Press Release, Activists alarmed at ECI buying 2 lakhs of same manipulable EVMs and combining State (5 states) and Central election

Press Release

Save Indian Democracy

Ph:      7329392060 (USA)


Aug 22, 2013

Activists alarmed at ECI buying additional 2 lakh of same manipulable EVMs and combining State (5 states) and Central Elections together creating an environment for major fraud in coming elections

Activists who has been working on EVM issue during last 4 years are alarmed with recent news item that ECI is going to buy 2 lakhs (0.2 million) of same old EVMs and hold the coming state and central elections together in Nov 2013.    (Ref: July 2013, Times of India, ).

The issue is ECI under Dr. Quraishi has done multiple field trails with VVPAT (EVM with paper receipt), did multiple design modifications with help of ECI expert committee and zero’ed on a VVPAT machine design.  ECI even demonstrated to opposition parties to their satisfaction as of May 2013.   In Apr 2013, ECI  went to Supreme Court that they are ready to order the VVPAT machines once they get funds from Central Govt (see links below).

After new election commissioner Mr. Sampath took over, everything came to full stop.  What is the imperative for ECI to hold state and central elections together in Nov 2013 and use that as a reason to procure 2 lakhs of same old EVMs that were known to be easily manipulated?   This is alarming because this is precisely creating conditions for major EVM  frauds (see blatant statewide examples of EVM fraud from 2009 below for which ECI has no answer).   Holding elections together when ECI is hard pressed to manage, buying large quantity of extra EVMs does not bode well for fairness of coming elections, based on several experiences in multiple states in 2009 elections (see AP example in particular below).   At current times where no party can gain absolute majority all it takes is manipulate small percentage (less than 5%) in select constituencies where margins are thin to tip the balance and even capture power.

This whole idea smells like conspiracy and given the way country is going through one scam after another it is not surprising?   Seems like with the possibility of loss of power the establishment seems to take drastic step to subvert democracy.   To address this activists are pursuing various strategies such as filing PILs in Supreme Court,  protests/Dharna at the Election Commission, increase both national and international awareness of the impending fraudulent elections,  bring to notice of the activists in countries ECI is selling the same old EVMs that can be manipulated etc.  Please note that Dr. Swamy PIL on EVM is coming up for hearing in Supreme Court on Aug 22nd.

Timeline from 2013 for VVPAT below:
1) Apr 2013, ECI informed Supreme Court  that VVPAT machine design is ready and just a matter of getting funding from Central Govt

2)  May 2013, ECI demonstrated VVPAT machines to all political parties and got their agreement with timeline of how they determined right design after actual field trails and design enhancements

To understand the concerns of activists we have to go back to 2009 elections.

2009 Andhra Pradesh  EVM Fraud (state and central elections) – lagadapati precise prediction with thousands of EVMs lost and some sold as scrap
2009 State wide fraud (Maharashtra, Tamilnadu, Assam, Manipur etc)
2009 Mysterious Spreadsheet found by activists on ECI website with election results even before ECI started counting (last slide has all links)
2009 Media coverage on ECI response to Mysterious spreadsheet
Court case on EVMs by Dr. Subramanian Swamy (Supreme Court hearing on Aug 22nd, 2013)

Other important links to put things in perspective:
Below are some very important links to put things in perspective,  about Hari demonstrating EVMs (see youtube video below) can be easily manipulated with Alex from USA and Rop from Netherlands in Indian media,  how stand alone EVMs are banned internationally across Europe and USA,  acceptance of research paper on manipulability of Indian EVM at prestigious ACM Computer Security Conference at Chicago 2010,  Dr. David Dill  (considered pioneer in election reforms in USA) statement on EVMs and invitation to ECI to USA etc, appearance of mysterious spreadsheet with election results on ECI website before ECI started counting.

Indian EVMs are a tragic story of bureaucrats who know little of technology carrying it to extreme and foolishly defending it and an establishment that finds it attractive to manipulate and subvert democracy.   The software is written by few programmers and burnt into a chip in Japan/USA which we cannot even verify what is put in there.  And these countries do not even use EVMs.   The whole idea fails basic premise of transparency which is best put by German Supreme Court which banned them unanimously in first hearing with one question:  ‘How can lay voter be assured that his/her vote is counted against a candidate they voted for after converting the vote into bits and bytes?  If voter needs experts to understand it, then it is not transparent’.   ECI under Naveen Chawla lied to nation that our EVM are different and not networked.  As you can see international experts speak, the EVMs banned in all mature democracies are also not networked, they were banned for simple reason of lack of transparency, not even because of any concerns of fraud that occurred, particularly in Europe.   In a corrupt country like India with Transparency international index close to Afghanisthan, this is the worst episode in Indian democracy.  These EVMs are not trusted in our own parliament with 543 votes, but it is foisted on the nation.  It is a matter of shame after all the events in 2009 that our ECI is still continuing these machines.
1) Video on how to manipulate a real EVM (by Hari and top international experts Alex/Rop)?
2) Prestigious ACM computer Security conference paper on Indian EVM (Chicago, 2010)
3) Dr. David Dill (Stanford) Video message to Election Commission on what India can learn from International Experience
4) Presentation on how EVMs are banned internationally
5) Top International computer security Experts write to Election Commission
6) ‘Democracy at Risk’, book by GVL Narasimha Rao
7) Did NDA lost to UPA in 2004 and 2009 elections due to EVMs.
8) Conference on EVM by Dr. Swamy with international experts in Chennai in 2010
9) Dr. David Dill (Stanford) write to Election Commission
10) Omesh Saigal (retd IAS ) write on EVM use
11) Omesh Saigal (retd IAS) presentation on EVM
12) Arrest and harassment of Hari by Election Commission (Naveen Chawla)

13) Journey of how it all started, on how activists took on EVM issue both in USA and India

14) Hari Prasad awarded prestigious Pioneer of the year award by US Electronic Frontier Foundation

15) Mysterious spreadsheet with election results before Election Commission started counting! (last slide has all links)


One response to “Press Release, Activists alarmed at ECI buying 2 lakhs of same manipulable EVMs and combining State (5 states) and Central election

  1. yes this is the most dangerous situation, and the death of democracy. What is the Mr Sampath doing ?

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