New Delhi: After several Opposition parties raised questions over the electronic voting machines (EVMs) following the rout in the recent Assembly polls, the Election Commission on Wednesday threw an open challenge to people to hack its EVMs in the first week of May. Such a challenge had last been held in 2009, EC sources said.
A senior EC official said that “from first week of May, experts, scientists, technocrats can come for a week or 10 days and try to hack the machines”. They said the challenge will be open for a week or 10 days and will have various levels.
The commission also plans to separately conduct a demo of the machines in front of leaders of all major political parties to show them how the machines can’t be compromised to suit a particular party.
Several Opposition parties, chiefly the BSP, Congress and the AAP, had raised questions on the EVMs.
The BSP had been first off the block by claiming that the BJP had won the Uttar Pradesh polls as the ruling party at the Centre had manipulated the EVMs.
The AAP has asked the EC to revert back to the system of paper ballots for the coming municipal polls in the state. A total of 16 Opposition parties had approached the EC and asked it to use paper ballots in future polls.
Many parties which had met President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday also complained against the EVMs.
The commission has always strongly defended the structural integrity of the machines, and urged the complainants to not blame the machines for their electoral failures. It had even gone to the extent of telling Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal to introspect on his party’s loss in Punjab instead of blaming the EVMs.