EVM: Can EVM machines be hacked in India?

Nearly 80 million voters and about 2000 electoral parties are going to take part in the Lok Sabha elections, which will take place after a few weeks from now on.

The same thing related to the Lok Sabha elections makes this election process challenging, and the credibility of this complex electoral process is decided on the basis of how much the process of counting the votes cast for the elections is sufficient.

Talking about electoral history of India, before the use of EVM machines, elections being held at different levels across the country have been affected by attacks like polling booths, ballot papers, and these attacks are working for political parties. Used to be anti-social elements.

But with the advent of the new century, after the use of EVM machines in elections, such incidents have happened in the past.

However, from time to time, questions have been raised about the authenticity of these machines. Often, the losing party parties question that these machines can be hacked.

Now only a few weeks have passed in the 2019 general elections, and these machines have started to raise questions again.

American hacker claims

Last week, a hacker based in the USA claimed that the machines were hacked in the 2014 election. In this election, the BJP-led coalition won with a huge majority.

However, the Indian Election Commission has denied these claims. But the doubts about the use of technology in these machines have been expressed.

There are at least seven cases going on in this issue in different courts of India. But the Election Commission has been telling these machines a hacking proof at every opportunity.

In India’s elections 16 lakh EVM machines are used and maximum of 2000 votes are cast in every such machine.

The number of registered voters in any polling station is 1500 and the number of candidates is not more than 64. These machines made in India run from the batteries.

These machines can also be run in areas where electricity is not available. The software of these machines was made by the designers associated with a government company.

According to the Election Commission, these machines and records recorded in these are not shared with any external group.

There are at least seven cases going on in this issue in different courts of India. But the Election Commission has been telling these machines a hacking proof at every opportunity.

In India’s elections 16 lakh EVM machines are used and maximum of 2000 votes are cast in every such machine.

The number of registered voters in any polling station is 1500 and the number of candidates is not more than 64. These machines made in India run from the batteries.

These machines can also be run in areas where electricity is not available. The software of these machines was made by the designers associated with a government company.

According to the Election Commission, these machines and records recorded in these are not shared with any external group.

The Election Commission has claimed to be completely safe for electronic voting machines. But from time to time, these machines have been suspected to be hacked.

Eight years ago, scientists associated with the University of Michigan, USA, connected a device to the machine and showed that the results of the machine can be changed by sending a message from the mobile.

However, official authorities of India had dismissed this claim and said that it is difficult to manipulate the machine, to achieve this, it is difficult to obtain a machine.

At the same time, Dheeraj Sinha, a specialist with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, believes that huge amount of money will be needed to hack millions of voting machines, and in order to do this, it is important to include the machine manufacturer and the holding agency, There will be a very small receiver circuit and an antenna need to be connected to the machine, which will not be visible with ‘human eye’.

He says that the machine must have a radio receiver in which to have the wireless hacking, which has an electronic circuit and antenna.

Election Commission claims that there are no such circuit elements in Indian voting machines. In short words, hacking at such a wider level would be almost incommensurate.

The world’s voting machines


Nearly 33 countries in the world adopt a process of electronic voting in some way and the questions about the authenticity of those machines are raised.

In Venezuela, the total number of votes cast in the 2017 elections was reportedly more than one million more than the actual number. However, the government denies it.

Argentina’s politicians have crossed the plan for e-voting this year, revealing the confidentiality of votes and apprehensions of tampering in the results this year.

After the elections in Iraq in 2018, partial re-counting of votes was done after reports of disturbances in electronic voting machines.


E-voting machines had become a subject of controversy after news of the machines being not tested before e-voting in the Democratic Republic of Congo in December last year.

Voting machines were brought in the US about 15 years ago.

At present, about 35000 machines are used in the USA. In this way, due to lack of paper evidence in voting, the wrong voting record at the machine level was worrisome due to the lack of scope for improvement.

In this way, due to lack of paper evidence in voting, the wrong voting record at the machine level was worrisome due to the lack of scope for improvement.

In these elections, a program was found in the counting machines, which allowed the sitting system administrator to adjust the machine.

Professor Duncan Buell of the Department of Computer Science at the University of South Carolina is researching this topic.

Technology and democracy


Duncan Buell said in the conversation with the BBC, “I believe that we should use the technique in the electoral process at least. Software should work properly, it is difficult and that too when the relationship between votes and voters There is no correct way to confirm that these things should not be done, that these things work as expected. “

In spite of all this, perhaps in the right direction, elections are going on in India to make elections transparent and dependable.

Five years ago, the Supreme Court had ordered that all voting machines should also have VVPAT machines (voting machines related to polling).

When a voter puts his vote when a voter puts his vote, a receipt emerges from the printing machine, in which a serial number, the name of the candidate and the election symbol are recorded. This information is available on a transparent screen for seven seconds.

However, after seven seconds the receipt gets out and falls into a sealed box.

The Election Commission has decided that in the assembly elections, the result of the machine will be matched with the results obtained on the basis of the ballot receipts of five percent of the polling centers in the polling booths.

Because, with the help of voting receipts, assessment of electoral results will be extremely costly in terms of economic and time.

Researchers have offered to reduce the risk-making audit, which would lead to the credibility of the results of the Indian elections.

At present, the former chief of the Election Commission, S.Y. Qureshi believes that due to voting receipts, the fears of voters and electoral parties should end.

VVPAT machines are being used in all the assembly elections in the year 2015. In these elections, the election results of receipts from fifteen hundred machines were matched with the electoral results derived from the machines.

S.Y. Quraishi points out that “There is not a single chance in these elections when the differences have been found in the results.”

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