Menu
India ordered to introduce 'paper trail' in electronic voting machines

India ordered to introduce 'paper trail' in electronic voting machines

The country's Supreme Court allowed the Election Commission to introduce it in stages

India's Supreme Court has directed the country's Election Commission to introduce a paper backup of votes cast through electronic voting machines, but allowed the commission to introduce it in stages during general elections next year.

Political and civil rights groups in India have been demanding that the EVMs should be equipped with the facility to print the running record of the votes for the purpose of verification, particularly after some researchers claimed that the machines could be hacked.

The court, overruling a decision by a lower court, described the paper backup or paper trail as an "indispensable requirement of free and fair elections." As the commission has to handle 1 million polling booths during a general election, the court permitted it to introduce the facility "in gradual stages or geographical-wise" at voting booths of its choice.

The commission submitted in the court that the machines could not be tampered with, but was still planning to introduce a Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail system, and had tested the systems in smaller elections.

The High Court of Delhi ruled last year that there may be security issues with EVMs, as pointed out by petitioner Subramanian Swamy, a prominent politician, and had asked the commission to resolve the issues in consultation with stakeholders including the country's Parliament.

India first tested EVMs in a by-election in 1982, but the machines were first deployed on a large scale of over 1 million in a general election in 2004.

In 2010, security researcher Hari Prasad and his associates released a video that they said demonstrated vulnerabilities in the EVMs, after hacking an EVM that had already been used in an election.

Prasad and his team replaced the display board of the machine with a look-alike component that could be instructed through a Bluetooth connection on a mobile phone to steal a percentage of the votes in favor of a chosen candidate. The researchers also used a pocket-size device that could be attached to the memory of the EVM to change the votes stored in the machine during the period between the election and the public counting session.

The Supreme Court has in its ruling this week asked the government to provide the financial assistance required by the Election Commission to roll out the EVMs. It has not set out a schedule for the full deployment of EVMs with the paper trail.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags governmentlegale-votingElection Commission of India

Events

Featured

Slideshows

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

This year’s Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards were held as an integral part of the first entirely virtual Emerging Leaders​ forum, an annual event dedicated to identifying, educating and showcasing the New Zealand technology market’s rising stars. The 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 recognised the outstanding achievements and business excellence of 30 talented individuals​, across both young leaders and those just starting out. In this slideshow, Reseller News honours this year's winners and captures their thoughts about how their ideas of leadership have changed over time.​

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners
Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security

Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security

This exclusive Reseller News Exchange event in Auckland explored the challenges facing the partner community on the cloud security frontier, as well as market trends, customer priorities and how the channel can capitalise on the opportunities available. In association with Arrow, Bitdefender, Exclusive Networks, Fortinet and Palo Alto Networks. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security
Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomed 2019 inductees - Leanne Buer, Ross Jenkins and Terry Dunn - to the fourth running of the Reseller News Hall of Fame lunch, held at the French Cafe in Auckland. The inductees discussed the changing face of the IT channel ecosystem in New Zealand and what it means to be a Reseller News Hall of Fame inductee. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch
Show Comments