What is EVM? How does it work?

lectronic voting (also known as e-voting) is voting that uses electronic means to either aid or take care of casting and counting votes.

It is used in Indian General and State Elections. It has replaced paper ballots in local, state and general (parliamentary) elections in India.

EC has announced that all ensuing elections will be held with the Voters Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) enabled EVM.

The use of EVM started back in 1982 Kerala Assembly elections. Prior to this only ballot papers and ballot boxes were allowed.

How exactly EVM work?

EVMs or electronic voting machines provide the voter with a button for each choice which is connected by a cable to an electronic ballot box.

An EVM consists of two units–control unit and balloting unit–and these two are connected by a five-meter cable. When a voter presses a button against the candidate he/she wishes to vote for, the machine locks itself.

This EVM can be opened only with a new ballot number. This way, EVMs ensure that one person gets to vote only once.

EVM Advantages

  • EVMs reduce the time in casting votes
  • EVMs also reduce the time taken to count votes and declare results
  • Claims were made earlier that the systems could be tampered with and the security could be breached
  • EVMs save paper
  • These machines are powered by batteries and do not rely on electricity which ensures uninterrupted voting
  • EVMs can accommodate 64 candidates in a single constituency
  • Votes can be stored for up to 10 years
  • The program of EVMs cannot be changed and have a sealed security chip, therefore votes cannot be rigged without damaging the program. This prevents fraud.
  • Only one vote can be cast per person as the machine will register only the first button pressed
  • EVMs restrict 5 votes for every minute

Production and design

There are only two Indian PSUs that manufacture EVM machines. Bharat Electronic Limited (BEL) being the first and Electronics Corporation of Indian Limited (ECIL) the other.

The secret source code is only accessible to a few engineers. Engineers who are in the factory have no clue about the constituency wise deployment of the machine.

For more information related to EVMs, you can visit Election Commission Of India.

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