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Why Indian EVMs cannot be hacked: Mythbuster for Elections 2019
EVM stands for Electronic Voter Machine
It has become a custom for political parties in India to blame EVMs or Electronics Voting Machines in India, especially when they are on the losing side? What is EVM and why it is almost impossible to hack EVMs in India? Let's find out.
EVMs are designed and manufactured by the state-run company Bharat Electronics or BEL, and BEL started developing the electronic voter machines in the 1990s, and the first EMV was used in 1998, and all the states and union territories across India started using EVMs from 2004.
EVMs are like calculators
EMVs are like calculators, they are not connected to the internet, instead, they will have flash storage with fixed programming. Unlike hacking a website or server, one cannot hack an Indian EVM in any manner.
If someone can hack a calculator, then he can also hack an EMV as well. Unlike most of the website and server hacks, one has to have physical access to the electronic voting machine to hack it or to reprogramme it.
Stored in a strong room
After the announcement of the election date, the EVMs will be stored in the district headquarters (in a super secure room or strong room), where, only a limited number of people can access the strong room.
Before the d-day, these machines are thoroughly tested, so that the machine only registers a single vote for each candidate. This will be done in front of the representatives from each political party to minimize the purpose of doubt.
Machine allotment by randomization
The EVMs will be allotted to a constituency by a random order prior to the commencement of the election in front of General Observer and Political Parties. If a party has a discrepancy at the time of polling, they are allowed to verify the unique serial number of the machine. This re-affirms that a polling booth will get a new machine for every other election.
Impossible to swap EVM machines
Some political parties are complaining that the original EVMs have been swapped with look-alikes, which are programmed to register a vote for a single party or a candidate. This is almost impossible, as every EVM comes with a unique serial number and those serial number will be attached with the polling booth, and only a limited number of individual will have access to the unique serial number.
The serial number on an EVM machine will be matched with the log before voting and after voting, and the number has to match with the register, otherwise, the polling offers will be in a huge problem.
These are just some of the security measures from the election commission of India that make sure that tampering an EVM is almost impossible.