Scrap EVMs , Save Indian Democracy exposes tamperability of Indian EVMS

via PRESS RELEASE published on May 9, 2010

To,

Mr. Navin Chawla, Chief Election Commissioner
Mr. S.Q Quraishi,   Election Commissioner
Mr. V.S. Sampath, Election Commissioner
Election Commission of India
Nirvachan Sadan
Ashoka Road, New Delhi 110001

Dear Mr. Navin Chawla, Mr. S.Q. Quraishi, Mr. V.S. Sampath,

Our Organization Save Indian Democracy, consisting of active volunteers from India and the Indian Diaspora all over the world ,  was in earlier communication with you regarding our concerns on the usage of stand alone EVMs and their rejection across several countries in the world.   We had presented you the statement regarding Indian EVMs by Stanford Dr. David Dill who is considered a pioneer in election reform in United States along with a personal letter of invitation to Mr. Chawla to visit Stanford to learn more about the EVM issues.   We have brought in the best world wide known international experts to India to attend various conferences and Press Meet and had extended invitation to you and the Expert Committee to meet with the experts.  Our organization have even extended invitation to you to come to US at our expense.  This is in addition to various Indian Organizations and activists who have been working hard to bring your attention to the issue for several months.

However, none of this elicited any response from you.   You have not engaged in any meaningful and honest debate other than bland assertions that Indian EVMs are not proven tamperable without subjecting them to any honest scrutiny in India or internationally.  You have kept from public that the patent submitted on the Indian EVMs to World Intellectual property Organization was withdrawn because they found all the 21 claims for patent are worthless (ref 1).  The recent exposure of the real Indian EVMs with the help of international and national experts (ref 2) show that what we had feared all along is true and the many reports of issues both by individuals and the political parties during last few elections are on strong foot hold.

We know that ECI is serious about protecting Indian democracy and are hopeful that ECI will engage into an honest debate on the issues of electronic voting.   Unfortunately all the efforts made so far to bring to your attention the serious threat to democracy of India was met not only with disregard but continuation of campaign of misleading  the country.      As Dr. Dill and several others have asserted tamperability and insider tampering of stand alone EVMs are biggest threat to any country’s democracy.   With Corruption Perception index of  India by Transparency International same as that of  war torn African country Rwanda,  the recent expose’ of ease of tamperability of real Indian EVMs in combination with high risk of insider tampering puts a great urgency in addressing the issue.  

Save Indian Democracy will continue to take further actions through various international and national Organizations to protect our democracy.   Note that a paper on real Indian EVMs is already scheduled to be presented at one international conference by well known expert Rop Gongrijjp from Netherlands (ref 3).

1)      Expose the tamperability of real Indian EVMs in several international conferences..
2)      Expose the ease of tamperability of  real Indian EVMs to countries India is selling the EVMs, particularly Nigeria,  Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Namibia,  Mauritius, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangla Desh.  We are already in touch with Nigeria where the Election Commissioner was recently sacked for corruption.
3)      Explore and pursue bringing awareness to the Indian EVM issues to various international human rights  and election watch bodies.
4)      Work closely with other Indian counterparts to bring awareness to Indians  about the rejection of stand along EVMs around the world, the vulnerability of Indian EVMs etc

We sincerely hope the ECI would take further immediate actions.  We look forward to cooperate and assist in any sincere efforts. Some of the actions ECI may  pursue are:

1)      Engaging in an honest debate with an open mind on tamperability of Indian EVMs  and the risk of insider tampering and explore ways to make Indian elections accountable and verifiable.
2)      Learn and understand the status of stand alone EVMs across the world and why even the most advanced countries rejected them due to reasons of  transparency, tamperability and insider tampering.  (Note that, notwithstanding IT boom in India, the research on EVMs in India is minimal).
3)      Recognize that even the countries with far less corruption than India and have reputable Electoral bodies are extremely concerned of insider tampering and have effectively done away with stand alone EVMs.
4)      Bold enough to reintroduce the paper ballots unless a well proven method could be found to make elections more secure.

 

With best regards,

Satya Dosapati
Save Indian Democracy

####

 
References:

1)      Technical paper on how to tamper a real Indian EVM at http://indiaevm.org/paper.html  (being submitted at Chicago and other international conferences)

2)      Video on how  to tamper a real Indian EVM by Rop Gongrijjp,  Hari Prasad, Alex Halderman.   Visit:  http://indiaevm.org/media.html  (scroll down)

3)      Withdrawal  of patent application of EVM made at World Intellectual  Property Organization, www.wipo.int/pctdb/en/wo.jsp?WO=2002093503 ,   look under claims for  21 claims for patent and under National Phase showing withdrawn.

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