In many countries EVMs can be hacked and voter information can also be extracted, results can be manipulated and EVMs can be changed to any internal one.
These days election discussions are in full swing. The process of assembly elections to be held in four states and one union territory (Election 2021) is in process. Voting has been done in other states except Bengal, however, the results are yet to come. Obviously, there will be mention of EVM (Electronic Voting Machine) automatically where there will be an election. People are often seen making fun of the fact that EVM machine has been hacked in such an election or a party came to power by hacking it. Well, all these political things happened, now we talk about technology.
In many countries EVMs can be hacked and voter information can also be extracted, results can be manipulated and any internally changed EVM. Talking about India, the EVM used here is different from foreign machines. EVMs used outside are connected online while EVMs used in India run offline. Not being connected to the network reduces the chances of tampering with it.
How EVMs work
The EVM consists of a control unit, a ballot unit and a 5-meter cable. Battery is used to run the machine. Its control unit is with the voting officer and the ballot unit is given to the voters to cast their vote. Voters cannot vote from the ballot unit unless the voting officer presses the ballot button from the control unit. A voter can cast only one vote. Once the votes are cast, no matter what button the voter presses, nothing is going to happen. The voter has to press the button next to the name of the candidate of choice and the machine is locked as soon as a vote is cast. After this, the machine opens with a new ballot number. The ballot unit cannot be used until the voting officer does not give permission for it.
How does EVM hack?
According to online media reports, EVM can be hacked in two ways. First wired and second wireless mode. That is, the connection is set in both ways.
Wired hacking The control unit of EVM is tampered with for wired hacking. For this, such a device is used whose programming is in the same language in which the microchip coding of EVM is done. If any such external device is installed in the EVM being used in India, then it stops working. That is, it cannot be hacked in this way.
Wireless hacking According to the Election Commission, there is no chance of EVM being hacked wirelessly. No radio receiver is provided in EVM. The machines used in recent elections have VVPATs and automatically stop any tampering. Chip or Bluetooth cannot connect in these machines.
What are the chances of EVM hacking?
Two state-owned companies Bharat Electronics Limited and Electronic Corporation of India manufacture voting machines. Before giving the EVM machine to the companies making microchips, software programs are put in it, the software is checked under the full supervision of experts. At the level of machine making, disturbances can happen only if the EVM has already done wrong programming. It is also unlikely because which machine is sent to which area and in which order the candidate’s name will not be decided in advance. At the same time, EVMs are being connected to VVPAT, so that voters can know where they voted.
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