting faulty Electronic Voting Machines for his party’s defeat in
the recent elections. He prefers the age-old ballot paper be continued.

Mr Naidu promised to infuse new blood into the party and reward hardworking party leaders and workers.

The
TD chief scrapped the party’s state and district committees and
announced the constitution of ad hoc committees till new bodies were
elected. He asked party leaders from the districts to review the poll
debacle and give him reasons for the same.

Mr Naidu gave enough
hints that the EVMs were not above suspicion in addition to the split in
the anti-government votes by Praja Rajyam besides other reasons.

“We
received complaints from several places about malfunctioning of EVMs.
Mr K.E. Krishnamurthy called up from Dhone and said that faulty EVM
stopped polling for three hours. Many voters had to return dejected,” he
alleged.

Mr Naidu cited an AIADMK complaint to the Election
Commission alleging rigging in the recent elections due to EVMs and
demanded reversion to the ballot paper. Ms Jayalalithaa has been arguing
against the EVMs and referred to some developed countries reverting to
ballot paper after they found out that EVMs were being manipulated.

“The
AIADMK chief had also lodged a complaint against EVMs. There is demand
for reverting to ballot paper,” he said. Several party leaders also
blamed the Mahakutami for the defeat of the Telugu Desam evoking sharp
reaction from the CPI leader, Mr Narayana. The TD chief made it clear to
party cadre not to indulge in superficial reviews but concentrate on
the causes for the defeat of the candidate in each constituency.

Mahanadu
celebrated the 86th birthday of N.T. Rama Rao with pomp and honoured
many film personalities. D.V.S. Raju, a close associate of NTR, cut a
huge cake and presented the same to Mr Naidu, Balakrishna and Jr NTR.

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/hyderabad/now%2C-naidu-blames-evms-720

 

EVMs: Dangers of trusting them too much

 

By Subramanian Swamy
29 May 2009 01:00:00 AM IST

There
is much talk today about electoral rigging in the recent general
elections. These doubts have arisen from the unexpected number of seats
won by the Congress, and they are accentuated by the spate of articles
recently published in reputed computer engineering journals and in the
popular international press. All raise doubts about the EVMs.

For
example, International Electrical & Electronics Engineering Journal
(May 2009, p 23) has published an article by two professors of computer
science, titled: Trustworthy Voting. They conclude that while
electronic voting machines offer a myriad of benefits, nine suggested
safeguards are absolutely essential to protect the integrity of
outcomes. None of these safeguards are in place in Indian EVMs. In India
they do not meet the standard of national integrity.
Newsweek
magazine (June 1) has published an article by Evgeny Morozov, who points
out that when Ireland embarked on an ambitious e-voting scheme in 2006,
such as fancy touch-screen voting machines, it was widely welcomed:
Three years and 51 million euros later, in April, the government
scrapped the initiative. What doomed the effort was a lack of trust: the
electorate just didn’t like it that the machines would record their
votes as mere electronic blips, with no tangible record.

A
backlash against e-voting is brewing all over Europe. After almost two
years of deliberations, Germany’s Supreme Court ruled last March that
e-voting was unconstitutional because the average citizen could not be
expected to understand the exact steps involved in the recording and
tallying of votes. Political scientist Ulrich Wiesner, a physicist who
filed the initial lawsuit said in an interview with the German magazine
Der Spiegel that the Dutch Nedap machines used in Germany were even less
secure than mobile phones. The Dutch public-interest group ‘Wij
Vertrouwen Stemcomputers Niet’ (We Do Not Trust Voting Machines) 
produced a video showing how quickly the Nedap machines could be hacked
without voters or election officials being aware (the answer: in five
minutes). After the clip was broadcast on national television in October
2006, the Netherlands banned all electronic voting machines.

Why
are EVMs so vulnerable? Each step in the life cycle of a voting machine
— from the time it is developed and installed to when the votes are
recorded and the data transferred to a central repository for tallying —
involves different people gaining access to the machines, often
installing new software. It wouldn’t be hard for, say, an election
official to paint a parallel programme under another password, on one or
many voting machines that would ensure one outcome or another
pre-determined even before voters arrived at the poll stations.

These
dangers have been known to the Election Commission since 2000, when M S
Gill, then CEC, had arranged at my initiative for professor Sanjay
Sarma of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Gitanjali Swamy
of Harvard to demonstrate how un-safeguarded the chips in EVMs were.
Some changes in procedures were made by the EC, but not on the
fundamental flaws. In 2004, the Supreme Court First Bench, of Chief
Justice V N Khare, Justices Babu and Kapadia had directed the election
commission to consider the technical flaws in EVMs put forward by
Satinath Choudhary, a US-based software engineer in a Public Interest
Litigation. But the EC has failed to consider his representation.

There
are many ways to prevent EVM fraud. One way to reduce the risk is to
have machines print a paper record of each vote, which voters could then
deposit into a conventional ballot box. While this procedure would
ensure that each vote can be verified, using paper ballots defeats the
purpose of electronic voting in the first place. Using two machines
produced by different manufacturers would decrease the risk of a
security compromise, but wouldn’t eliminate it.

A better way, it
is argued in the cited International Electrical & Electronics
Engineering Journal article, is to expose the software behind electronic
voting machines to public scrutiny. The root problem of electronic 
machines is that the computer programs that run them are usually closely
held trade secrets (it doesn’t help that the software often runs on the
Microsoft Windows operating system, which is not the world’s most
secure). Having the software closely examined and tested by experts not
affiliated with the company would make it easier to close technical
loopholes that hackers can exploit. Experience with Web servers has
shown that opening software to public scrutiny can uncover potential
security breaches.

Now the Madras High Court is soon to hear a
PIL on the EVMs. This is good news. The time has arrived for a long hard
look at these machines. Otherwise elections would soon lose their
credibility. All political parties must collect evidence to determine
how many constituencies could have been rigged. The number would not
exceed 75 in my opinion.

We can identify them as follows: Any
result in which the main losing candidate of a recognised party finds
that more than 10 per cent of the polling booths showed less than five
votes per booth, should be taken prima facie as a constituency in which
rigging has taken place. This is because the main recognised parties
usually have more than five workers per booth, and hence with their
families would poll a minimum of 25 votes per booth for their party
candidate. Hence if these 25 voters can given affidavits affirming who
they had voted for, then the high court can treat it as evidence and
order a full inquiry.

(The author is a former Union law minister)

http://tinyurl.com/mtrmgx

EVMs were rigged in Lok Sabha polls: AIADMK

B. Kolappan (The Hindu, 28/05/2009)

CHENNAI:
The AIADMK on Wednesday urged the Election Commission to revert to
ballot paper, arguing that Electronic Voting Machines were rigged in the
Lok Sabha polls.

A resolution adopted at the executive committee
meeting of the party said the election results had reflected
large-scale manipulation of EVMs. (Note: A similar resolution has been
passed by the PMK Executivde Committee on 26 May 2009).

“Our
party general secretary Jayalalithaa has been constantly arguing against
EVMs. Even the developed countries have reverted to ballot paper after
manipulation of EVMs was detected,” said the resolution.

When
reporters waiting in the party headquarters approached Ms Jayalalithaa
for her reaction, she said she had nothing to add to the resolutions
passed at the meeting.

Another resolution urged the Indian
government to secure a good future for Sri Lankan Tamils by finding a
permanent solution to the ethnic crisis.

“The Central government
should send relief materials through the International Committee of the
Red Cross (ICRC) to the Tamils who are victims of the Sri Lankan Army,”
the resolution said.

“Names deleted”

Yet another
resolution alleged that the DMK government deleted the names of
supporters of the AIADMK from the voter list and in every Assembly
constituency over 10,000 names were deleted.

“The Election Commission should look into the issue and take steps to include these names in the voter list,” it added.

The
executive meeting also accused the State government of failing to
secure the rights of Tamil Nadu over Cauvery water and in Mullaperiyar
issue.

The meeting condemned the power crisis in the State
maintaining that industries, weavers, farmers and every section of
society was affected by it.

A resolution vowed to defeat the DMK government and bring back the “golden period” of Ms Jayalalithaa.

http://www.thehindu.com/2009/05/28/stories/2009052850110100.htm

ஓட்டுச்சீட்டு தான் வேண்டும் : அ.தி.மு.க., செயற்குழு தீர்மானம்

மே 28,2009,00:00  IST

சென்னை
: “இனி நடைபெறும் தேர்தல்களில் மின்னணு ஓட்டுப் பதிவிற்குப் பதிலாக, பழைய
முறைப்படி காகித ஓட்டுச்சீட்டுகள் தான் பயன்படுத்தப்பட வேண்டும்’ என்று
இந்திய தேர்தல் கமிஷனை வலியுறுத்தி, அ.தி.மு.க.,செயற்குழுவில் தீர்மானம்
நிறைவேற்றப்பட்டது.

அ.தி.மு.க., செயற்குழு கூட்டம், அக்கட்சியின்
அவைத்தலைவர் மதுசூதனன் தலைமையில் சென் னையில் நேற்று நடந்தது. மாநிலச்
செயலர்கள்,மாவட்டச் செயலர்கள், மகளிரணிச் செயலர்கள், எம்.எல்.ஏ., மற்றும்
எம்.பி.,க்கள் உள்ளிட்ட செயற்குழு உறுப்பினர்கள் இக்கூட்டத்தில்
பங்கேற்றனர். செயற்குழு கூட்டத்தில் பங்கேற்பதற்காக நேற்று மாலை 4மணிக்கு
ஜெயலலிதா, கட்சியின் தலைமை அலுவலகத்திற்கு வந்தார்.அவருக்கு, தொண்டர்கள்
உற்சாக வரவேற்பு அளித்தனர். செயற்குழுவில்,இரங்கல் தீர்மானம் உள்ளிட்ட 11
தீர்மானங்கள் நிறைவேற்றப்பட்டன. தீர்மானங்களை அரசியல் ஆலோசகர் பொன்னையன்,
எம்.பி.,க் கள் பாலகங்கா, மைத்ரேயன், எம்.எல்.ஏ.,க்கள் சண்முகம்,
செங்கோட்டையன்,வேலுமணி, செந்தில் பாலாஜி, மாவட்டச் செயலர்கள் திருச்சி
மனோகரன்,மஞ்சினி முருகேசன், தஞ்சாவூர் ரங்கசாமி ஆகியோர் முன்மொழிந்தனர்.

கூட்டத்தில்
நிறைவேற்றப்பட்ட தீர்மானங்கள்: லோக்சபா தேர்தலில் ஆளுங்கட்சியினரின்
அராஜகம், அதிகார துஷ்பிரயோகம், தேர்தல் தில்லுமுல்லுகள் ஆகியவற்றை
அரங்கேற்றி, பணபலத்தைப் பயன்படுத்தி,போலியான வெற்றியைப் பெற்று, “பணநாயக’
கலாசாரத்தைப் புகுத்தியதி.மு.க.,வைக் கண்டிக்கிறோம். தேர்தலில் பணியாற்றிய
கட்சியினர் மற்றும்கூட்டணிக் கட்சியினர் மீது, அரசியல் காழ்ப்புணர்ச்சியோடு
பொய் வழக்குதொடுத்து பழி வாங்கும் செயலை செயற்குழு கண்டிக்கிறது.
மின்னணுஓட்டுப்பதிவு இயந்திரத்தை பயன்படுத்துவதால் பெருமளவில் தேர்தல்
முறைகேடு நடக்க வாய்ப்பு உள்ளதை, ஜெயலலிதா தொடர்ந்து சுட்டிக்காட்டி
வந்துள்ளார். வளர்ந்த நாடுகள் கூட மின்னணு ஓட்டுப்பதிவு இயந்திரத்தில்
முறைகேடுகள் நடைபெறுவதை அறிந்து, ஓட்டுச்சீட்டு முறைக்கு மாறிவிட்டன.
தற்போது நடந்த லோக் சபா தேர்தலில் மின்னணு ஓட்டுப்பதிவு இயந்திரம்
பயன்படுத்தப்பட்டதில் பெருமளவு முறைகேடுகள் திட்டமிட்டு நிகழ்த்தப்
பட்டுள்ளதை தேர்தல் முடிவுகள் பிரதிபலிக்கின்றன. எனவே, இனி நடைபெறும்
தேர்தல்களில் மின்னணு ஓட்டுப் பதிவிற்குப் பதிலாக, பழைய முறைப்படி காகித
ஓட்டுச் சீட்டுகள் தான் பயன்படுத் தப்பட வேண்டும் என்று இந்திய தேர்தல்
கமிஷனை வலியுறுத்துகிறோம்.

இலங்கைத் தமிழர்களுக்கு சர்வதேச
செஞ்சிலுவை சங்கம் மூலம் உடனடி நிவாரணம் கிடைக்க வழி வகை செய்ய வேண்டும்
என்று மத்திய அரசை வலியுறுத்துகிறோம். இலங்கைத் தமிழர்களுக்கு ஒரு நல்ல
எதிர்காலத்தை அமைத்துத் தரும் வகையில் பிரச்னைக்கு தீர்வு காணவும், அந்தத்
தீர்வு நிரந்தரத் தீர்வாகவும் இருக்க வேண்டுமென மத்திய அரசை
வலியுறுத்துகிறோம். அ.தி.மு.க., கூட்டணிக்கு ஆதரவான வாக்காளர்களைக்
கண்டறிந்து, திட்டமிட்டு அவர்களை இறுதி நீக்கல் தனிப் பட்டியலில் சேர்த்து
அவர்களின் ஓட்டுரிமை பறிக்கப்பட்டுள்ளது. குறைந்தபட்சம் ஒவ் வொரு சட்டசபை
தொகுதியிலும் 10 ஆயிரம் ஓட்டுகள் இது போல் நீக்கப் பட்டுள்ளது. தேர்தல்
கமிஷன் உடனடியாக இதில் தனி கவனம் செலுத்தி,தகுதியான வாக் காளர்களை
வாக்காளர் பட்டியலில் மீண்டும் இடம் பெறச் செய்ய வேண்டும். இவ்வாறு
தீர்மானங்கள் நிறைவேற்றப்பட்டன.

விலைவாசி உயர்வு, மின் தடை, காவிரி,
முல்லைப் பெரியாறு, பாலாறு,பொன்னையாறு உள்ளிட்ட பிரச்னைகளில் அக்கறை
காட்டாததாக, முதல்வர் கருணாநிதியைக் கண்டித்து செயற்குழுவில் தீர்மானம்
நிறைவேற்றப் பட்டது. தீர்மானங்கள் நிறை வேற்றப்பட்ட பின், கட்சியின்
முக்கிய நிர்வாகி கள் பேச அழைக்கப்பட்டனர். அவர்கள், தங்களது கருத்துகளை
தெரிவித்த பின், செயற்குழு நிறைவில் ஜெயலலிதா பேசினார். செயற்குழு கூட்டம்
முடிந்து ஜெயலலிதா புறப்பட்டு சென்ற பின், மாவட்டச் செயலர்கள் கூட்டம்
நடத்தப்பட்டது.

 

 

 

http://www.dinamalar.com//fpnnews.asp?print=1&News_id=3920&cls=row4

Kerala HC asks EC to review EVMs

Electronic voting machine

Date:27/05/2009 (The Hindu)

The
Kerala High Court has directed the Election Commission to consider a
representation seeking to make changes in the electronic voting machine.

http://www.thehindu.com/2009/05/27/stories/2009052751030200.htm 

 

EVMs a fraud against the Constitution — DMDK in Madras HC

DMDK moves HC to stop use of EVMs in polls

27 May 2009, 0608 hrs IST, TNN

 

CHENNAI:
The Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) of actor Vijayakanth on
Tuesday moved the Madras high court for a direction to the Election
Commission to revert to using paper ballots in future elections,
contending that there was a possibility of tampering with electronic
voting machines (EVMs).

When the writ petition came up for
admission, a vacation bench, comprising Justice V Dhanapalan and Justice
MM Sundresh, ordered issue of notices to the Centre, state government
and the Election Commission on the question of the petition’s
maintainability.

In the petition, the party contended there was
no way for a voter to verify whether the vote he had cast by pressing a
button had been correctly recorded in favour of the symbol he had
chosen. It alleged that voting machines could be programmed in such a
way that every fifth vote would go in favour of the ruling party. It was
a fraud against the Constitution and raised serious concerns about
future elections, the DMDK petition said.

It noted that there
were complaints during the recent Lok Sabha polls about the use of
faulty electronic voting machines. There were also instances of delay in
replacing faulty EVMs. In these circumstances, the petitioner sought a
direction to the authorities to stop the use of EVMs and revert to paper
ballots. As an interim measure, the party sought a temporary injunction
restraining the EC from using EVMs in the assembly byelections that are
likely to take place in the state soon.

The DMDK had polled just over 10% of the votes in the recent LS polls, but won no seat.

 

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/msid-4581661,prtpage-1.cms

Metropolitan News-Enterprise

 Tuesday, May 26, 2009

 Page 1

Court Remands $875,000 Fee Award in Voting Machine Case

 By KENNETH OFGANG, Staff Writer

The
First District Court of Appeal Friday ordered a trial judge to
reconsider an award of more than $875,000 in fees and costs to a Santa
Monica law firm that successfully challenged Alameda County’s refusal to
release documents related to the use of its now-discarded electronic
voting system.

Div. One, in an unpublished opinion by Presiding
Justice James Marchiano, largely upheld an injunction requiring the
county to make certain materials available to voters who question the
validity of election outcomes in future elections if “directed-recorded
electronic” or DRE machines that do not provide a “paper trail” are
used.

The use of such machines is now prohibited by state law,
and Alameda County switched in November 2006 to a system that uses
optically scanned paper ballots to count more than 99 percent of the
vote. Disabled voters have the option of using an electronic machine
with a paper audit trail instead.

The firm of Strumwasser &
Woocher represented the medical marijuana advocacy group Americans for
Safe Access in a challenge to the declared defeat of Measure R on the
Berkeley ballot in November 2004. The initiative would have, among other
things,  allowed medical marijuana users to cultivate as many plants as
they and their doctors believed necessary for their personal use,
repealing a 10-plant-per-user limit imposed by the City Council.

Election
officials initially certified that the measure had lost by 191 votes,
prompting ASA to demand a recount. In accordance with the recount
statute, which allows proponents of a recount to view the marked and
unmarked ballots along with “any other relevant material,” ASA asked to
see internal access logs and test reports that the group said would show
whether DRE software was manipulated during or after the election, as
well as documents reflecting the chain of custody of electronic data.

The
county rejected the demand. The recount reduced, but did not wipe out,
the margin of defeat for Measure R, and ASA filed suit seeking
injunctive and declaratory relief, as well as a new election.

The
lawsuit was initially dismissed, but the Court of Appeal reversed,
saying the complaint stated a cause of action and that the issue of
whether the requested materials were relevant to the recount request had
to be decided on the basis of evidence.

On remand, Alameda
Superior Court Judge Winifred Smith largely sided with ASA, saying it
had a statutory and constitutional right to view the requested
materials. She then granted most of the attorney fees and costs
requested by Strumwasser & Woocher.

The firm asked for more
than $1 million. It contended that associates Gregory Luke and Aimee
Dudovitz should be awarded $490 per hour for more than 1,000 hours of
work, that partners Fredric Woocher and Michael Strumwasser should be
awarded $625 per hour for nearly 20 hours of work, that associate Ellen
Yang’s services were worth $410 per hour for nearly 20 hours of effort,
and that factors such as the contingent nature of the case justified a
multiplier doubling the award.

The county responded that the
claim was excessive, providing, among other things, a declaration by
noted elections lawyer Robin Johansen—whose firm later represented the
county on appeal—indicating that her firm charged $425 per hour for her
time and $360 per hour for that of an associate.

Smith concluded
that fair hourly rates were $550 per hour for the partners,  $425 per
hour for Luke—who had put in more than 790 hours, according to the
moving papers—$375 per hour for Dudovitz, and $275 for Yang. The judge
eliminated more than $20,000 for services found to be redundant or
unnecessary, but agreed that the lodestar should be multiplied by two.

On
appeal, the county argued that the fee award was defective because
Smith did not make detailed findings with respect to the propriety of
either the lodestar or the multiplier. Marchiano, writing for the Court
of Appeal Friday, said the lodestar award was proper but that the county
had a sound argument with respect to the multiplier.

In the
absence of a detailed explanation, the presiding justice said, the panel
was unable to determine whether the trial judge improperly “double
counted,” that is, considered the attorneys’ special expertise in
elections and constitutional law in determining both the lodestar amount
and the multiplier.

Marchiano questioned whether the case was as
complex as the firm argued, saying the hourly rates, while awarded
within the trial judge’s discretion, were high “for work involving only
the meaning of ‘relevant material.’” He noted that the firm had already
litigated similar issues in a case it lost in Riverside County, so the
issues were not completely novel.

“It is difficult to conclude,
without further explanation by the trial court or a finding of
extraordinary skill to justify a multiplier on that ground, that skill
was not already encompassed in the lodestar and thus the trial court was
double counting,” the presiding justice wrote.

On remand, he
added, it would be appropriate for the judge to consider that fact that
the fees will have to be paid by a public entity to a private law firm
in setting the amount of any multiplier.

The case is Americans for Safe Access v. County of Alameda, A121390.

 

http://www.metnews.com/articles/2009/safe052609.htm

Sivaganga constituency disputed report: Election Commission engaged in serious enquiry

 

May 26, 2009

 

The
report received from the Collector on the counting of votes in
Sivaganga constituency is seriously enquiring into the affair by
reviewing the video recordings. During the counting of votes in the
Sivaganga Lok Sabha constituency, from round 1 to round 15, AIADMK
Candidate Raja Kannappan was in the lead.

 

In a sudden
twist, during the next two rounds, Home Minister P. Chidambaram was
declared to be in the lead and declared elected by a difference of 3354
votes. By 12: 30 PM in a situation when most party agents had left the
counting premises, at about 6 PM, the declaration of election was made
and has led to intense debate.

 

Raja Kannappan’s
complaint: Stating that there were malpractices in the counting of
votes, Raja Kannappan has lodged a complaint with Naresh Gupta, State
Election Commmissioner and asked for recount. In his petition, Raja
Kannappan has noted: “When counting of votes had ended by 1:30 PM, I was
declared to have been in the lead and that I had won by a difference of
3552 votes. Claiming that there were differences in the counting, the
District Election Officer declined to declare the result. Thereafter, a
declaration was made that P. Chidambaram had won”

 

There
is a difference of 15,000 votes between the recordings made during the
counting, by Election Party Agents and details mentioned in the
Announcement Board.

 

Why delay? Electronic Voting
Machines used in Alangudi Assembly segment were received in Karaikkudi
counting centre only on May 14 (that is, the day after the election at 6
AM). The distance between Karaikudi and Alangudi is only 60 kms.
Despite this, there has been delay in bringing in the EVMs. Some Machine
numbers are also different from the one recorded earlier. On some EVMs,
there are no signatures of Election Party Agents. There is no tally
between the number of voters and the votes recorded. So said, Raja
Kannappan in his petition.

 

After reviewing the petition,
Naresh Gupta has ordered for a detailed report from the Election
Officer, who is Collector Pankaj Kumar. Naresh Gupta who gave a Press
Statement on May 20 that there were no malpractices in the  counting
process, has, on the very next day asked for a detailed report from the
Collector. This has fueled further debate. Election Commission is
seriously engaged in matching the video recordings with the reports made
by the Collector.

 

Translation of the report in Tamil Daily, Dinamalar, May 26, 2009.

 

சிவகங்கை தொகுதி சர்ச்சை அறிக்கை: தேர்தல் கமிஷன் ஆய்வு தீவிரம்

மே 26,2009,00:00  IST

சிவகங்கை
தொகுதி ஓட்டு எண்ணிக்கை சர்ச்சை குறித்து கலெக்டரிடம் அறிக்கை பெற்றுள்ள
தேர்தல் கமிஷன், வீடியோ காட்சிகளை வைத்து தீவிர ஆய்வு நடத்தி வருகிறது.
சிவகங்கை லோக்சபா தொகுதியில் ஓட்டு எண்ணிக்கையின் போது துவக்கத்தில்
இருந்து 15 சுற்றுகள் வரை அ.தி.மு.க., வேட்பாளர்ராஜகண்ணப்பன் முன்னிலையில்
இருந்தார்.

திடீர் திருப்பமாக கடைசி 2 சுற்றுக்களில் முன்னிலை
பெற்று மத்திய உள்துறை அமைச்சர் ப.சிதம்பரம் (காங்.,) 3,354 ஓட்டு
வித்தியாசத்தில் வென்றதாக அறிவிக்கப்பட்டது. மதியம் 12.30 மணியளவில்
அனைத்து கட்சிகளின் ஏஜன்டுகளும் வெளியேறிவிட்ட நிலையில், மாலை 6 மணியளவில்
வெற்றி அறிவிப்பு வெளியிட்டது பலத்த சர்ச்சையை ஏற்படுத்தியுள்ளது.

ராஜகண்ணப்பன்
புகார்: ஓட்டு எண்ணிக்கையில் முறைகேடு நடந்ததாகவும், மறு எண்ணிக்கைக்கு
உத்தரவிட கோரியும் தலைமை தேர்தல் அதிகாரி நரேஷ்குப்தாவிடம் ராஜகண்ணப்பன்
புகார் செய்துள்ளார். அவரது மனுவில், “ஓட்டு எண்ணிக்கை மதியம் 1 மணிக்கு
முடிந்த நிலையில் 3, 552 ஓட்டு வித்தியாசத்தில் நான் வென்றதாக
தெரிவிக்கப்பட்டது. ஓட்டு எண்ணிக்கையில் வித்தியாசம் இருப்பதாக கூறி மாவட்ட
தேர்தல் அதிகாரி முடிவு அறிவிக்க மறுத்து விட்டார். பிறகு ப.சிதம்பரம்
வென்றதாக அறிவிக்கப்பட்டது.

 

 எண்ணிக்கையின் போது கட்சி
ஏஜன்ட்கள் குறித்து வைத்துள்ள விபரங்களுக்கும், அறிவிப்பு பலகையில்
குறிப்பிட்டுள்ள விபரங்களுக்கும் இடையே 15 ஆயிரம் ஓட்டுகள் வித்தியாசம்
உள்ளது.

தாமதம் ஏன்: ஆலங்குடி சட்டசபை தொகுதியில் பயன்படுத்தப்பட்ட
ஓட்டுப்பதிவு இயந்திரங்கள்,காரைக்குடி எண்ணிக்கை மையத்திற்கு மே 14 ம் தேதி
(தேர்தலுக்கு மறுநாள்) காலை 6.30 மணிக்கு தான் வந்து சேர்ந்தன.
காரைக்குடி, ஆலங்குடிக்கு இடையே 60 கி.மீ., தூரம் மட்டுமே உள்ள நிலையில்
மிகவும் தாமதமாக இயந்திரங்கள் கொண்டு வரப்பட்டுள்ளன. சில இயந்திரங்களின்
குறியீட்டு எண்ணும்மாறுபட்டுள்ளது. சில இயந்திரங்களில் கட்சி ஏஜன்ட்களின்
கையெழுத்தும் இல்லை. ஓட்டுப்பதிவு மற்றும் எண்ணிக்கை விபரங்கள்
ஒத்துப்போகவில்லை’ என தெரிவித்துள்ளார்.

 மனுவை பரிசீலித்த
நரேஷ்குப்தா, தேர்தல் ஓட்டு எண்ணிக்கை முழு விபர அறிக்கை அனுப்புமாறு
தேர்தல் அதிகாரியான கலெக்டர் பங்கஜ்குமார் பன்சாலுக்கு உத்தரவிட்டுள்ளார்.
ஓட்டு எண்ணிக்கையில் முறைகேடு இல்லை என மே20ல் சென்னையில் பேட்டியளித்த
நரேஷ்குப்தா, மறுநாளே கலெக்டரிடம் அறிக்கை கேட்டது சர்ச்சையை மேலும்
அதிகரித்துள்ளது. கலெக்டர் அனுப்பியுள்ள அறிக்கையை, ஓட்டு எண்ணிக்கை
மையத்தில் எடுக்கப்பட்ட வீடியோ காட்சிகளை ஒப்பிட்டு தேர்தல் கமிஷன்
தீவிரமாக ஆராய்ந்து வருகிறது.

http://www.dinamalar.com//Pothunewsdetail.asp?print=1&News_id=13395&cls=row4&ncat=DI

 

PIL to ban use of EVMs in future elections admitted in Madras High Court

Chennai, May 26, 2009

DMDK
headquarters secretary P. Parthasarathy has filed a PIL in the High
Court of Madras seeking a ban on the use of Electronic Voting Machines
in bye-elections and to direct that elections be conducted using ballot
papers.

 

The key points made in the PIL:

1. DMDK contested in all 40 constituencies of Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry for the elections to Lok Sabha held on May 13.

2. Electronic Voting Machines were used during the election.

3.
Frauds and malpractices occurred in the use of balloting units of EVMs.
In Central Chennai constituency in particular, the EVMs were so
manipulated that pressing of any button resulted in the vote accruing to
the candidate of the ruling party.

4. In Virudhunagar
constituency, it is reported that 25,000 additional votes were recorded
on the machines than the number of voters.

5. In Dindigul
constituency, when button was pressed on DMDK symbol, the light on the
Congress symbol was lit up. Many EVMs were so manipulated that, one
additional vote was recorded for the ruling party symbol for every 5
votes recorded.

 

Similar malpractices and frauds
involving manipulation of EVMs occurred in many constituencies and
booths during the election. When such malpractices and frauds were
detected, no attempt was made to replace the EVMs in a wholesale manner.
Despite representations and ccomplaints were made to the Election
officials, no action was taken by the latter.

 

Hence,
there should be a ban on the use of EVMs in the forthcoming
bye-elections. Court was requested to direct the Election Commission to
use only ballot paper system.

 

Vacation Bench judges
Hon’ble V. Dhanapalan and MM Sundaresh admitted the PIL. The Solicitor
General agreed to file the response of the Union of India.

 

The
next hearing was postponed by three weeks, after issuing notices to the
Central Election Commission and State Election Commissioner of Tamil
Nadu.

 

English translation of Tamil report (appended below).

 

Kalyanaraman

 

pdf News Report in Tamil:

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/document-preview.aspx?doc_id=6428709

 

http://www.koodal.com/news/tamilnadu.asp?id=40307&section=tamil&title=dmdk-seeks-ban-electronic-voting-machine

Ramadoss of PMK demonstrates how an EVM is doctored 

தோல்விக்கு காரணம்? ராமதாஸ் விளக்கம்

மே 26,2009,00:00  IST

 

http://img.dinamalar.com/data/images_news/tblArasiyalnews_76088678837.jpg
Ramadoss, President of PMK demonstrates how an electronic voting
machine can be doctored

சென்னை : “”புகையிலை, மது, சர்க்கரை ஆலை
அதிபர்களின் பண பலமே எங்கள் தோல்விக்கு காரணம்,'’என பா.ம.க., நிறுவனர்
ராமதாஸ் கூறினார். பா.ம.க., பொதுக்குழு கூட்டம் சென்னையில் நேற்று கூடியது.
கூட்டத்தில் பேசியவர்கள் விவரம்: திருக்கச்சூர் ஆறுமுகம் எம்.எல்.ஏ.,;
ஸ்ரீபெரும்புதூர் தொகுதியில்ஏ.கே.மூர்த்தி ஒரு லட்சம் ஓட்டு
வித்தியாசத்தில் வெற்றி பெறுவார் என்ற செய்தி கிடைத்ததும் தந்திரத்தை
பயன்படுத்தி அவரது வெற்றியை தட்டிச் சென்றனர். நன்றி தெரிவிக்க
வாக்காளர்களை நாங்கள் சந்தித்தபோது பூ விற்கும் பெண்களும், பஜ்ஜி, வடை
விற்கும் பெண்களும், “நாங்கள் எல்லாம் மூர்த் திக்கு தானே ஓட்டு போட் டோம்.
எப்படி அவர் தோல்வி அடைந் தார்’ என வருத்தப்பட்டனர்.

முன்னாள்
மத்திய அமைச்சர் வேலு: இந்த ஓட்டுக்கள் விற்பனைக்கு அல்ல; சேவைக்கு தான்
எனக் கூறி, அரக்கோணம் தொகுதி மக்கள் ஓட்டு அளித்தனர். பணபலம், அதிகார
பலத்தால் வெற் றியைஇழந்துள்ளோம். சட்டசபை தேர்தலில் பாடம் கற்பிக்க
அனைவரும் ஒற்றுமையாக இருந்து பணியாற்ற வேண்டும். தாழ்த் தப்பட்டோரின்
ஓட்டுக்கள் நமக்கு கிடைத்துள் ளது. அவர்கள் வாழும் ஊர்களில் நமது அமைப்பை
உருவாக்க வேண்டும்.
முன்னாள் எம்.எல்.ஏ., காடுவெட்டி குரு: நான் ஓட்டு
பொறுக்கி அல்ல; போராளியாக உருவாக்கப்பட்டவன். வன்னியர்கள் படையை தட்டி
எழுப்பினால் வட மாவட்டங்களில் நடமாட முடியாத நிலை ஏற்படும். சத்ரியன்
தோல்விகளை கண்டு கவலைப்பட மாட்டான். நமக்கு நிரந்தர எதிரி
கருணாநிதி;நிரந்தர துரோகி பண்ருட்டி ராமச்சந்திரன். மின்னணு இயந்திரங்கள்
இனி தேவையில்லை; ஓட்டுச் சீட்டுகளை தான் தேர்தலுக்கு பயன்படுத்த வேண்டும்.
வளர்ந்த நாடுகளில் ஓட்டுச் சீட்டு தான் பயன்படுத்தப்படுகிறது.
மாநில
தலைவர் மணி: கட்சி அமைப்பு ரீதியாக பலப்படுத்தப்படும்; உட்கட்சித் தேர்தல்
நடத்தப்படும். பா.ம.க., இளைஞர் அணி சங்கம், இனி இளைஞர் அணி என
மாற்றப்பட்டுள்ளது. மகளிர் சங்கம், மகளிர் அணியாக மாற்றப்பட்டுள்ளது. இளம்
பெண்கள் அணி என்ற புதிய அணியும் உருவாக்கப்படும்.
முன்னாள் மத்திய
அமைச்சர் அன்புமணி: மோசடி தேர்தல் நடத்தி, சதி திட்டம் தீட்டி, “420′ ஆக
வெற்றி பெற்று விட்டனர். சுகாதாரத் துறை அமைச்சராக பணியாற்றியதால்
தொண்டர்களை கடந்த ஐந்து வருடமாக நான் சந்திக்கவில்லை; இனிமேல் சந்திப்பேன்.
சென்னையில் தலைமை அலுவலகம் திறக்கப்படும். காலை 10 மணி முதல் 1 மணி வரை
கட்சியினர் என்னை சந்திக்கலாம். இந்த சந்தர்ப்பத்தை அளித்த முதல்வருக்கு
நன்றி. நாங்கள் வெற்றி பெற்றிருந்தால் அமைச்சர் பதவியில் நான் இடம் பெற
மாட்டேன் என ராமதாசிடம் ஒன்றரை மாதம் முன் தெரிவித்திருந்தேன். காரணம்,
கட்சி பணிகளில் என்னை தீவிரமாக ஈடுபடுத்திக் கொள்ள விரும்பினேன்.
அ.தி.மு.க.,வுடன் கூட்டணி தொடரும்.

பா.ம.க., நிறுவனர் ராமதாஸ்:
எங்களை யாரும் வீழ்த்த முடியாது. நாங்கள் வீழ்வதற்காக பிறக்கவில்லை. வெற்றி
பெற பிறந்தவர்கள். வஞ்சகம், தில்லு முல்லுவினால் தோல்வி அடைந்துள்ளோம்.
தமிழ்நாட்டை குடிகார நாடு என அழைக்க வேண்டும். அந்தளவிற்கு மதுவால்
இளைஞர்கள் வேகமாக சீரழிந்து வருகின்றனர். புகையிலை, சர்க்கரை, மதுபான
அதிபர்களின் பண பலம் எங்களது தோல்விக்கு காரணமாகி விட்டது. தி.மு.க., வை
அரசியலில் இருந்து அப்புறப்படுத்த வேண்டும்.

ஒரு இனத்தை அழிக்க
காரணமாக இருக்கும் மொழி, பண்பாட்டை மீட்டெடுக்க சபதம் ஏற்க வேண்டும். சமூக
நீதி, பொருளாதார முன் னேற்றம், சமச்சீர் கல்வி, தரமான கல்விக்கு தொடர்ந்து
குரல் கொடுப்போம். நான் போராளியாகவே இருக்க விரும்புகிறேன். போராளிக்கு
ஓய்வு கிடையாது. தேர்தல் முடிவுக்கு பின்புதுவலிமை எனக்கு கிடைத்துள்ளது.
போராட்ட களத்தில் நான் முன் செல்கிறேன். எனக்கு பின் நீங்கள் வாருங்கள்.
ஒளிமயமான எதிர்காலம் நம்மால் தமிழகத்திற்கு உண்டு. இவ்வாறு அவர்கள்
பேசினர்.

தேர்தலில் ஒரு கட்சிக்கு எப்படி அதிக ஓட்டுக்களை பதிவு
செய்ய முடியும் என்பதை மின்னணு இயந்திரம் மூலம் செய்முறை விளக்கத்தை
முன்னாள் எம்.பி., தன்ராஜ் விளக்கி காட்டினார்.

“தேர்தல் தொடர்பாக
பா.ம.க.,வினர் மீது போடப்பட்டுள்ள அனைத்து வழக்குகளை திரும்ப பெற வேண்டும்.
தமிழகம் முழுவதும் பஸ் கட்டணம் குறைக்க வேண்டும். கல்வி கட்டணக் கொள்ளையை
தடுக்க வேண்டும். இலங்கை அதிபர் ராஜபக்ஷே மீது போர்க் குற்ற நடவடிக்கைகள்
மேற்கொள்ள மேலை நாடுகள் மேற்கொண்டு வரும் முயற்சிக்கு இந்தியா துணை நிற்க
வேண்டும்’ உள்ளிட்ட பல்வேறு தீர்மானங்கள் அக்கூட்டத்தில் நிறைவேற்றப்பட்டன.

 

 

 

 

http://www.dinamalar.com//Arasiyalnewsdetail.asp?print=1&News_id=11155&cls=&ncat=TN

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Rajeev Srinivasan <rajeev.srinivasan@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, May 25, 2009 at 7:31 AM
Subject: ieee computer on systemic fraud possible in electronic voting machines

thanks
to a pointer from raja, i discovered this article is available free of
cost to anyone on the net. from the may issue of ieee computer.

 

http://www.computer.org/portal/cms_docs_computer/computer/homepage/May09/r5pra.pdf

 View/download document (Mirror)

tanenbaum
is well-known for his r&d, i remember his unix-like os, mix, much
before linux and even gnu. he is a networking guru, too.

 

clearly, serious and reputed computer scientists are suggesting that the current system is highly susceptible to fraud.

 

Europe rejects electronic voting machines — untrustworthy. Germany’s Supreme Court rules them unconstitutional

We Do Not Trust Machines

The people reject electronic voting.

Evgeny Morozov

NEWSWEEK

From the magazine issue dated Jun 1, 2009

When
Ireland embarked on an ambitious e-voting scheme in 2006 that would
dispense with “stupid old pencils,” as then–prime minister Bertie Ahern
put it, in favor of fancy touchscreen voting machines, it seemed that
the nation was embracing its technological future. Three years and €51
million later, in April, the government scrapped the entire initiative.
High costs were one concern—finishing the project would take another €28
million. But what doomed the effort was a lack of trust: the electorate
just didn’t like that the machines would record their votes as mere
electronic blips, with no tangible record.

One doesn’t have to be
a conspiracy theorist or a Luddite to understand the fallibility of
electronic voting machines. As most PC users by now know, computers have
bugs, and can be hacked. We take on this security risk in banking,
shopping and e-mailing, but the ballot box must be perfectly sealed. At
least that’s what European voters seem to be saying. Electronic voting
machines do not meet this standard.

A backlash against e-voting
is brewing all over the continent. After almost two years of
deliberations, Germany’s Supreme Court ruled in March that e-voting was
unconstitutional because the average citizen could not be expected to
understand the exact steps involved in the recording and tallying of
votes. Political scientist Joachim Wiesner and his son Ulrich, a
physicist, filed the initial lawsuit and have been instrumental in
raising public awareness of the insecurity of electronic voting. In an
interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel, the younger Wiesner
said, with some justification, that the Dutch Nedap machines used in
Germany are even less secure than mobile phones. The Dutch
public-interest group Wij Vertrouwen Stemcomputers Niet (We Do Not Trust
Voting Machines) produced a video showing how quickly the Nedap
machines could be hacked without voters or election officials being
aware (the answer: five minutes). After the clip was broadcast on
national television in October 2006, the Netherlands banned all
electronic voting machines.

Numerous electronic-voting
inconsistencies in developing countries, where governments are often all
too eager to manipulate votes, have only added to the controversy.
After Hugo Chávez won the 2004 election in Venezuela, it came out that
the government owned 28 percent of Bizta, the company that manufactured
the voting machines. Similarly, the 2004 elections in India were
notorious for gangs stuffing electronic ballot boxes in villages.

Why
are the machines so vulnerable? Each step in the life cycle of a voting
machine—from the time it is developed and installed to when the votes
are recorded and the data transferred to a central repository for
tallying—involves different people gaining access to the machines, often
installing new software. It wouldn’t be hard for, say, an election
official to plant a “Trojan” program on one or many voting machines that
would ensure one outcome or another, even before voters arrived at the
stations. It would be just as easy to compromise the privacy of voters,
identifying who voted for whom.

One way to reduce the risk of
fraud is to have machines print a paper record of each vote, which
voters could then deposit into a conventional ballot box. While this
procedure would ensure that each vote can be verified, using paper
ballots defeats the purpose of electronic voting in the first place.
Using two machines produced by different manufacturers would decrease
the risk of a security compromise, but wouldn’t eliminate it.

A
better way is to expose the software behind electronic voting machines
to public scrutiny. The root problem of popular electronic machines is
that the computer programs that run them are usually closely held trade
secrets. (It doesn’t help that the software often runs on the Microsoft
Windows operating system, which is not the world’s most secure.) Having
the software closely examined and tested by experts not affiliated with
the company would make it easier to close technical loopholes that
hackers can exploit. Experience with Web servers has shown that opening
software to public scrutiny can uncover potential security breaches.

The
electronic-voting industry argues that openness would hurt the
competitive position of the current market leaders. A report released by
the Election Technology Council, a U.S. trade association, in April
says that disclosing information on known vulnerabilities might help
would-be attackers more than those who would defend against such
attacks. Some computer scientists have proposed that computer code be
disclosed only to a limited group of certified experts. Making such
disclosure mandatory for all electronic voting machines would be a good
first step for the Obama administration, consistent with his talk about
openness in government.

He’d better hurry, though, before a wave
of populism kills electronic voting. State and local governments across
the United States, much like European governments, are getting
increasingly impatient with e-voting. Riverside County in California is
considering asking voters to choose between e-voting and paper ballots
in a referendum. Voters would be justified in dispensing with e-voting
altogether. At the moment, there’s very little to like about it.

URL: http://www.newsweek.com/id/199102

Electronic voting machine will never be a good idea: Debate in USA

Beep of deceit

– How to program EVMs to favour a candidate

 

Madhya Pradesh: Lawyer leads ?crusade against manipulation of EVMs

By Deepak Tiwari (The Week, May 24, 2009)

The
beep sound from the electronic voting machine is no guarantee that you
have voted for the candidate of your choice. If the machine has already
been tampered with, then there is every chance that your vote has gone
to the rival candidate. A senior advocate of Madhya Pradesh High Court,
Adarsh Muni Trivedi, has started a movement to sensitise people about
the ways in which EVMs can be rigged. In 1993, he mooted the idea of
reviewing the Constitution by setting up a body called Neo Constitution
Council and published a report which later paved the way for the M.N.
Venkatachaliah commission for Constitution review. Now he has come out
with a 10-page pamphlet detailing how EVMs can be programmed in favour
of a candidate.

Said Trivedi: “After the 2008 Assembly elections,
there were reports that some candidates got zero votes from their own
polling booths. I sent an open letter to election officials and
manufacturers of the EVMs. But there was no reply from them.” Pannalal, a
candidate of Rashtriya Samanta Dal from Katni-Mudwara constituency, was
among those who got no vote. There were 13 votes in his family, but
none of them was registered. The BSP candidate of the same constituency,
B.M. Tiwari, filed a petition in the High Court alleging manipulation
of EVMs. Manmohan Shah Bhatti, a former legislator and president of
Gondwana Ganatantra Party, also filed a petition alleging tampering of
EVMs in Madai village.

Balbir Tomar, the Congress candidate from
Ichawar in Sehore, complained to election officials that the serial
numbers of machines in the polling booths did not match the ones from
which votes were counted. “In 100 constituencies, the machines were
programmed in such a way that votes cast in favour of small parties
became BJP votes,” said Trivedi in his pamphlet. The High Court has
served notices to the Election Commission of India, state election
office and the state government.

State Congress president Suresh
Pachauri alleged that after the first round of Lok Sabha polls several
EVMs were tampered with. On the instructions of the High Court, some 588
EVMs, which were reported to have malfunctioned, have been kept in safe
custody. Similarly, former chief minister Uma Bharti submitted a
memorandum to Governor Balram Jakhar saying she knew state officials who
tampered with the machines. 
Trivedi plans to challenge section
60-A of the Representation of the People Act that makes the use of EVMs a
constitutional provision.

 

http://tinyurl.com/opsao9

 

Supporting documents http://www.scribd.com/doc/15745499/EVMs-Supporting-Documents

Indiresan Committee Report (EC)(2007)

Subramanian Swamy on Sivaganga election (2009)

Technical articles in IEEM journal about EVMs

Satinath Choudhary’s letter of 10 Dec. 2008 to EC and related SC court case (PIL)

04.04.2009

PRESS RELEASE
The
Congress Party President Ms.Sonia Gandhi seeing the imminent collapse
of the UPA has set-up a seven member ‘crisis management’ team of
foreigners based in a five star hotel in Delhi. This is a serious threat
India’s national security.
While the names of all seven members are
available with me, I am gathering the detailed antecedents of these
dirty seven. The first member identified for me is an obscure UK-based
journalist called Mr.David Green who has written for London tabloids on
“snack foods”. He was easy to identify because he is often seen-by SPG
at the residence of Ms.Sonia Gandhi reading secret files being made
available to her by some Ministers and bureaucrats. Indian intelligence
is being blocked by the Home Minister P.Chidambaram from investigating
whether Ms.Green is an operative for British Intelligence, the MI-6.
One
of the tasks assigned to this nefarious team is how to doctor the
electronic voting machines in about 50 constituencies by using dual
passwords technique and by hacking via wireless cyber techniques.
(SUBRAMANIAN SWAMY)

Two cases in Bombay High Court and Madhya Pradesh High Court:

 

BEFORE
THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY BENCH AT NAGPUR Election
Petition Election Petition No. 01 / 2004 Shri Banwarilal B. Purohit 

http://tech.dir.groups.yahoo.com/group/cyberlaw-india/message/1729

 

 

 

IN THE HIGH COURT OF MADHYA PRADESH PRINCIPAL SEAT AT JABALPUR

Writ Petition No. …………./2009 (P.I.L.) Petitioners: (1) Shailendra Pradhan
s/o Late Shri P.D. Pradhan, Vill. Ahmedpur Kalan, Hoshangabad Road,
Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh) (2) Anil Chawla s/o Shri M.M. Chawla A-491, Shahpura,
Bhopal – 462 039 (Madhya Pradesh)

http://www.samarthbharat.com/files/evmpetition.pdf

California decisions on electronic voting machines

 

http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/elections_vsr.htm

 

See 
document sequoia_102507. The system was subjected to detailed technical
review in California. Did Indiresan Committee conduct such a detailed
review? They did NOT.

Therefore, I, Debra Bowen, Secretary of
State for the State of California, find and determine, pursuant to
Division 19 of the Elections Code, as follows: For the reasons set forth
above, the Sequoia Voting Systems, Inc., voting system, comprised of
WinEDS, version 3.1.012, AVC Edge Model I, firmware version 5.0.24, AVC
Edge Model 11, firmware version 5.0.24, VeriVote Printer, Optech 400-
CIWinETP, firmware version 1.12.4, Optech Insight, APX K2.10, HPX K1.42,
Optech Insight Plus, APX K2.10, HPX K1.42, Card Activator, version
5.0.21, HAAT Model 50, version 1.0.69L, Memory Pack Reader (MPR),
firmware version 2.15,
which was previously approved, is found and
determined to be defective or unacceptable and its certification and
approval for use in subsequent elections in California is withdrawn
effective August 3,2007…

 

Sundaram filed a PIL in SC in
Feb. Now the Registrar has replied that it should be filed again. The
PIL is that every voter should get a printed receipt from the EVM that
his or her vote has been duly recorded. Mere beep sound is NOT enough.
This can be done easily on EVM machines. The labels affixed on the EVMs
should be in proper order according to the sequencing of parties. If
this sequence is upset on some machines, the results will be doctored.

 

PMK Ramadoss has already claimed EVM have been manipulated against PMK candidates.

 

In
Japan also EVMs are not used. Two technology countries avoid the
machines. The system should be AUDITABLE and ensure that the voter and
parties are confident about the transparency and auditability of the
machines. Only a few days are available to EC between filing of
nominations, allotment of symbols and preparing of the machines (that
is, labelling the balloting unit with party symbols). Any number of
mistakes may occur in this labeling. Are these audited by party agents
and independent auditors, auditors independent of EC?

 

In
the Satinath Choudhary petition PIL filed in SC in 2004, SC directed 
that EC should examine the points made in PIL. There is no indication if
the review has been done by EC to the satisfaction of the parties.

 

We are concerned about the coming elections in Maharashtra, W. Bengal, and want to ensure an auditable system.

 

Is EC listening?

 

Kalyanaraman (23 May 2009)

 

How EVMs can be tampered with

 

I am presenting herewith background information on EVMs and their introduction in India by Election Commission of India.

 

Methods of tampering can be as follows:

 

1.      Machine software can be manipulated before the PROMs in EVMs are sealed

2.      Balloting Units can be labeled differently at differing polling booths

 

Safeguards to prevent such tampering:

 

EC
should ensure that the balloting units are audited by independent
agencies, in the presence of voters’ and party representatives to ensure
integrity of software embedded in PROMs and to ensure integrity of
labels affixed on 64 slots of balloting units of a particular
constituency.

 

EC should clarify if such an auditing procedure exists.

 

Kalyanaraman

 

http://www.bel-india.com/BELWebsite/images/EVM_Features.pdf Electronic Voting Machines from Bharat Electronics Limited, India

 

http://eci.nic.in/Audio_VideoClips/showvideo.asp?video2=NIG International Models of Indian Electronic Voting Machine 27.49 mins.

 

http://eci.nic.in/faq/evm.asp FAQs - Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs)

Q5. What is the maximum number of candidates which EVMs can cater to?

Ans.
EVMs can cater to a maximum of 64 candidates. There is provision for 16
candidates in a Balloting Unit. If the total number of candidates
exceeds 16, a second Balloting Unit can be linked parallel to the first 
Balloting Unit. Similarly, if the total number of candidates exceeds
32, a third Balloting Unit can be attached and if the total number of
candidates exceeds 48, a fourth Balloting Unit can be attached to cater
to a maximum of 64 candidates.

 Q8. Who has the devised the EVMs?

Ans.
The EVMs have been devised and designed by Election Commission in
collaboration with two Public Sector undertakings viz., Bharat
Electronics Ltd., Bangalore and Electronic Corporation of India Ltd.,
Hyderabad after a series of meetings, test-checking of the prototypes
and extensive field trials. The EVMs are now manufactured by the above
two undertakings.

 Q21. Is it possible to program the EVMs in
such a way that initially, say upto 100 votes, votes will be recorded
exactly in the same way as the `blue buttons’ are pressed, but
thereafter, votes will be recorded only in favor of one particular
candidate irrespective of whether the `blue button’ against that
candidate or any other candidate is pressed?

Ans. The microchip
used in EVMs is sealed at the time of import. It cannot be opened and
any rewriting of program can be done by anyone without damaging the
chip. There is, therefore, absolutely no chance of  programming the EVMs
in a particular way to select any particular candidate or political
party.

http://eci.nic.in/Audio_VideoClips/presentation/EVM.ppt  EVM - Electronic Voting Machine (Details) - PowerPoint Presentation

 

Chandigarh:
Former Punjab Vidhan Sabha speaker Ravi Inder Singh and a chief
ministerial candidate, on monday, moved the Punjab and Haryana high
court, seeking directions that before the next assembly elections in
Punjab due in February 2002, the use of electronic voting machines be
discarded.

As an alternative, the petitioner suggested that
sometime before the said elections, the evms meant for use in the state
of Punjab be exchanged with similar machines with any other state or
there should be an inter-district exchange of said machines with full
knowledge of the political parties concerned. Also, the political
parties should be allowed to keep a vigil on the place of custody of
these machines, alongwith administrative supervision in accordance with
law.

The division bench comprising justices S.S Sudhalkar and
Adarsh Kumar Goel, after hearing the preliminary submission made by the
counsel for Ravi Inder Singh, who also represents Morinda in the present
Vidhan Sabha, issued a notice for December 3 to the Election Commission
of India, union cabinet secretary, state election commission, and the
Punjab Chief Secretary. “The notice has to be served by hand in view of
the forthcoming elections,” the bench observed. The petitioner has
contended that he felt concerned about the election process in the
context of use of electronic voting machines because in the three
by-elections to the state legislature held in Nawanshahr, Majitha and
Sunam constituencies, the EVMs were used and the ruling party won all
the three seats with a margin that went beyond all predictions and
calculations of the political parties.

In his comprehensive
18-page writ petition filed under article 226 of the constitution, Ravi
Inder Singh has spelled out in detail how these electronic voting
machines could be manipulated and tampered with to obtain the desired
results. He has also annexed a copy of his communication to the Chief
Election Commissioner in this regard. also annexed to the main petition
is a certificate dated october 15, 2001 from an electronics engineer,
Chetanjeet Singh of Vasant Kunj in New Delhi, observing that he had
examined the EVMs which were used in Punjab in various elections
recently. He has further stated that if the custody of these machines is
given for a short while, one can doctor these machines to obtain the
desired results. he has also offered to demonstrate the same to the
satisfaction of the court.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/2064999824.cms

 

Election Commission of India
 
A State-of-the-Art, User Friendly
and Tamper Proof
 
Electronic Voting Machine
(EVM)

 
 

Presentation

The Genesis

Concept, Challenge, Solution

Concerns

Remedies

EVM

Technological Features

Description

Operation

Polling, Closing, Counting & Results

Advantages

Statistics of Interest

 
 

Genesis - Concept

Idea mooted by the Chief Election Commissioner in 1977

Pros and cons of E-voting vis-à-vis ballot paper analysed by High Power Committees

Recommended
E-voting to save avoidable and recurring expenditure on printing,
storage, transportation and security of Ballot Paper to the exchequer

 
 

Top:        Ballot paper awaiting despatch

Bottom:  EVMs in store room

 
 
 

Genesis - Challenge

Evolve a machine which would fit into the existing Election Procedure

Appear familiar to the voter

Addressing the skepticism of the Political Parties and Intelligentsia including Press

Evolving a machine and a procedure which would be transparent and acceptable to all

 
 

Top:        Ballot box being carried to the polling station

Bottom:  EVMs being carried to the polling station

 
 

Genesis - Solution

Electronics
Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) a leading Public Sector Company
engaged in the design and manufacture of professional electronics was
commissioned to design a machine to prove the feasibility

Once feasibility was established, Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) a second Public Sector Company was co-opted into the exercise

 

Voters waiting to cast their vote

 
 

Genesis - Solution

Both the companies (ECIL & BEL) brought out models with a common User Interface in 1980

The machines were extensively tried out at locations across the country

Publicity campaigns were run in the press and other media

Seminars conducted by Election Commission of India in various forums

Feedback obtained used to fine-tune the machine

 
 

Voting the Ballot box way

Voting the EVM way

 
 

Concerns

How secure is the data ?

Can the data be tampered with ?

How does the machine operate in remote areas without electric power ?

What happens if the power fails in the middle of the voting process ?

Can the data be stored long enough to be used as evidence in a court of law in case of electoral disputes ?

 

Top:        EVM being demonstrated to the press

Middle:   EVM being demonstrated to VIPs

Bottom:  Address to the press on EVMs

 
 
 

Remedies

All mechanical, electrical and software security features are provided to ensure the integrity of the voting data

It is independent of mains power and operates on a special power pack

It is tamper-proof and error free

It incorporates a microprocessor that has ‘burnt-in’ software code which cannot be altered or retrieved

All
the data is recorded on non-volatile dual redundant memory chips and
can be retained for over 6 months even when the power pack is removed

 
 

Counting

Ballot paper way

Counting - EVM way

 
 

EVM – Technology Features

Centres around state-of-the-art microprocessor with built-in PROM storing the software code which cannot be retrieved or altered

Reliable, robust and error free software

Legacy software with machine codes used to preserve integrity and security

Double redundant resilient memory storage for securely retaining data without a need for a backup battery

User friendly operation sequence

Portable and easy to operate

Custom made to fit into the existing pattern

 
 

EVM – Technology Features

Provision is made on all the sub-units for sealing to ensure that the units are not tampered with

Each EVM can cater to a maximum of 64 candidates with 4 Ballot Units cascaded

The EVM can be used for conducting “TWO” simultaneous polls.

EVMs
to conduct up to “FOUR” or “MORE” simultaneous polls to suit the
electoral systems of other countries are developed and demonstration
models available

 
 
 

Control Unit

Interconnecting Cable

Ballot Unit

Sub-Units of EVM

 
 
 

Ballot Unit - Details

Ready Lamp

Slide Switch Window

Candidate’s Button

Candidate’s Lamp

Ballot Paper Screen

 
 

Ballot Unit - Internal parts

Slide Switch

Candidate’s Button

Masking Tab

Ready Lamp

 
 
 

Control Unit 

ON Lamp

Busy Lamp

Display Section

Candidate Set Section

Result Section

Ballot Section

Ballot Button

Total Button

 
 
 

Control Unit - View of Bottom Compartment

Power Switch

Bottom Compartment

Cover

Connector for

Interconnecting Cable

Connector for

Auxiliary Unit

 
 
 

Control Unit - Display Section

4-Digit

Display Panel

ON Lamp

2-Digit

Display Panel

Busy Lamp

 
 
 

Control Unit - Candidate Set Section

Provision for

thread seal

Latch

Plug for

power pack

Candidate set

button

Candidate set section

inner door

Candidate set section

outer door

Provision for

Thread seal

Power pack

compartment

 
 

Control Unit - Result Section

Result I

button

Inner

latches

Frames for

Paper seal

Clear button

Result II

button

Close

button

 
 

Control Unit - Ballot Section

Total button

Ballot button

 
 

Polling

The voter is identified from the voters list and records his presence by a signature or thumb impression

The Presiding Officer presses the “Ballot” button on the Control Unit permitting one vote

The
voter then proceeds to the polling cubicle and after perusing the
ballot paper on the Ballot Unit, presses the key against the candidate
of his choice

 
 

Polling

A red lamp glows indicating to the voter that his vote has been cast in favour of that candidate

The casting of the vote results in a beep in the Control Unit indicating to the  Presiding Officer that a vote has been cast

He then proceeds to release another vote by pressing the “Ballot” button and the process continues

 
 

Closing

The cap on the “Close Button” is removed and the button pressed

The cap is then replaced

The unit is then switched “Off” and the interconnecting cable disconnected

 
 

Counting & Results

The Power pack / Battery is checked for health by pressing the TOTAL Button

 

After
getting ready to note down the result, the green paper seal over
RESULT-1 Button is pierced and  RESULT-1 Button is pressed.

 
 

Counting & Results
 

The “RESULT-1” button is pressed to display the results

The results are then noted.

 
 

CAND. SET

CLEAR

BALLOT

RESULT-1

SEQUENCE OF OPERATION OF BUTTONS 
ELECTRONIC VOTING MACHINE

CLOSE

 
 

Advantages

Modernises the election process

User friendly – can be used even by illiterates

Simple to operate and can be installed in a short time

Preserves voting secrecy

No scope for invalid votes

Facilitates quick and accurate counting – possible to declare results instantaneously

Re-usable by simply erasing votes recorded in earlier poll

 
 

Advantages

Huge expenditure involved in printing, storing and transportation and security of ballot paper can be avoided

Lowers operating costs

Easier to manage with less demand on man-power

Provision can be made to connect to a “CENTRAL STATION” to consolidate and display / record the results countrywide

 
 

Statistics of Interest

Around one million machines deployed during Lok Sabha, 2004 polls

Low failure rate

Costs around US $ 300

Estimated saving on the switchover to EVM is Approx US $ 40 million

Political Parties and Intelligentsia who initially were skeptical now endorse the machine for its veracity  

 

EVM being demonstrated to voters before

the recent elections held in the state of

Jammu & Kashmir

 
 

Thank You

 

The ready lamp glows when the unit is switched on

The
slide switch is used to set the no of the unit, ie it is set to 1 if
there are only 16 candidates and 1 for the first and 2 for the second if
there are 17 to 32 candidates and so on

The candidate’s lamp glows indicating to the voter that his/her vote is cast in favor of that candidate

After the ballot paper is placed and aligned the screen is put in place and sealed
 

 

Candidate button is the button which is pressed  by the voter

Masking
tab is used to mask the candidate buttons which are not in use; ie if
there are only 8 candidates the remaining switches from 9 to 16 are
masked and cannot  be operated

 

On lamp glows when the unit is powered on.

Busy
Lamp glows when a ballot is released and a voter is in the process of
voting. After the casting the lamp goes off with a  beep thus indicating
that the vote is cast

Total button may be pressed at any given time to know the total no of votes polled till then

Ballot  button – pressing of this button releases a vote in the ballot unit and also results in the busy lamp glowing
 

 

Power switch powers on / off the EVM

Connecter for connecting the Ballot unit with interconnecting cable

Auxiliary unit connector – to connect second ballot unit in case of two simultaneous  polls

 

Candidate
set button: For setting the no of candidates in the poll. The Ballot
unit and the control unit are connected and powered on. This button is
pressed and the candidate button on the ballot unit corresponding to the
last candidate is pressed.

 

Close button: To close the
poll at the end of the appointed period. Once this button is depressed
no more votes can be cast on this machine

Result 1 To view the results of poll 1

Result 2: To view the results of poll 2

Clear : Clears the data recorded in the voting machine – operable only after the results are viewed at least once

This is the html version of the file http://eci.nic.in/Audio_VideoClips/presentation/EVM.ppt.

EVMs tampered with : Alleges Ramadoss

CEO fit only to be cowherd: Ramadoss

 

By Express News Service 
20 May 2009 02:49:00 AM IST

CHENNAI:
Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) founder S Ramadoss on Tuesday said that the
Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Naresh Gupta was fit only for the job of a
cowherd as he had failed to check the irre gularities of the Dravida
Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) functionaries during the Lok Sabha elections.

“The
Election Commission stood as a mere spectator to the irregularities of
the DMK men on the polling day…shame on the Commission…CEO Naresh Gupta
was there like a doll…idhai vida avar maadu meikkap pokalam (Gupta could
have taken up the job of a cowherd),” Ramadoss told reporters at a
press conference.

Continuing his tirade against Gupta, he said
the CEO, who used to go for rounds on the polling day, kept himself
locked in his room this time because he had allegedly received orders to
that effect from New Delhi.

Further, Ramadoss said there was no
need for an Election Commission to conduct elections in such a manner.
That too, an EC headed by Navin Chawla would be a waste of efforts.

He
felt that distribution of money among the voters by the DMK had very
little impact but alleged that 80 per cent of the irregularities were
done in the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) by tampering with  them.

Stating
that EVMs could be tampered with within a few minutes if an expert in
the field attempted, Ramadoss said considering these facts countries
like United States and Japan had reverted to ballot papers again. In
India also, hereafter the elections should be held with ballot papers
only, he demanded.

When a reporter pointed out that the EVMs had
been used for many elections in the past few years, Ramadoss said this
time, there was a conspiracy against the PMK.

When another
reporter asked as to whether he was ready to face a defamation case by
the EC for his charges against the EVMs as well as Commission’s
functioning, Ramadoss got irritated and ended the press meet abruptly
without giving a direct reply.

http://www.expressbuzz.com/edition/print.aspx?artid=gQZ1Dypxc6U=

http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/7561

 

  India’s electronic voting faces lawsuit over accountability

  May 3rd, 2004

by Frederick Noronha

in  Linux Journal

[
With a billion voters all depending on one proprietary system, the
risks of tampering are high. With his recently filed lawsuit, a
professor attempts to restore confidence in electronic voting.]

 

 

Retired
computer science professor Satinath Choudhary has filed public interest
litigation over India’s new electronic voting machines (EVMs) in
India’s Supreme Court. Dr. Choudhary is a 1964 graduate of the
prestigious Indian Institute of Technology and has also taught in the
United States. The suit is due to come up for hearing immediately.

 

 

In
the petition, a copy of which was uncharacteristically released
publicly over the tech lists in India, Dr. Choudhary cited news reports
of problems with the EVMs in some parts of the country, and said: “In my
public-interest litigation (PIL) I have asked the Supreme Court for
directions. I hope it will give a direction to save democracy in India.”

 

 

In an op-ed column for The Indian Express last week, Dr. Choudhary wrote, ” Producing doctored EVMs is child’s play.”

 

 

 

Much
of the debate cited problems faced by electronic voting even in
countries like the US. India has voted for a new parliament. Results are
due only around May 13, from the worlds most-populous democracy with a
population of more than one billion. But whoever wins, the demand for
openness in standards and source code is already a clear winner.

 

 

India
held a staggered election to elect 540-plus parliamentarians. This is
the first all-electronic Indian poll, with some 725,000 EVMs used in
every polling booth in India. The made-in-India EVMs consists of a
control unit and a balloting unit joined by a cable. The vote is cast by
pressing the blue button on the balloting unit next to the candidate
and symbol of choice.

 

 

But official claims over
the “achievements” of the EVMs were quickly contested both in the
mainstream media, and also among tech-oriented mailing lists that link
up some highly qualified techies in this part of the globe.

 

 


The reliability of the EVMs manufactured by the (Indian) public sector
Bharat Electronics Limited and the Electronics Corporation of India
Limited is doubtful. The software and circuits embedded in the EVMs
could very well contain numerous flaws or deliberate backdoors for
tampering,” commented Ravi Visvesvaraya Prasad, writing in the prominent
Delhi-based newspaper ‘Hindustan Times’.

 

 

Prasad
argued that a maxim of software and microelectronics engineering is
that all software and electronic and electromechanical systems are to be
regarded as error-prone unless rigorous testing proves them to be
reliable. Significantly, he said, the Indian firms behind the products
had not “disclosed details of the electronic hardware and software used
in their EVMs for scrutiny by neutral experts”.

 

 


How does the EVM work? Frankly, we don’t know. (A professor from the
one of the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology who explained its
working on TV) could only test the EVMs as a black box. A proper
scrutiny of the EVM is possible only when the source code of the EVM is
public,” argued Ashhar Farhan on the tech-oriented India-GII mailing
list, which focuses on Internet and technology issues. The list is
hosted on the servers of the network of the Computer Professionals for
Social Responsibility, the oldest non-profit, mass membership
organization working on social impacts of computer technology.

 

 

There
was wider agreement with Farhan’s view that unless India knows the
exact algorithm ” and more particularly, the source code, then we, the
citizens cannot be assured of fairness of the EVM”.

 

 

Other questions were also raised over whether the EVMs were secure and had robust hardware.

 

 

Some
debating the issue raised the possibilities of the EVM being programmed
to change the vote count to a paritcular candidate after pressing a
combination of other keys. This combination can easily be trigged by
successive voters who are a part of the conspiracy.

 

 

This
will remain only between the programmer and those few voters. They only
have to stand in a particular order in the voting queue and press
buttons in that particular order.

 

 

” Unless we
are informed of the exact source code and hardware of the EVM, it is not
possible to verify the security of the EVM,” said Farhan.

 

 


AFAIK there is no provision for any audit trail or manual/paper
verification. Has anyone seen and verified the source code? As far as I
know, it is in assembly language burnt into the IC and the source code
is not available for inspection. Does anyone have the circuit
schematic?” commented another poster to the list, signing his name as
the ‘Root Of All Evil’.

 

 

In another development, in end-April Rick Hohensee announced the release of a ballot editing script for Linux.

 

 

Said
Hohensee: ” Votescript was recently posted to Usenet alt.politics with
and will appear in a few days
atftp://ftp.gwdg.de/linux/install/clienux/inteim/votescript.

It
is a Bash script that uses a PC and printer to edit a printed ballot and
keep a tally file for political and other elections. This provides
election accountability *to* the public, creates redundant records, and
avoids such things as hanging chads.

 

 

In 2001, a
team of developers: Bill Kastilahn, Zhiqian Wang, Galen Graham, David
Schuller, and Jodi Kastilahn won an Embedded Linux Journal design
contest with a Linux-based voting machine and estimated its cost at $300
per unit.

Note on the Verdict of General Election 2009 (19 May 2009)

The
Extraordinary results of GE 2009, both in Tamil Nadu and in certain
states of India that have caught the winners and losers completely
stumped. Political pundits, pollsters and even exit polls have been way
off the mark

 Both the Left and Right have been humbled in
several bastions. This is all the more intriguing when a severe
anti-incumbency wave was witnessed seen right up to the polling date.

 So
what went wrong for the opposition parties? The Needle of suspicion is
on the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), which could have been doctored
by using malicious software.  It is easy to load such software, as the
EVMs are believed to operate on simple software as is used in our mobile
phone.  An EVM is a simplified version of the processor used in mobile
phone, and the time taken for loading such software is very less.

The
reliability of the EVMs manufactured by the (Indian) public sector
Bharat Electronics Limited and the Electronics Corporation of India
Limited is doubtful. The software and circuits embedded in the EVMs
could very well contain numerous flaws or deliberate backdoors for
tampering. There was wider agreement with the view that unless we know
the exact algorithm and more particularly, the source code, then we, the
citizens cannot be assured of fairness of the EVM.

How does the
EVM work? Frankly, we don’t know. A proper scrutiny of the EVM is
possible only when the source code of the EVM is published. The point is
that the software code loaded in the EVMs is in Linux language. Linux
is an open-source language, which means that anyone can freely alter it.
This makes it a boon for programmers, but also makes it equally easy to
alter a programme in this language. My contacts in Delhi seem to
suggest that experts have not been allowed to inspect the software and
hardware used in EVMs till date. This makes the EVMs completely in
control of a few officers of BEL.

How could they tamper the
EVMS? Possibly, the software could be altered in such a manner that
would (1) allocate a certain percentage of votes for a particular
candidate (2) allocate votes beyond say 1 PM polled to a certain
candidate only (3) Transfer votes in bulk in favor of one candidate even
when the voters have exercised their franchise in favor of another.

So
its evident that no one knows what is the software that runs inside the
EVMs and its compatitbility  with the hardware that is available.  In
such a scenario, what is the gaurantee, that the EVM’s are NOT
manipulated, and the software that runs in it are genuine, audited and
tamper –proof to reflect the verdict of the people of this country?

 What
is indeed worrying is the fact that some experts opine that its easy to
write a self-destructing trojan, where it deletes itself after the
election is over.  Those who are in the IT and electronics fields, will
know that sky is the limit with software and hardware and no matter how
hard we strive to protect, there is always a way.

We feel that
the issue deserves a serious inquiry. Could a fact-finding committee be
set up to inquire into discrepancies or anomalies in different
constituencies, so as to substantiate or disprove the suspicion about
tampering?

 

Winning margin of Chidambaram and the impact of just one EVM

Daily Mirror, Editorial, May 18, 2009-06-18

Shoe
attacks can lead to slippery victories While the Indian election was
declared free and fair , the victory of Senior Congress leader and Home
Minister P. Chidambaram had led into a major controversy. On Saturday
morning the election officials declared that Chidambaram- victim of a
Bush-style shoe attack in the run up to polls – was defeated by AIADMK
candidate Raja Kannappan by over 3000 voters in Sivaganga electorate in
Tamil Nadu. It was confirmed on a second recount as well. However a
third recount done on the request of Chidambaram saw him leading with a
slender 3,354 vote margin with 3,34,348 votes against 3,30,994 by
Kannappan. An incensed Kannappan accused the Home Minister of bribing
election officers and AIADMK has vowed to take legal action against the
officers.

http://www.dailymirror.lk/DM_BLOG/Sections/frmNewsDetailView.aspx?ARTID=49176

PC’s rival cries foul

By By Our Correspondent

May 17 2009

Chennai

May
16: The DMK has scored big in this election but its ally, the Congress,
suffered some embarrassing defeats, including the Union minister, Mr
Mani Shankar Aiyar, in Mayiladuthurai.
Even the narrow win of the
home minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, in Sivagangai soured further with the
rival AIADMK candidate, Mr Raja Kannappan, asking for “re-tally” of
votes and threatening to move the court when his demand was turned down.
Of
the 16 candidates that the Congress fielded as a constituent of the
DMK-led Democratic Progressive Alliance, only nine won, including Mr
Chidambaram romping home with a margin of a little over 3000 votes. The
minister had trailed rival Kannappan for most part of the counting, so
much so, when the RO declared in the end that Mr Chidambaram was the
winner, the AIADMK cadres pelted stones and damaged vehicles in
Karaikudi.
Mr Kannappan told reporters that he suspected thillu-mullu
(foul play) in the result as the poll officials had been announcing all
along that he was leading, until the last round. With the RO turning
down his request for “re-tally” of the votes, holding that it would not
make any difference since the winning margin was greater than the impact
of just one EVM.
http://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/pc%E2%80%99s-rival-cries-foul-621

 

SC had asked EC in 2004, to consider Satinath Choudhary’s suggestions on EVMs

An
IIT alumnus and professor of electronics in USA, Satinath Choudhary,
had filed Public Interest Litigation in the Supreme Court, pointing out
technical flaws in EVMs and requesting that they include provision for
an audit trail and a paper backup. Following several scandals,
California recently passed legislation requiring all EVMs to have paper
backups. 

On 30 April 2004, then Chief Justice V.N. Khare,
present Chief Justice S. Rajendra Babu, and Justice S.H. Kapadia
delivered the following order: 

“Heard the petitioner, who is appearing in person. 

In case the petitioner files any representation, the Election Commission may consider his suggestions. 

With the observations made above, the writ petition stands disposed of.”

Tampering With Voting Machines
By Dr. Satinath Choudhary
An Open Letter to the Election Commission, India
21 March 2004

To
The Election Commission
India
Dear Sirs,
I
am a concerned citizen of India, worried that the electronic voting
machines (EVMs) may simplify hijacking of the upcoming election. Thanks
to the cooperation of a number of individuals from the Election
Commission, I have become familiar with the electronic voting system
that is planned to be used. Allow me let you know that I have taught
computer science in the USA for many years. So I am fully aware of what
computer chips, used in the EVMs can do. Some of my original
apprehensions about the machines, arising out of ignorance of the same
have been eradicated. However, the more serious ones continue to worry
me. Briefly speaking, they are:
1. Supervision of various stages of election by various individuals.
2. Tampering with the machine before the poll.
3. Tampering with the machine after the poll.
These concerns and solutions are elaborated below:
1. Supervision of various stages of election by various individuals.
We
have three Election Commissioners towards better transparency and
accountability. Why not extend the same “triad” principle for all
decision makers all the way down to the lowest level of control –
Presiding Officers at various polling booths?
Here one more thing may
be noted. Politics in India has reduced to a power struggle between the
Upper Caste Hindus (UCH - 15%) who hate quota system, and the rest (85%
of the population, called Bahujans by some groups), including SC, ST,
OBC, Muslims, and Christians, who stand to gain from quota system. So
basically the political struggle is between pro-reservation and
anti-reservation communities. We know that you are not in a position to
enforce fair distribution (15 - 85) of decision makers between these two
segments of the society. However, in fairness to the sizes of the above
mentioned two groups, among the trio of decision makers at all levels
you should insure that two of them come from the Bahujans, while one of
the positions may go UCH
community. Such a policy by you may possibly
result in revolutionary changes in the rest of the governing structures
of the society.

2. Tampering with the machine before the poll.

The
computer chips that control the control units of the voting system can
easily be programmed to do all kinds of mischievous things like after a
certain number of people have voted, the rest of the votes may get added
to a chosen candidate. One can imagine other mischief, but the one
sited above is enough to makethe point I am trying to make. The kind of
mischief I have mentioned cannot be detected by casting a few votes in
the beginning of polling and verifying
correct counts for various
candidates. It will take hundreds of votes, involving hundreds of
minutes, which the Presiding Officers and polling agents would not have
at their disposal.
We understand that the manufacturers check the
machines before serial number of various candidates running from a
constituency is known. The machines are then put under the control of
ROs (Returning Officers), and it stays under the control of ROs for
about two weeks before the poll dates. During those two weeks if the ROs
choose to play mischievous roles, they have all the opportunities at
their disposal, with the help of suitable technical hands,
notwithstanding the poor constables guarding the machines.
To minimize the opportunity for wicked plays on the part of some wayward ORs, the following need to done:
The
serial number of the candidates on the ballot list should be random,
rather than in alphabetical order, with the final assignment done by
lottery draws not more than a day or two before polling.
After the serial numbers have been assigned to candidates, a single individual should never be in
charge of the machines at any time - it should always be handled or be under supervision of a triad of the kind discussed above.

3. Tampering with the machine after the poll.

Best
way to reduce chances of tampering after the poll is to eliminate the
time interval after the poll closure and reading the machines for the
vote counts of various candidates. Reading the control units, at the
polling booths themselves, right after poll closure can easily do this.
However, if election is held in different phases, as presently planned,
reading the control boxes right after poll closures would declare
partial results with the passes of different phases. From mid-1980s this
has been avoided with the thinking that results of the initial phases
may be affecting the results of the later phases. So to enable reading
of machines right after poll closures, as is commonly done in the West,
we must hold election all over the country on one and the same
day,
else allow for partial disclosures of the result as different phases are
finished. It seems that either of these two possibilities is far better
than holding poll in different phases and then reading the machines at 
the end of all phases.
The only for not holding one & the same
day election appears to be difficulty in arranging for adequate security
on the same day all over the country. However, single-phase election
eliminates the problems associated with safe transportation of the
voting control modules and their safekeeping, saving us many security
personnel and transportation resources. This
saving of personnel and
resources should be considered while judging single phase voting. It
seems that if RPF, army, navy and the air-force personnel, leaving aside
those in the border and other sensitive areas, are mobilized, enough
security people will be available for single-phase election. All of the
earlier phases of voting can be moved over to the last scheduled phase,
giving only relief rather than aggravation to various parties concerned.
If
the polling must be staggered, there are advantages as well
disadvantages associated with reading the control unit counters
immediately after the polling is finished, as mentioned below:
Disadvantages:
Results of the earlier phases may affect the polling of later phases.
However, there are no studies about the amount of effect of the earlier
results. The later phases do get affected by the earlier phases any way,
by the exit polls, false or real. In the age of Internet and other
means of fast communication, speculation about the results of the
earlier phases can be stopped. We cannot say that the effect of the real
results of earlier polls is worse, on the later polls, than the effect
of speculations based on exit polls of the earlier phases (tainted or
otherwise)?
Advantages: “Fairness” of the election, at the very least “perception of fairness”, will improve with
counting right at closure of the polls. Security problems involved in transportation of the control
units
and their safe keeping in the strong rooms will be obviated. The
advantage of “fairness” in the election, or at least “perception of
improved fairness”, far outweighs the disadvantage of the
earlier phases affecting the later phases of election, particularly in view of the fact that exit polls
(false
and/or real) are available to affect the polls in the later phases. A
perception of “unfairness” in counting the votes (even if unfounded) can
severely jeopardize the faith of the public in democracy itself.
In
light of the above, even if the polls must be staggered in several
phases, counting should be done immediately after the poll closure,
right at the poll booths, rather than at the end of all phases.
In
closing, allow me to say that even if you cannot comply with the
aforesaid caste distribution among various triads of decision-makers,
your any effort on your part towards compliance of any of the above
mentioned requests will be very much appreciated.
Thanking you very much,
Sincerely yours,
Dr. Satinath Choudhary
President, Better Democracy Forum
115 W 238 Street, Bronx, New York 10463, USA
India contact: Boring Canal Road, S.P. Sinha Path,
Patna-800 001, India

See Election Petition No. 01/2004 in High Court at Bombay Bench at Nagpur

 

BEFORE THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY BENCH AT NAGPUR Election Petition

Election Petition No. 01 / 2004

Shri Banwarilal B. Purohit

Versus

1)Shri Vilas Muttemwar 2)Returning Officer 3)Election Commission of India

DEPONENT:
Shri Ravi Visvesvaraya Prasad Son of Shri H.Y. Sharada Prasad Resident
of: 19 Maitri Apartments Block A - 3, Paschim Vihar New Delhi 110 063

AFFIDAVIT OF EXAMINATION IN CHIEF

I,
Shri Ravi Visvesvaraya Prasad, Son of Shri H.Y. Sharada Prasad, born on
07 September 1960 at New Delhi, and Resident of 19 Maitri Apartments,
Block A - 3, Paschim Vihar, New Delhi 110 063, the deponent named above,
do hereby take oath and state on solemn affirmation as under:

(1) I say that my professional and educational qualifications are:

(i)
Master of Science degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering,
Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 15213, United
States of America, acquired during the years 1982 to 1986.

(ii)
Master of Engineering degree in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials
Science, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 15213,
United States of America, acquired during the years 1982 to 1985.

(iii)
Lead Assessor Diploma (with Honours) in System and Software Quality
Assurance of the European Union’s BOOTSTRAP Programme of the European
Strategic Programme for Research in Information Technology.

The
Honours Diploma was awarded in the year 1993 jointly by the University
of Freiburg in Germany and the University of Graz in Austria.

(iv) Master of Science in Physics, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, 208016, acquired during the years 1977 to 1982. 

(v)
Member of the Research Staff at the Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon
University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 15213, United States of America,
during the years 1985-1986, working on projects sponsored by the
American Association for Artificial Intelligence.

(2) I say that I
am a technical and engineering consultant in the fields of electronics,
microelectronics, circuit design, computer software, hardware,
telecommunications, and data communications. I further say that I have
nineteen years of international professional experience in providing
engineering and technical consultancy and advisory services in these
fields to multinational corporations, international organizations, and
leading Indian business houses.

(3) I say that I have published
several hundred articles on these subjects in leading international and
Indian scientific and technical journals, scholarly journals, as well as
mass media magazines and newspapers.

(4) I say that I write
frequently on technical and management policy issues in leading Indian
journals such as Hindustan Times, Indian Express, Times of India,
Economic Times, Telegraph, Hindu Business Line, Observer of Business and
Politics, etc. I further say that I am frequently interviewed by
various television channels in India and abroad regarding technical and
management policy issues.

(5) I say that at the invitation of the
Hindustan Times newspaper, I wrote the following article on Electronic
Voting Machines in April 2004 in the run up to the Lok Sabha elections
in April-May 2004, based on my in-depth technical knowledge and
experience:

In his article, “Press to Play” (Hindustan Times,
Saturday, 17 April 2004), Kanishka Singh described the various ploys
used by polling officials to have votes cast in favour of their
preferred candidates by an electorate unfamiliar with electronic voting
machines. Singh stated: “The problems experienced with EVMs in the
December elections were many. None of them, however, are problems that
can’t be solved.” But, in fact, there are serious problems with EVMs
which cannot be easily resolved, more fundamental than the psychological
stratagems used by polling officials to influence a technically
illiterate electorate.

The reliability of the electronic voting
machines manufactured by the public sector Bharat Electronics Limited
and Electronics Corporation of India Limited is doubtful. The software
and circuits embedded in the EVMs could very well contain numerous flaws
or deliberate backdoors for tampering.

A maxim of software and
microelectronics engineering is that all software and electronic and
electromechanical systems are to be regarded as error-prone unless
rigorous testing proves them to be reliable. Significantly, neither BEL
nor ECIL have disclosed details of the electronic hardware and software
used in their EVMs for scrutiny by neutral experts.

After the US
election fiasco in 2000, USA passed the “Help America Vote” Act, which
encouraged the use of electronic voting machines. Several companies,
mainly Diebold Election Systems, Election Systems & Software, Hart
InterCivic, Sequoia Voting Systems, Advanced Voting Solutions, and
Unilect, manufactured EVMs which were used in local and state elections
in USA.

Prominent technologists, mainly Peter Neumann of Stanford
Research Institute, David Dill of Stanford University, Avi Rubin of
Johns Hopkins University, Rebecca Mercuri of Harvard University’s
Kennedy School of Government, and Erik Nilsson of the Computer
Professionals for Social Responsibility, launched public campaigns
questioning the reliability of EVMs manufactured by these companies.
They proved that all these EVMs had serious flaws and could be used to
rig elections without being detected.

In an election in Dallas,
EVMs made by Election Systems & Software failed to count 44,000
votes. In a local election in Iowa, EVMs made by Election Systems &
Software produced a count of 4 million votes in a polling booth of 300
people. In Indiana, an EVM recorded more than 144,000 votes for an
electorate of 19,000.

Diebold’s EVMs turned out to be a major
scandal with allegations of bribery. Diebold sold its EVMs to state and
local governments even though it knew that there was no security on its
tabulation software to prevent someone from changing votes and erasing
any trace of the activity in the audit log. Anyone with access to the
tabulation program during an election — Diebold’s employees, election
staff or even hackers — could change votes and alter the log to erase
all evidence.

Requests to the Election Commission, BEL and ECIL
to provide details of the reliability of their EVMs brought forth the
following bland assertion:

“Tamper proof design

The EVM is
designed to be totally tamper proof. Each EVM comes with a
sophisticated programme in assembly language : a software fully sealed
against outside influence. And the programme is itself fused on to a
customised micro processor chip at the manufacturer’s end. This ensures
that the program is rendered tamper proof and inaccessible.” 

The Election Commission, BEL and ECIL did not provide any of the circuit schematics, source code, or test vectors asked for. 

The
EVMs manufactured by BEL and ECIL could very well contain the following
flaws, which would be practically undetectable without extensive
testing by experts:

* Faulty logic, incorrect algorithms and data flows

* Errors in circuit design

*
Errors in the software code, especially in the embedded software.
Programming in Assembly language is notoriously error prone, even by
experts.

* Errors, or malicious backdoors, in databases

* Malicious trapdoors in the code to enable rigging

Reliance
should not be placed on the demonstrations provided by ECIL and BEL.
Even without deliberate tampering, embedded software and real-time
control software can behave very weirdly when they encounter situations
that their programmers had not envisaged might occur. Any experienced
engineer would tell you that electronic equipment containing firmware or
embedded software frequently behaves one way during a short trial, and
totally differently in actual field conditions. 

For instance, I
can write a software module which would pass all trials but manipulate
the results of actual voting. I could programme the EVM to accurately
record votes for three hours. I could instruct it to then  assign 70 %
of all subsequent votes cast to whichever candidate was leading at the
end of the first three hours, irrespective of whichever buttons the
later voters actually push. Since trials and demonstrations would
reasonably be expected to last less than three hours, my EVM would
successfully pass all such tests. I could then have my favoured
candidate get all his supporters to cast their votes first thing in the
morning, so that he would be the leader after three hours of polling.
This was alleged to have been done in a local election in USA but could
not be proved since the audit trails had also been erased.

Or I
could program the EVM so that at the end of five hours of polling, it
would transfer 60% of the votes of the ten lowest candidates to my
favoured candidate. Or I could program it so that it would, say,
transfer every fourth vote for the Congress to the BJP.

Or I
could manipulate the back-end databases during the counting process, as
was done in the Diebold cases where it was proved that any election
could be rigged, totally without detection, by tampering with the
back-end databases after the votes were cast.

Moreover, the EVMs
could be broken into remotely after the election but before the
counting. All electronic circuits are subject to electromagnetic
interference. Even when the EVMs are kept physically sealed in a strong
room, an expert who knows the resonant frequencies of the circuits could
remotely send signals to the EVMs from several kilometres away. It is
highly unlikely that polling officials would continuously transport and
store each and every EVM in electromagnetically shielded Faraday cages.

It
is also not know what vibrations and physical shocks the EVMs can
withstand. After the voting, when the EVMs are being transported over
bumpy rural roads, the electromechanical components (especially
registers and switches), relays, and physical connectors could be reset
due to the jerks.

The Election Commission should pay heed to the
warnings issued by the dozens of distinguished technologists who formed
the Verified Voting Foundation in USA (http://www.verifiedvoting.org):

“Computerized
voting equipment is inherently subject to programming error, equipment
malfunction, and malicious tampering. All computer systems are subject
to subtle errors. Moreover, computer systems can be deliberately
corrupted at any stage of their design, manufacture, and use. The
methods used to do this can be extremely difficult to foresee and
detect.

…. Unfortunately, there is insufficient awareness that
these machines pose an unacceptable risk that errors or deliberate
election-rigging will go undetected, since they do not provide a way for
the voters to verify independently that the machine correctly records
and counts the votes they have cast. Moreover, if problems are detected
after an election, there is no way to determine the correct outcome of
the election short of a revote.

…. It is therefore crucial that
voting equipment provide a voter-verifiable audit trail, by which we
mean a permanent record of each vote that can be checked for accuracy by
the voter before the vote is submitted, and is difficult or impossible
to alter after it has been checked. ….

Without a
voter-verifiable audit trail, it is not practical to provide reasonable
assurance of the integrity of these voting systems by any combination of
design review, inspection, testing, logical analysis, or control of the
system development process. For example, a programmer working for the
machine vendor could modify the machine software to mis-record a few
votes for party A as votes for party B, and this change could be
triggered only during the actual election, not during testing. ….

Most
importantly, there is no reliable way to detect errors in recording
votes or deliberate election rigging with these machines. Hence, the
results of any election conducted using these machines are open to
question. ….

At this time, the only tried-and-true technology
for providing a voter-verified audit trail is a paper ballot, where the
votes recorded can be easily read and checked.” 

(end of quote from VerifiedVoting.org)

Based on the three criteria of:

(a) Lack of a verifiable paper / manual audit trail

(b)
BEL and ECIL not having provided the algorithms, source codes, embedded
firmware, integrated circuit schematics, board designs and electronic
component specifications, to neutral experts for independent assessments

(c) Meagre evidence in actual field conditions, as opposed to short demonstrations in laboratory conditions

it cannot be unequivocally asserted that the EVMs made by BEL and ECIL are accurate and reliable.

Thousands
of hours of testing needs to be done, under actual field conditions,
before their reliability can be proven beyond reasonable doubt.

The
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers is currently
formulating standards that EVMs should satisfy. The Open Voting
Consortium, an international group of researchers, has spent over four
years developing open-source voting systems. They intend to give away
their technology for free. 

The switch from manual voting to
EVMs might turn out to be exchanging the known flaws of booth capturing,
ballot stuffing, multiple voting, etc. for as yet unknown
vulnerabilities.

by

Ravi Visvesvaraya Prasad

I
further say that, after editing and shortening by the editorial staff of
the Hindustan Times newspaper to meet the constraints of space, this
article of mine was published under the title “Ghosts in the Machine” by
Ravi Visvesvaraya Prasad, on the Edit Page of the Hindustan Times
newspaper, issue of Monday, 26 April 2004 (copy enclosed), and also
posted on the website of the Hindustan Times.

(6) I say that at
the invitation of the Indian Express newspaper, I wrote the following
article on Electronic Voting Machines in May 2004 during the Lok Sabha
elections in April-May 2004, based on my in-depth technical knowledge
and experience:

The first two rounds of polling brought numerous
reports of malfunctioning electronic voting machines. In Nunagapaka
village of Andhra Pradesh, early voters complained that when they
pressed the button of the Congress, the light of the Telegu Desam
glowed. The presiding officer, K. Vijayalakshmi, stopped the polling
process and replaced the EVMs, but 89 votes had already been cast in the
first two hours. The Election Commission is to adjudicate on these 89
votes.

In Sadasivapet in Andhra Pradesh, early voters complained
that when they pressed the button of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, the
light of the Bharatiya Janata Party glowed. Again the presiding officer
replaced the EVM, but by then 138 votes had already been cast.

In
Wardhannapet in Andhra Pradesh, polling agents of the Telangana Rashtra
Samithi alleged that after 75 votes had been correctly recorded, a long
sequence of votes was continuously recorded in favour of the Telegu
Desam. Finding this suspicious, the polling officer sealed the EVM.

EVMs
were also reported to have malfunctioned in Warangal, Khamma,
Sattupalli, Takillapadu, and Karimnagar in Andhra Pradesh, but these
instances appear to be more of breakdowns rather than deliberate
rigging.

The EVMs manufactured by the public sector Bharat
Electronics Limited and Electronics Corporation of India Limited could
contain the following flaws, which would be practically undetectable
without extensive testing by experts:

* Faulty logic, incorrect algorithms, and erroneous data flows.

* Errors in circuit design.

* Mistakes in the software code, especially in the embedded software.

* Mistakes, or malicious backdoors, in databases. 

* Malicious trapdoors in the code to enable rigging. 

Requests
to the Election Commission, BEL and ECIL to provide the entire circuit
schematics, source codes, and test vectors for scrutiny by neutral
experts merely elicited the following laconic response: 

“Tamper
proof design The EVM is designed to be totally tamper proof. Each EVM
comes with a sophisticated programme in assembly language: a software
fully sealed against outside influence. And the programme is itself
fused on to a customised micro processor chip at the manufacturer’s end.
This ensures that the program is rendered tamper proof and
inaccessible.” 

A subsequent request brought the terse reply
that even the Japanese manufacturer of the circuits would not be able to
tamper with the voting or find out who voted for whom. 

Reliance
should not be placed on the demonstrations provided by ECIL and BEL.
Electronic equipment containing firmware or embedded software frequently
behave totally differently in actual field conditions from the way they
behave during short trials. Even without deliberate tampering, embedded
software and real-time control software can behave very weirdly when
they encounter situations that their programmers had not envisaged might
occur. 

I can write a software module which would pass all
trials but manipulate the results of actual voting. I could programme
the EVM to accurately record votes for three hours. I could instruct it
to then assign 70 % of all subsequent votes cast to whichever candidate
was leading at the end of the first three hours, irrespective of
whichever buttons the later voters actually push. Since public
demonstrations would usually last less than three hours, my ‘tainted’
EVM would successfully pass all such tests. I could then have my
favoured candidate get all his supporters to cast their votes first
thing in the morning, so that he would be the leader after three hours
of polling. This was alleged to have been done in a local election in
USA but could not be proved since the audit trails had also been
erased. 

Or I could program the EVM so that at the end of five
hours of polling, it would transfer 60% of the votes of the five lowest
candidates to my favoured candidate. Or I could program it so that it
would transfer every third vote for candidate 2 to candidate 10 after a
certain sequence of buttons were pushed, say votes for candidates 3, 14,
11, and 9. Candidate 10 could then get four of his supporters to vote
in sequence for candidates 3, 14, 11, and 9. Both these were alleged to
have been done in local elections in USA. Even in response to lawsuits,
the US EVM manufacturers refused to make their proprietary circuits and
software codes public, stating that these were trade secrets of great
commercial value. This is what might have happened in the Andhra Pradesh
instances. 

If someone wanted to engineer a repoll, he could
bring an electromagnetic pulse generator near an EVM and erase its
memories. The EVMs could also be interfered with after the election but
before counting. All electronic circuits are susceptible to
electromagnetic interference. Even when the EVMs are kept physically
sealed inside a strong room, an expert who knows the resonant
frequencies of the circuits could remotely send signals from several
kilometres away. It is highly unlikely that polling officials would
continuously transport and store each and every EVM in
electromagnetically shielded Faraday cages. 

It is also not know
what vibrations and physical shocks the EVMs can withstand. After the
voting, when the EVMs are being transported over bumpy rural roads, the
electromechanical components, registers, switches, relays, and physical
connectors could be reset due to jerks.

An IIT alumnus and
professor of electronics in USA, Satinath Choudhary, had filed Public
Interest Litigation in the Supreme Court, pointing out technical flaws
in EVMs and requesting that they include provision for an audit trail
and a paper backup. Following several scandals, California recently
passed legislation requiring all EVMs to have paper backups. 

On
30 April 2004, then Chief Justice V.N. Khare, present Chief Justice S.
Rajendra Babu, and Justice S.H. Kapadia delivered the following order: 

“Heard the petitioner, who is appearing in person. 

In case the petitioner files any representation, the Election Commission may consider his suggestions. 

With
the observations made above, the writ petition stands disposed of.”
Several leading technologists, including IIT alumni and professors of
engineering in North America, are planning to petition the Election
Commission to open the EVMs to expert scrutiny, and to have them
modified to include paper backups and audit trails. 

India can
draw upon the expertise of the Open Voting Consortium, an international
group of researchers, which has spent over four years developing
open-source voting systems. They intend to give away their technology
for free. The international Institute of Electrical and Electronics
Engineers is also currently formulating standards that EVMs should
satisfy. 

Based on the three criteria of: 

(a) Lack of a verifiable paper / manual audit trail 

(b)
BEL and ECIL not having provided the algorithms, source codes, embedded
firmware, integrated circuit schematics, board designs and electronic
component specifications, to neutral experts for independent
assessments 

(c) Meagre evidence in actual field conditions, as opposed to short demonstrations in laboratory conditions 

the assertions made by BEL and ECIL that their EVMs are accurate cannot be accepted at face value. 

Thousands
of hours of testing needs to be done, under actual field conditions,
before their reliability can be proven beyond reasonable doubt. The
easiest method of doing this, while maintaining the anonymity of the
voter, is: 

(a) Modify the EVMs to include a printer. 

(b)
After a voter presses the button of his candidate, give him a printed
receipt which will verify that the vote is really recorded for the
candidate he voted for. 

(c) Have the voter deposit this printouts in a ballot box. 

(d) Compare the results of the EVMs with the manual counting of the printouts to check whether they are identical. 

(e) In the event of any discrepancy, the paper vote should be regarded as the real one. 

This
should be done for several dozen elections before it can be asserted
that the EVMs do not contain any errors or deliberate trapdoors for
rigging. Otherwise, the switch from manual voting to EVMs might turn out
to be exchanging the known flaws of booth capturing, ballot stuffing,
multiple voting, etc. for as yet unknown vulnerabilities. 

Meanwhile, during the next two rounds of voting, voters should take the following precautions. 

I.
Ensure that the “Ready Lamp” is lit before you cast your vote. If the
“Ready Lamp” is not lit, then the EVM will not register the button you
press, and the next voter or presiding officer can cast ‘your’ vote for
a  candidate of his choice. 

II. Ensure that you, and not the electoral officials, press the button next to the candidate of your choice. 

III.
Ensure that the light flashes next to the button of your candidate that
you have pressed and the long beep is heard, before you exit the booth.
This ensures that the EVM has registered your vote. 

by

Ravi Visvesvaraya Prasad 

I
further say that, after editing and shortening by the editorial staff
of the Indian Express newspaper to meet the constraints of space, this
article of mine was published under the title “We Need To Know More
About EVMs” by Ravi Visvesvaraya Prasad, on the Edit Page of the Indian
Express issue of Wednesday 05 May 2004, (copy enclosed), and also posted
on the website of the Indian Express. 

(7) I say that there
were several news reports in the mass media about malfunctioning
Electronic Voting Machines during the Lok Sabha polls in April-May
2004. 

(8) I say that according to information received by me
and believed by me to be true, the Government of India had constituted a
committee headed by Professor P.V. Indiresan, former Director of Indian
Institute of Technology, Madras, and former Dean of Indian Institute of
Technology, Delhi, to investigate the reliability of Electronic Voting
Machines. I further say that according to information received by me and
believed by me to be true, the Government of India and the Election
Commission of India have, to date, not made the report of this committee
available to the public, in spite of repeated requests by members of
the public and technical experts. 

(9) I say that according to
information received by me and believed by me to be true, the Election
Commission of India, and Bharat Electronics Limited, and Electronics
Corporation of India Limited, have not allowed their Electronic Voting
Machines to be independently examined by neutral experts. 

(10) I
say that Shri A.N. Jha, Deputy Election Commissioner and Spokesperson
to the Election Commission of India, wrote the following letter to the
Editor of the Hindustan Times in response to my article which was
published under the title “Ghosts in the Machine” by Ravi Visvesvaraya
Prasad, on the Edit Page of the Hindustan Times, issue of Monday, 26
April 2004 (copy enclosed): 

MOST IMMEDIATE BY FAX / BY SPECIAL MESSENGER 

ELECTION COMMISSION OF INDIA 

Nirvachan
Sadan, Ashoka Road, New Delhi - 110 001 No. 491/Misc./2004/MCPS Dated:
May 14, 2004 The Editor, Hindustan Times, Hindustan Times Building,
18-20, Kasturba Gandhi Marg, New Delhi-110001. 

Sir, 

Ravi
Visvesvaraya Prasad wrote on the EVM in the Hindustan Times issue of 5
May 2004. He had also later written in Indian Express issue of 26 April,
2004. He has raised various doubts about the fidelity and reliability
of the EVMs. He referred to two villages of Andhra Pradesh where in the
first day of poll on 20 April, 2004 some voters had complained that
while they pressed the button for the Congress, the light against the
TDP glowed and where, therefore, the polling was stopped and the
machines were replaced. 

While it is not possible to take out
these ‘offending’ machines at this juncture to find out the truth in the
allegation because the election process is not complete as yet, it is
possible, however to comment on this issue. It is noteworthy that the
complaint came only from two polling stations in respect of one machine
each. There was no similar complaint from any other place which went to
poll on that day either in Andhra Pradesh or anywhere else in the
country. There were no such complaints on the second day of polling in
Andhra Pradesh. A similar ‘claim’ was half-heartedly spread in Bihar
that on pressing the button for RJD, the button against BJP candidate
glowed. But in Bihar unlike in Andhra Pradesh, there was no specific
complaint concerning any polling station. It is noteworthy that on that
day such a complaint did not arise from any other polling station across
the country where polling had taken place. 

As a technologist
Mr. Prasad should know that algorithm and software is not written for 2
machines. And if there had been such a problem of faulty logic or
incorrect algorithm etc. the same complaint should have come from all
across the country and in any case, at the minimum, from all places
where machines manufactured in that batch were employed. 

Mr. Prasad says that the machines could contain the following flaws: 

* Faulty logic;

* Incorrect algorithms;

* Erroneous data flows;

* Errors in circuit design;

* Mistake in the software code;

* Mistake, malicious trapdoors in the code and so on.

In
order to eliminate such possibilities what Mr. Prasad wants are the
circuit algorithms, schematics, source code and test vectors etc. As a
technologist surely Mr. Prasad would know that for a scrutiny to ensure
that the machine functions correctly, instead of seeking all that
information the person raising doubt could himself provide the set of
test vectors stipulating the input and the expected output for correct
functionality and also another set of such test vectors establishing his
apprehended incorrect functionality that would vitiate the polling
namely vote against wrong candidate, non-registering of votes etc. He
would need the circuit schematic, source code etc. only if there was
indeed an acknowledged defect and only if he were called upon to debug
the system!

Shri Prasad lists out all that he can do with the
software of the machines: write software Modules which would pass all
trials and still manipulate the result of an actual voting; succeed in
assigning 70% of all votes to a select candidate and thus making the
chosen candidate win etc. etc. While the software writing capabilities
of the Indians have received high praise all over the world, what Mr.
Prasad has claimed is still stretching credibility to the breaking
point. By implication Mr. Prasad would like us to believe that all that
BEL or ECIL who are manufacturers of the machines for the Election
Commission of India and all their R & D engineers are interested is
to ensure that the same party or some chosen candidates win especially
despite the fact that there are 543 constituencies with a different set
of candidates contesting in each one of them!

It is necessary to
mention here that in the scheme adopted by us the position of the
candidate and therefore the location of the button to be pressed to cast
a vote in his favour is decided not on the basis of the name of his
party but is decided on the basis of where his name figures in the list
of contesting candidates arranged in the alphabetical order. The
software writer should be so exceptionally brilliant as to be able to
define this in the software code he writes and arrange to have all the
votes credited to one or the other party he fancies. Further he has to
do it long before even the list of contesting candidates is known as the
manufacturers send the machines to the States and districts even before
the nominations are opened. Even if he is not inclined in favour of any
party or parties, then Mr. Prasad would have us believe, that the
Software Engineers of the two companies would merely do this to prove a
point about their (destructive) capability!

Mr. Prasad lists
various methods by which after the poll EVMs could be interfered with
like erasing the memory using a electromagnetic pulse generator, sending
signals from remote terminals etc. Mr. Prasad would like us to believe
that the country is crawling with ‘mad’ engineers and technologists
whose only goal in life is to destroy the memory of all the EVMs all
over the place after the poll and create a chaos!

The EC had the
machines scrutinized and evaluated by an expert panel headed by Prof.
P.V. Indiresan. The Committee had examined all relevant issues and
‘noted that the programme embedded in the device is completely fixed and
unalterable and therefore, there is no means or access by which the
system can be modified from outside’. The Committee further noted ‘the
major advantage of the EVM developed in India is the fixed programme
nature of the system. The programme is permanently fused and hence
cannot be tampered with even if it can be accessed’. 

EC is ever
willing to open the EVMs for scrutiny again if genuinely concerned
persons approach it, but not for people who try to draw a non-existent
parallel from the US elections and certainly not to those scaremongers
who are interested in writing science-fiction.

Yours sincerely, (A.N. Jha) 

Deputy Election Commissioner & Spokesperson to the Election Commission of India

(11)
I say that Shri A.N. Jha, Deputy Election Commissioner and Spokesperson
to the Election Commission of India, wrote an identical letter to the
Editor of the Indian Express in response to my article which was
published under the title “We Need To Know More About EVMs” by Ravi
Visvesvaraya Prasad, on the Edit Page of the Indian Express issue of
Wednesday 05 May 2004, (copy enclosed).

(12) I say that according
to several knowledgeable persons, the letter of Shri A.N. Jha does not
credibly address or rebut any of the points that I made in my two
articles published in the Hindustan Times and the Indian Express.

(13)
I say that the editors of both the Hindustan Times and the Indian
Express consulted several knowledgeable persons about the letter of Shri
A.N. Jha. I further say that the editors of both the Hindustan Times
and the Indian Express decided not to publish the letter of Shri A.N.
Jha, since it was devoid of substance and did not credibly address or
rebut any of the points that I had made in my two articles.

(14) I
say that the international Institute of Electrical and Electronics
Engineers (IEEE), which is the worldwide governing body of the
profession, has formulated IEEE Standard number 1583 which sets
performance standards for Electronic Voting Machines worldwide. I
further say that the Electronic Voting Machines designed and
manufactured for the Election Commission of India by Bharat Electronics
Limited and Electronics Corporation of India Limited do not conform to
the requirements of IEEE Standard number 1583.

(15) I say that it
would be easy for a saboteur to open the EVMs from the bottom side,
bypassing the sealed and serially numbered top of the EVM, and either
replace or reprogramme the circuits inside. This can be done within
about fifteen minutes to one hour. I further say that many electronic
circuit components, especially EPROMS, EEPROMS, and flash memories, can
be reprogrammed even without physically removing them from the board.
This could be done by a saboteur after the voting was over but before
the counting.

(16) I say that whenever I cast my vote during
elections, I noticed that the EVM had a provision for a serial or
parallel communications port. I further say that it would be possible
for a saboteur to tamper with the contents of the electronic components
of the EVM such as microprocessors, shift registers, adders, etc. by
connecting a computer or other such device to the serial or parallel
communications port of the EVM. This can even be done remotely from
several metres away by using a wireless device to connect to the serial
or parallel communications port. This could be done by a saboteur after
the voting was over but before the counting.

(17) I say that
based on all the reasons and possibilities for inadvertent hardware and
software errors or deliberate tampering or sabotage mentioned by me
above, especially

(a) Lack of a verifiable paper / manual audit trail 

(b)
BEL and ECIL not having provided the algorithms, source codes, embedded
firmware, integrated circuit schematics, board designs and electronic
component specifications, to neutral experts for independent
assessments 

(c) Meagre evidence in actual field conditions, as opposed to short demonstrations in laboratory conditions 

the
reliability and accuracy of the Electronic Voting Machines used by the
Election Commission of India is highly questionable. 

(18) I say
that thousands of hours of testing needs to be done, under actual field
conditions and under the scrutiny of independent experts, before the
reliability and accuracy of the Electronic Voting Machines used by the
Election Commission of India can be proven beyond reasonable doubt. I
further say that the easiest method of doing this, while maintaining the
anonymity of the voter, is: 

(a) Modify the EVMs to include a printer. 

(b)
After a voter presses the button of his candidate, give him a printed
receipt which will verify that the vote is really recorded for the
candidate he voted for. 

(c) Have the voter deposit this printouts in a ballot box.

(d) Compare the results of the EVMs with the manual counting of the printouts to check whether they are identical. 

(e) In the event of any discrepancy, the paper vote should be regarded as the real one. 

I
further say that this procedure should be followed for several dozen
elections before the assertions of the Election Commission of India,
BEL, and ECIL that their EVMs are reliable and accurate can be accepted
beyond reasonable doubt. 

(19) I say that the Election
Commission of India should also publicize the procedures and standards
that it follows after the voting but before the counting to ensure the
safety and integrity of the Electronic Voting Machines, and to ensure
that the EVMs are not tampered with by deliberate sabotage, such as by
replacement or reprogramming of the electronic components. 

(20)
I say that the Election Commission of India should also publicize the
procedures and standards that it follows after the voting but before the
counting to ensure that the election results are not affected, either
accidentally or deliberately, by electromagnetic interference,
lightning, high voltages, etc. 

(21) I say that the Election
Commission of India should also publicize the procedures and standards
that it follows after the voting but before the counting to ensure that
the election results are not affected, either accidentally or
deliberately, by vibrations or jerks or dropping during transportation. 

(22) I say that because the reliability and accuracy of the
EVMs used by the Election Commission has not yet been established beyond
reasonable doubt to the satisfaction of independent experts, the
results of all elections conducted by using such EVMs are open to
question and challenge. 

Hence this affidavit. 

Shri
Ravi Visvesvaraya Prasad Son of Shri H.Y. Sharada Prasad Resident of 19
Maitri Apartments A - 3, Paschim Vihar New Delhi 110 063

DEPONENT New Delhi Dated: Monday, 25 October 2004 

VERIFICATION

Verified
and signed at New Delhi on this Twenty Fifth day of October 2004, that
the contents of the above affidavit from paras 1 to 21 are true and
correct to the best of my knowledge and belief. 

Shri Ravi
Visvesvaraya Prasad Son of Shri H.Y. Sharada Prasad Resident of 19
Maitri Apartments A - 3, Paschim Vihar New Delhi 110 063 

DEPONENT New Delhi Dated: Monday, 25 October 2004 

I know and identify the deponent. 

Advocate 

http://www.naavi.org/cl_editorial_04/evm_petition.htm

Doctored EVMs

I
am not able to trace any PIL related to Electronic Voting Machines
(EVMs) in the website http://www.judis.nic.in which contains all Supreme
Court cases. If any lawyer friends can gain access to court
information, they are welcome to add their opinions on this issue
related to functioning of democracy and accountability/auditability of
democratic institutions like the Election Commission.

Kalyanaraman

Winning elections made easy

Satinath Choudhary Posted: IST (2004)

 

Producing
doctored EVMs is child’s play: Computer chips that control the EVMs can
be easily programmed to do all kinds of improper manipulations. For
example, after a certain number of people (perhaps hundreds) have voted,
the rest of the votes may be channeled to a chosen candidate. This is
just one among many mischievous tricks possible.
&lt;o:p&gt;&lt;/o:p&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;&lt;span
style=’font-size:9.0pt;font-family:Verdana’&gt;This kind of
wrongdoing cannot be detected by the polling agents of candidates. It
will take hundreds of votes, for which the presiding officers or polling
officers are not likely to have the time or patience to monitor.
Control-units keep track of votes by recognising them only by their
serial number on the list of candidates on the poll-units on which
people vote. So any tampering of the control-unit chip has to be done
only after the serial number of various candidates in the list of
candidates appearing on poll-units have been assigned.
&lt;o:p&gt;&lt;/o:p&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;&lt;span
style=’font-size:9.0pt;font-family:Verdana’&gt;Normally returning
officers declare the serial number assignments after the last day of
withdrawal of nominations, which happens about two weeks before polling.
ROM chips with mischievous codes can be readied within hours after the
candidates’ serial numbers are known. During the two weeks before
polling, the malicious ROM chips, or the motherboard, or possibly the
whole control-unit, whatever appears easier, may be caused to replace
the original ones. Would it be wise to assume that officials in charge
of the EVMs, and/or those guarding the machines, are incorruptible? I
would leave it as question for readers to ponder over. Luckily, this
kind of possibility of a fraud before voting can be easily remedied.
Instead of declaring the serial number of candidates two weeks in
advance of polling, the serial numbers may be decided at each polling
booth by random draws by the presiding officers in the presence of the
polling agents of various parties just an hour or so before the poll
opening. Thereafter their names may be affixed on the poll-units in
appropriate order in the presence of the poll-agents. All that will need
to be done by the POs is, paste them on the poll-units in proper order
by the time the poll opens. This entails different serial orders for
candidates in different booths.But that only improves fairness towards
the candidates, distributing the chance to be at the top or bottom of
the list more evenly.
&lt;o:p&gt;&lt;/o:p&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;&lt;span
style=’font-size:9.0pt;font-family:Verdana’&gt;Increasing the sense
of responsibility of the presiding and polling officers at polling
booths, could also be considered, by officially declaring all of them to
have equal powers, with instructions to try to make decisions with
unanimous consent, as far as possible.
&lt;o:p&gt;&lt;/o:p&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;&lt;span
style=’font-size:9.0pt;font-family:Verdana’&gt;The writer is
president, Better Democracy Forum, The Bronx, &lt;st1:State
w:st=”on”&gt;&lt;st1:place w:st=”on”&gt;New
York&lt;/st1:place&gt;&lt;/st1:State&gt;. He is a
retired professor of computer science
&lt;o:p&gt;&lt;/o:p&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p class=MsoNormal&gt;&lt;span
style=’font-size:9.0pt;font-family:Verdana’&gt;&lt;a
href=”http://www.indianexpress.com/storyOld.php?storyId=45296“&gt;http://www.indianexpress.com/storyOld.php?storyId=45296&lt;/a&gt;
&lt;o:p&gt;&lt;/o:p&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p class=MsoNormal&gt;&lt;span
style=’font-size:9.0pt;font-family:Verdana’&gt;&lt;o:p&gt;&amp;nbsp;&lt;/o:p&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;h3&gt;&lt;st1:country-region
w:st=”on”&gt;&lt;st1:place w:st=”on”&gt;&lt;span
style=’font-size:
9.0pt;font-family:Verdana’&gt;India&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/st1:place&gt;&lt;/st1:country-region&gt;&lt;span
style=’font-size:9.0pt;font-family:Verdana’&gt;’s electronic voting
faces lawsuit over
accountability&lt;o:p&gt;&lt;/o:p&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/h3&gt;
&lt;h4&gt;&lt;span
style=’font-size:9.0pt;font-family:Verdana’&gt;May 3rd, 2004 by
&lt;a href=”http://www.linuxjournal.com/user/801079” title=”View
user profile.”&gt;Frederick Noronha&lt;/a&gt;&lt;span
class=taxonomy&gt;
&lt;o:p&gt;&lt;/o:p&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/h4&gt;
&lt;p class=MsoNormal&gt;&lt;span
style=’font-size:9.0pt;font-family:Verdana’&gt;&lt;o:p&gt;&amp;nbsp;&lt;/o:p&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p class=MsoNormal&gt;&lt;span
style=’font-size:9.0pt;font-family:Verdana’&gt;With a billion voters
all de