EVMs have microcontrollers housed in secured modules, ECI tells SC

New Delhi, Apr 24 (IANS): The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Wednesday apprised the Supreme Court that all three units (i.e. ballot unit, control unit and VVPAT) of the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) have their own microcontroller.

“These microcontrollers are housed in secured unauthorised access modules so they cannot be accessed physically also,” submitted an ECI official before a bench presided over by Justice Sanjiv Khanna.

The official further told the Bench, also comprising Justice Dipankar Datta, that the microcontrollers used in the poll process are “one-time programmable” and this programme burned at the time of manufacturing cannot be changed at a later stage.

He added that two manufacturers, namely Electronics Corporation of India Limited and Bharat Electronics Limited prepare the symbol loading units (SLUs).

The poll body official explained that after counting is over, all the EVMs are stored till the expiry of the 45-day limitation period provided for the institution of an election petition under the Representation of the People Act.

Subsequently, on the 46th day, the Chief Electoral Officer writes to the Registrar General of the concerned High Court to ascertain if any election petition has been filed and only after receiving a written reply in negative, the district officers are directed to open the strong rooms. If any election petition is found to be filed, the strong rooms remain sealed and “nobody touches it”.

“After the polling is over, all the three units are sealed,” the official submitted before the apex court.

Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court told senior advocate Maninder Singh, appearing for the ECI, to ask poll body officials to remain present at 2 p.m. to respond to certain technical queries pertaining to the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).

It sought to know if the microcontroller is installed in the controlling unit or in the VVPAT (Voter-Verifiable Paper Audit Trail) and if the microcontroller used is “one-time programmable” or not.

Last week, the top court reserved its verdict on a batch of public interest litigations (PILs) seeking mandatory cross-verification of the votes cast in EVMs with Voter-Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) slips.

In April 2019, the Supreme Court ordered the ECI to increase the VVPAT slips from one Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) per Assembly constituency to five. It had issued guidelines for mandatory verification of VVPAT slips, out of five randomly selected polling stations, after completing the final round of counting votes recorded in EVMs. A VVPAT is considered an independent verification system for voting machines, allowing voters to verify whether they have correctly cast their votes.






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Comment on this article

  • Flavian, Mangalore/Kuwait

    Wed, Apr 24 2024

    We do not need your clarification . We want implementation of SC instruments.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • flavian, chik

    Wed, Apr 24 2024

    HW is always concealed its software which creates havoc like virus in our computers

    DisAgree [3] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • Vally, Mlore/ Dubai

    Wed, Apr 24 2024

    Who manufactured they sold for millions and just enjoying their life, they don't care who is getting vote.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sathish kumpala, Kasargod, kumpala

    Wed, Apr 24 2024

    EVMs have microcontrollers housed in secured modules, ECI says to SC it seems. Oh ECI stop this. How it happened here in Kasargod?? Micro controllers were not housed ?

    DisAgree Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • CHARLES SALDANHA, Malad -Malwani

    Wed, Apr 24 2024

    Our democracy is priceless and should be protected at all cost.If the people of India doubt EVMs the election commission should understand their sentiments and should honour their feelings.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [23] Reply Report Abuse

  • Charles D'Mello, Pangala

    Wed, Apr 24 2024

    Do not believe ECI statements. They are working under MODI. What is wrong in having paper ballots or comparing EVM and VVPATs....!!!!?????

    DisAgree [3] Agree [32] Reply Report Abuse

  • Max, Mangalore

    Fri, Apr 26 2024

    You are doubting the gov and the ECI. What's the guarantee that gov or ECI won't manipulate ballot paper or counting or just declare their candidates as winners ? People are made to doubt everyone and everything.

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Alwyn, Kudla

    Wed, Apr 24 2024

    Put a good controll in place to weed out all illegal activity and manipulations. We need a good transparency and accountability leadership to run the country which benefits everyone equally without any bias based on religion or favours to certain groups or businesses people. Tax them so that wealthy individuals pay taxes so that poor can benefit

    DisAgree [2] Agree [28] Reply Report Abuse

  • Roshan, Mangaluru

    Wed, Apr 24 2024

    Not in anyway technocrat, but some level of process flow, we know of. Here is the step based risk assessment. 1. EVM has symbols displayed on machines. Risk here is erronious display. Like display is BJP but vote gets to congress. 2. EVM has mechanical voting, meaning only when button is pressed then only vote gets registered. Risk here is someone illegitimately keep pressing the button. 3. Votes has be registered somewhere so there is microcontrollers and managing software. Risk here is tampered software with bug, that registers the vote in a preplanned malicious way. 4. EVM sealed after polls and stored in strong rooms. Risk here is replacement of EVMs with same serial numbers. 5. EVMs on vote counting date, connected to mainframe. Risk here is preprogrammed software manipulating partywise numbers. The actual big token risks are in step 3 and step 5, though rest of the steps there is risks but manipulation may not change the outcome in its entirity. It is the step 3 and step 5. That needs real thorough review and counter checks, this is just as a suggestion.

    DisAgree [4] Agree [20] Reply Report Abuse

  • John, Mumbai

    Wed, Apr 24 2024

    But nothing like this happened in last Karnataka election

    DisAgree [5] Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • Roshan, Mangaluru

    Wed, Apr 24 2024

    Maybe. Modi led BJP stole previous congress govt. Despite 40perc commission corrupt BJP sarkar, nothing worthwhile possibly top leadership achieved. So may be they let that go.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • Samad, Udupi

    Wed, Apr 24 2024

    That is the fix, to gain confidence of EVM, govt of the day perhaps prefer to lose state election here and there😂

    DisAgree [1] Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • aaam admi, bangalore, udupi

    Wed, Apr 24 2024

    Chandrayaan-3 which took 40 days to reach moon can be controlled from earth what assusrity Election commission can give the voters that this EVM cannot be manipulated controlled from dictator sitting in delhi. ban EVM

    DisAgree [3] Agree [35] Reply Report Abuse

  • Flavian, Mangalore/Kuwait

    Wed, Apr 24 2024

    Explanation not enough, Implementation of SC is a must. Do not try to find exit route. Anything is possible under Chanakyas.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [15] Reply Report Abuse

  • Gautam Das, Bangalore

    Wed, Apr 24 2024

    Physically secure microcontrollers doesn’t mean it can not be accessed by the system administrator or has already been accessed and already votes have been recorded into it and for name sake kept for casting votes as the ECI said once the votes have been recorded the chip is burnt permanently. It’s better to verify EVMs for zero data confirmation before commissioning them every time if there is a need to replace broken EVM. Hope the printed ink in VVPAT remains readable for 45 days.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

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