Voting machines will soon give paper receipt: Official

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    Ghaziabad, (IANS) Electronic voting machines (EVMs) may soon provide a paper proof of the ballot cast in view of past complaints of tampering of the machines, defence public sector and EVM maker Bharat Electronics Ltd. (BEL) said here Thursday.

    BEL CMD Anil Kumar told visiting reporters at the company’s manufacturing unit here that the Election Commission (EC) had given the maker of the EVMs its specifications and his public sector undertaking was working on the technology for generating a paper evidence of the ballot.

    “The EC has given us its requirement for EVMs and work is going on to incorporate new features,” Anil Kumar said, noting that the machines would be ready for deployment during elections in the next six months.

    “The software in the EVM will be modified and a printer will be attached to it. When you cast a vote, the serial number and some data will be generated in the form of a printout. It is to ensure that there is no malpractice in the voting system,” he said.

    The paper evidence will be used later to verify the data stored in the EVMs.

    Anil Kumar said the proposal for a printed evidence of the voting in an EVM was made to them six months ago.

    Some political parties have complained in the past that the EVMs had been tampered with to suit a particular voting trend.

    Though these complaints had been dismissed by the poll commission, it accepted suggestions from certain quarters that a paper evidence could be provided soon after the vote was cast on the EVM.

    Assuring that the new EVMs would be tamper-proof and secure, Anil Kumar said: “There is no possibility at all that anyone can break into the machine.”

    On the export potential of the EVMs, he said BEL recently won a contract worth $2 billion to supply EVMs to Republic of Namibia.

    “Several countries had shown interest in our EVMs but they have their own political compulsions to use paper ballot,” he said.

    BEL has till date supplied around eight lakh EVMs to the EC. Some of the EVMs that it supplied two decades ago will be phased out soon.