The purpose of an election is not to name the winner, but it is to convince the losers that they lost. -- Dr. Dan Wallach, Computer security expert, Rice University

Several countries in the world rejected Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) because they are difficult to secure, easily subject to manipulation and open to large scale fraud and pose a serious threat for free, fair and transparent elections in democratic societies. India went full way with EVMs’ in 2009 elections and there are major concerns of fraud in the elections. An independent technical review report on India’s elections in 2009 can be obtained from here. An expose of the Election Commission of India’s failure to assure the integrity of Indians Electronic Voting System in the form of book titled, ‘Democracy at Risk’ by GVL Narasimha Rao is available here.

Video on how Real  Indian EVM can be Hacked?

In this video, Hari K. Prasad, J. Alex Halderman and Rop Gonggrijp demonstrate two kinds of attacks against a real Indian EVM. One attack involves replacing a small part of the machine with a look-alike component that can be silently instructed to steal a percentage of the votes in favour of a chosen candidate. These instructions can be sent wirelessly from a mobile phone. Another attack uses a pocket-sized device to change the votes stored in the EVM between the election and the public counting session, which in India can be weeks later.   These attacks are neither complicated nor difficult to perform, but they would be hard to detect or defend against. The best way to prevent them is to count votes using paper ballots that voters can see.

Click here for Technical paper on Security analysis of (real) Indian EVMs to be submitted at various international conferences by International (Rop, Alex) and National Experts (Hari and others)

India’s 13 major political parties write to Election Commission of India citing multiple concerns over use of Electronic Voting Machines


1) EVMs are banned in many countries (See references at the end):

  • Netherlands (cited lack of transparency and risk of eavesdropping and securing cannot be guaranteed)
  • Ireland (after spending 51 million pounds for three years due to lack of transperancy and trust)
  • Germany considered e-voting unconstitutional due to lack of transparency to a common voter.
  • Italy (because EVMs are easy to falsify)
  • US (California and other states banned EVM’s without paper trail)
  • CIA security expert Mr. Stigall, monitoring use of Electronic Voting Systems in developing nations such as Venezuela, Macedonia and Ukraine reported abuse using Electronic Voting Machines.
  • When Chavez won in Venzuela, mathematicians challenged and found a “very subtle algorithm” that appeared to adjust vote in Chavez’s favor.

2) See detailed presentation below. This is a must watch on how other countries rejected EVM’s and the option India should pursue.

EVM Presentation
(Click above to see presentation on EVM)

3) Dr. Subramanian Swamy demonstrated many years ago to Indian election commissioner with a MIT Professor how easy it is to manipulate the EVM’s. In his recent article in The Hindu, June 17, 2009 he goes into details how India failed to implement even one of the many safeguards recommended by IEEE.

ECI Promotion Material on EVM (identifies various user interfaces – takes few seconds to load)

Video (3 parts) of TV9 Coverage of Real EVM Hacking (in Telugu)

Part 1 of 3

Part 2 of 3

Part 3 of 3

Click here for paper on Security analysis of (real) Indian EVMs by International (Rop, Alex) and National Experts (Hari and others)

Click here for Independent Technical Team Review Report of EVMs in India questioning design decisions and citing serious discrepancies in recent 2009 elections

Democracy at risk – A comprehensive Look of India’s EVM from its beginnings to Today

(Shocking expose of the Election Commision’s failure to assure the integrity of Indian’s EVMs by Mr. Narasimha Rao)

Accurate Predictions of AP elections before announcement of results

Dr. David Dill of Standford University video statement to India on EVMs (considered pioneer in election reform in USA)

EVMs: Facts, Fallacies and Fiction, IIT Chennai Conference with International Experts, Feb 13, 2010

Press Meet on EVMs with International Experts at Press Club of Delhi on Feb 16, 2010

What is at stake here?

Indian democracy is a miracle. It is dream that came out of people like Mahatma Gandhi that in spite of so many hurdles such as illiteracy, poverty and social issues, India should remain a democratic state. But the plaguing corruption, combined with voting electorate that is largely illiterate and the literate that is largely apathetic to voting process is posing a grave threat to democracy to India. The introduction of EVMs has created intractable problems to the country’s fragile democracy.


Dr. Subramanian Swamy article on EVM’s in ‘The Hindu’ on June 17, 2009

Democracy at Risk!, Shocking Expose of Election Commission of India’s failure to assure the integrity of India’s electronic voting Sytems by Mr. Narasimha Rao





Newsweek article ‘We Do Not Trust Machines’ on EVM’s:


European E-Voting Machines cracked by Dutch Group


The Netherlands return to paper ballots and red pencils

Dutch Commission report


Ireland Commission on Electronic Voting

Dr. Ulrich Weisner and his father Joachim Wiesner who won Germany lawsuit

Germany Supreme Court effectively banned EVM’s

German Supreme Court Judgement

17 responses to “Background

  1. as long as sellers and buyers of voting continues, false democracy is a profitable business.

    anybody to attend, to meet thse crooks is shame .

  2. I know that these machines ‘can’ be hacked. So can computers and many other things. Yet every government uses them for classified information and tries to stop hacks. Just because EVM’s can be hacked does not mean that they are being hacked by everyone.

    • You need proof of at least one person, politician, or party committing fraud and hacking EVM’s. There have been people who have tries to cheat in the old form of elections, with pieces of paper, and there used to be a very high number of malpractices and/or fraud being committed in various polling booths.

  3. Biggest cover up in History.
    I believe that 2004 elections were manipulated by China. They gave communists more power.
    2009 elections were manipulated by USA because they realized China was taking over India and US doesn’t like a patriotic party like BJP coming to power and they don’t want any communists like China to gain upper hand.
    EVM most certainly were manipulated via Satellite by both countries.
    US had also purchased few India medias so that lies can be spread across easily. The biggest looser is not BJP but India and even the world, infact even USA.
    Every action may also have an extraordinary reaction, United states will become divided states. Divided by its own people. If you manipulate others, you will be manipulated by your own.
    China too will perish soon – but this is just wishful thinking.

  4. Would appreciate if the Vedio Clipings can be in English to understand it better. Lot many friends and relatives believe that this time the Assembly Election in West Bengal has experienced on a successful application of tampering EVM silently. All want to see the Audio & Vedio of the discussion so as to be convienced on their believe on what had really happened in the State of West Bengal.

  5. “You need proof of at least one person, politician, or party committing fraud and hacking EVM’s. …………………….”..and there lies the ‘catch’, my dear Vikbrat. Fraud of humongous proportion committed clinically without any scope of even getting NOTICED, let alone being caught/verified!!! Who are you batting, bowling and fielding for, by the way???????????????

  6. pramod kumar rath

    Assumed and probably expected fraud & hacking of EVM’s can be zeroed by reforming election procedure to introduce ” RIGHT TO RECALL & RIGHT TO REJECT ” .

    The need of the moment is to educate & bring 100% awareness in the grass root level to know in details of their nominated people’s representative before chosing to elect them.

  7. वोट डालने का ऐसा सबसे सुरक्षित तरीका जिसमे घपलेबाज़ी की कोई जगह ही नहीं है. इस मतदान प्रक्रिया का उद्देश यह है कि मतदान गोपनीय हो पर हर वोट जांचा भी जा सके.
    हर मतदाता सिर्फ अपने दिए हुए वोट की ही जांच कर सके पर दूसरा कोई भी उसके वोट कि जांच नहीं कर सके.
    वोटिंग के लिए वोटिंग मशीन की मदद तो ली जाये पर उस पर पूर्ण निर्भरता न हो.
    कुंजी यह है कि जब मतदाता वोट डालने जाये तो उसको एक बेलेट फॉर्म दिया जाये जिसमें बायीं ओर उम्मीदवारों की लिस्ट हो तथा दायी ओर उसके सामने ठप्पा लगाने की जगह हो.
    अब सोचिये एक चुनाव क्षेत्र के सभी बेलेट फॉर्म है और सभी में उम्मीदवारों की लिस्ट अनिश्चित रूप से अलग-अलग क्रम में है. मतदाता बेलेट फॉर्म में दायी तरफ अपनी पसंद के उम्मीदवार के सामने ठप्पा लगा कर बेलेट फॉर्म के बाएं हिस्से को (जिसमे उमीदवार की लिस्ट है) फाड़ कर अलग कर लेता है.
    अब कोई भी नहीं बता सकता की उसने किस उमीदवार को वोट दिया है. हर बेलेट फॉर्म में ऊपर के हिस्से में ठप्पा लगाने वाली तरफ जटिल निशान, एक कूट लिपि (एनक्रिप्टेड) में 2D बारकोड बना है जिसको वोटिंग मशीन स्कैन कर सकती है.

    आप इस तरह वोट डालते है:-
    मतदान के समय निर्वाचन कर्मचारी को आप अपनी पहचान बता कर मतदान कि प्रक्रिया शुरू करते है. आपको एक बेलेट फॉर्म दिया जाता है जिसमे दायी तरफ……. पूरी प्रक्रिया जानने के लिए कृपया लिंक पर क्लिक करे….

  8. “Himmat se sach kaho to bura mante hain log,Ro-Ro ke baat karne ki aadat nahin rahi.”
    Its good effort.

  9. मुझे पता नहीं की लोग क्यूँ EVM पर शक कर रहे है ?
    क्या वो ये कहना चाहते है ? की ये धांधलियाँ चुनाव आयोग करवा रहा है !
    इतना ही नहीं EVM का चलन तो BJP ने ही शुरू किया था,

    अब जब वो हार जाते है किसी क्षेत्र की सीट तो CONGRESS ने EVM मे छेड़ छाड की है पर वहाँ अपना मुहँ नहीं खोलते जहा की सीट वो जीते रहते है |

    ये तो वही बात हो गयी, मेरा काम नहीं बना तो तेरा भी नहीं बनने दूँगा !!!
    वैसे EVM’s जब चुनाव आयोग के संरक्षण मे है और रहती है तो इससे छेड़छाड़ का सवाल ही नहीं उठता |

    और अगर कोई ये कहे की EVM से छेड़छाद की गयी है, तो ये देश की सबसे निष्पक्ष संस्था पर ऊँगली उठाना ही है | वो भी उस संस्था पर जिसके अधिकारीयों ने हर सम्भव कोशिश की है की चुनावों मे कोई धांधली ना कर सके |

    वैसे भी जब हर राज्य मे चुनाव आयोग के दफ्तर है, और जब सब कुछ चुनाव आयोग के दफ्तर मे ही होता है तो फिर कल लोग ये भी कह सकते है की जहां जहां BJP की सरकार है वहा वहा BJP भी छेड़छाड़ करवाती होगी EVM से |

    अब हर बार ये कहना की EVM मे छेड़छाड़ हुई है, ये चुनाव आयोग जैसी स्वतंत्र संस्था पर कीचड़ उछलने जैसा है |

    सो अपने विवेक से काम ले और हर विषय वस्तु का प्रतिपादन / या मौखिक टिप्पड़ी अपने विवेक के सुप्त तंतुओं को जागृत करके करें |

    वैसे एक बात कह दूँ, की ना मुझे कांग्रेस की सरकार चाहिये , ना बी. जे. पी. वालों की, दोनों ने अपनी अपनी पारी मे देश को अनेको बार लूटा है |

    अब सिर्फ सैनिक शासन या फिर पढ़े लिखे, पूर्ण रूप से शिक्षित और विवेक पूर्ण नौजवानों की सरकार चाहिये जों किसी भी पार्टी से तालुक ना रखते हो अथवा देश को पोलिटिक्स से उपर मानते हो |

    भारतीय राजनीती मे ये बदलाव जरूरी है, इस लिए या तो इस बार चुनावों का बहिष्कार करें जब तक चुनाव आयोग एक अतिरिक्त बटन उपलब्ध नहीं करवाता EVM पर जों की लोगों को ये आज़ादी दे की चुनाव मे अगर सभी लोग CORRUPT है तो लोग उस बटन का उपयोग कर अपने मत का दुरूपयोग होने से स्वयं को बचालें |

  10. Anyone can scare a crow, but none can the masses of India.Ballot suspicion…EVM suspicion, but about the quality of your drinking water no suspicion. There is no limit to skepticism!

  11. My views on the subject of corruption which is destroying Indian society are as follows:

    I consider corruption less as a product of need and more is a production of greed which has no end. Moreover, it seems that it has entered deep into the blood of most Indians. Indian can only be saved from this cancers disease by purification of blood and also of heart and mind. As I believe that nothing is impossible provided we develop strong leadership and combined commitment.


    S. S. Singh
    NLIU, Bhopal, India

  12. Silly allegations and funny excuses. Will paper ballot be better and beyond fraud. How were elections rigged before introduction of EVMs. If display can be replaced, can’t ballot boxes be replaced? If seal on EVM can be tampered cant seal on ballot boxes be tampered?
    With these EVMs so many non-congress governments came. How can Modi win so many times? How come DMK and AIADMK keep winning?
    India developed some thing that World could not. Be proud of it.

  13. why these so called opposition leaders r tearing off their cloths in campaigning, why dont they wake up and raise this issue in parliament?
    why dont all the opposition leaders unite and fight for this cause?

  14. Is it possible that without blaming anyone for past elections someone could invite discussions on how election fraud can be prevented in future?

    Just to start off the discussion here are three suggestions (and I could be way off the mark.) Your link tells us that people could easily get into the ballot box with some component of the machine hidden on their person and replace the original on the machine. What if we prevented them from getting completely hidden from view? What if we let them simply stick ONE hand and their heads in through a window to vote. That way, the rest of them is visible and whatever component they are carrying (if anything) would be difficult for them to replace with one hand. Also it would be easily visible if they tried to get it out of their pocket or wherever it is hidden. Yet their vote would remain secret.

    Second suggestion – What if the parts of the machine that can be modified are made more difficult to extract or replace?

    Third suggestion – with the progress made in technology why not have TV screens beaming the three hundred election rooms (except the secret ballot area where the EVM machines are placed) to the public at all times? It would prevent booth capturing and might improve the safety of the booth duty volunteers on election days.

    If fraud can occur through some device off site, I hope the experts come up with an open discussion too.

  15. Want to be part of your revolution

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