Why Protests to Ban EVM Machines in India are Futile?

Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) were introduced in India in the 1990s as an alternative to the traditional paper ballot system. Since then, there have been many instances of people expressing dissatisfaction with the EVM machines. However, in recent years, protests to ban EVMs have been deemed futile due to various factors. In this article, we will discuss why such protests are unlikely to achieve their desired results.

One of the reasons why protests to ban EVMs are unlikely to be successful is that many petitions have already been filed at the Supreme Court of India, and all of them have been rejected. The Supreme Court has not only rejected these petitions but has also fined the petitioners, thus setting a precedent for future cases. This makes it difficult for anyone to challenge the use of EVMs in the future as they are unlikely to be taken seriously by the courts.

Another reason why protests to ban EVMs are unlikely to be successful is that there is no concrete evidence of EVM tampering; although there have been many reports of EVM malfunctioning. While many people claim that EVMs can be easily manipulated, there is no evidence to support these claims in order to prove the matter in the court. In fact, several independent organizations have tested EVMs and found them to be reliable and accurate. This lack of evidence makes it difficult for those who want to ban EVMs to make a convincing case. However, there are some claims of hacking the EVMs too. I leave that for the technical professionals to comment on that.

Furthermore, banning EVMs is not a practical solution for many. The Indian elections are the largest in the world, with over 900 million – 90 crores eligible voters. Using a traditional paper ballot system would require a massive logistical effort and would be prone to errors, fraud, and delays. Frauds are possible even through paper ballot system. EVMs, on the other hand, are easy to use, fast, and efficient. Banning EVMs would be a hard one for the election commission to restart the old system back again.

In addition, EVMs have been used in Indian elections for over two decades, and millions of people have voted using these machines without any major problems. The widespread use of EVMs shows that they are a reliable and trustworthy system, although it is not free from error. Hence the VVPAT were introduced to crosscheck if required. VVPAT stands for Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail, which is a system used in India to provide a physical record of votes cast through electronic voting machines (EVMs). This system allows voters to verify that their vote has been recorded correctly, and it provides a paper trail that can be used to audit the electronic voting results.
The use of VVPAT has increased transparency and confidence in the Indian electoral system and has addressed some of the concerns raised about the reliability of EVMs.

In conclusion, protests to ban EVMs in India are unlikely to achieve their desired results. The Supreme Court has already rejected multiple petitions challenging the use of EVMs, and there is no concrete evidence of tampering; although the potential threats to get tampered can never be ruled out. Additionally, banning EVMs is not a practical solution for the Indian electoral system, and the widespread use of EVMs shows that they are a reliable and trustworthy system, as much as the ballot paper system. In the view of many political thinkers, rather than trying to ban EVMs, efforts should be made to improve their security and reliability to ensure free and fair elections. Party leaders from all the parties must work together to ensure that the elections can be conducted without any malpractices. And the police security, media, local public and the election commission must keep vigilance over the transport of the EVM machines, to ensure that they are not maneuvered by any mischievous elements. In this article I’ve only brought out the reasons why the EVMs may not be banned. But on a personal level, I prefer that the paper ballot system be brought. For that is also not an impossible thing to achieve. We can manage all the logistics, if proper planning and coordination is in place. However, potential threats of fraud cannot be ruled out even then.

Written and Compiled By
Umar Shariff
President, Discover Islam Education Trust




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