New Delhi: Amid a slew of allegations by the opposition about the reliability of EVMs, Delhi's Chief Electoral Officer Ranbir Singh has said that the machines are "absolutely fool-proof" and fulfils all "transparency and administrative protocols".
Singh said the EVM is "robust by design" and there is no way the machine can be tampered with. "There is no way that the machine can be tampered with, manipulated or hacked into because it does not have connectivity with the outside world. It does not have internet, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity. This means you cannot access the mind of the machine. It has a onetime programmable chip," Singh told PTI.
The Aam Aadmi Party on Monday asked the Election Commission to provide additional security at a counting centre in South Delhi, alleging that political opponents plan to manipulate EVMs ahead of the announcement of poll results on May 23.
The letter by AAP's South Delhi candidate and spokesperson Raghav Chadha said that "he has strong reasons to believe that the political adversaries will attempt to open the strong rooms and manipulate or replace the machines as a handful of such incidents have been seen in the past". Singh said the machines are manufactured by Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), which are the PSUs with highest security protocols and are programmed there.
"If somebody tries to alter the program, the machine vibrates a lot and it switches off and becomes dead. From the time the machine is manufactured to the time it reaches a particular state, it has fool-proof security with personnel from the states it passes through guarding it," he said.
Singh said the representatives from political parties are present right from the time the warehousing is done for EVMs till the time they reach the polling stations. "When the warehousing is done, it is done in the presence of representatives of the candidates. They are kept safely, sealed and the signatures of the representatives are taken on the seal.
"Whenever the First Level Check (FLC) of the machine happens in which they check whether the machine is working or not, that is also done in the presence of representatives of the political party," he added.
The seals of the machines are broken in front of the political party representatives and their names are also keyed in their presence. "When the machines are handed over to different assembly constituencies, it is done in the presence of representatives of political parties and when the machines are brought back after the polls, even that is done in front of the representatives of the political parties and the local movement is tracked through GPS," he said.
He pointed out that even they do not know till the last moment which machine is going to which polling station. He said in the first randomisation, a machine is accorded to a polling station. "In the second randomisation which happens close to the polls, the election observer and the political parties are present and if they raise doubts, the randomisation process can happen over a 100 times," he added.
When quizzed about glitches arising due to EVMs malfunctioning, he said that they are "machines" at the end.
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