New EVMs to have paper trail: BEL

via PTI published on January 21, 2012

New Delhi, Jan 19 – Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) will henceforth generate paper trail of the ballot cast through it, making the election process safer and tamper-proof, defence PSU Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), making the EVMs said here today.

“EC has given us its requirement for EVMs and work is going on to incorporate new features”, BEL Chairman and Managing Director Anil Kumar said, addding the machines would be ready for use in another 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,” Kumar said.

The printouts will be used later to cross check the voting data stored in the EVMs.

Kumar said the proposal is still at the trial stage and next round of tests would take place in the coming months.

“We have already conducted the second round of trials, we will be seeing the response and it will be further modified. It could be ready in another six months time,” he said.

On whether some of the new machines would be used or tested in the coming elections, he said “these will not be used in the coming elections. We got the proposal about five months back and first time there was a malfunctioning because of the temperature.”Â

Talking about other features in new EVMs, he said the machines will be more rugged and smaller in size but with more computing power.

Claiming that the new EVMs cannot be tampered with, he said “we can ensure every one that these EVMs are totally secure and tamper-proof. There is no possibility at all that any one can break into it.”Â

BEL has got a contract worth USD 2 billion to supply these machines to Namibia.

“Several countries had shown interest in our EVMs but they have their own political compulsions to use paper ballot,” he said, adding the company is ready to take up export orders.

To ensure the efficiency of new features,the machines would be tested in various different terrain and climates.

BEL has been deploying its personnel with the EC teams in the elections also to take care of problems and to ensure that the machines are used in the right manner.

So far, BEL has supplied around 8 lakh EVMs to the EC and the old machines would be phased out with the Commission certifying new models with advance technology.

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