Sunday, July 05, 2009



[prohindu] Was Election 2009 rigged?

Krishan Bhatnagar Sat, Jul 4, 2009 at 9:20 AM

Here are two articles on the possible fraud with the EVMs (Electronic Voting Machines).
Please circulate

A) Was Election 2009 rigged?, July 4, 2009
"The Election Commission has now officially taken up the investigation of charges of rigging and fraud through the Electronic Voting Machines."

B) EC had known the fundamental flaws of EVMs since 2000; not remedied
By Prof Radhakrishnan
Organiser, July 5. 2009

"In 2004, the Supreme Court’s first bench, comprising Chief Justice VN Khare and Justices Babu and Kapadia, directed the Election Commission to consider the technical flaws in EVMs put forward by Satinath Choudhary, a US-based software engineer, in a PIL. But the EC has failed to consider his representation. "


A) Was Election 2009 rigged?, July 4, 2009

The Election Commission has now officially taken up the investigation of charges of rigging and fraud through the Electronic Voting Machines.

Chief Election Commissioner Navin Chawla [ Images ] is sitting over a major scandal of a possible massive rigging of elections by manipulation of software of the Electronic Voting Machines.

But for the charge levelled by a former Delhi [ Images ] chief secretary five years senior to him in the Indian Administrative Service cadre, Chawla would have rejected such claims of rigging.

Omesh Saigal, a 1964 batch IAS officer of the Union Territory, stunned him with a presentation to force him to order an inquiry into any possibility of such a rigging.
Chawla is himself a Union Territory cadre IAS of 1969 batch.

Deputy Election Commissioner Balakrishnan has been asked to conduct the inquiry on the basis of a report handed over by Saigal to the CEC, with a software he got developed to show how the elections can be rigged.

Saigal, who is an Indian Institute of Technology alumni, has demanded an urgent check of the programme that runs the EVMs used in elections since 2004.

He demonstrated with his software that its manipulation ensured that one has to just key in a certain code number and that will ensure every fifth vote cast in a particular polling booth goes in favour of a certain candidate.

In his letter to the CEC, Saigal alleged that the software written onto the EVMs has never been checked by the Election Commission ever since these machines were manufactured than 6-7 years back.

His contention is that the EC merely relied on the certificates supplied by the manufacturers, the government-run BEL and ECIL. He alleged that these government firms had subcontracted private parties who actually provided these certificates.

"A public software audit of these machines from time to time, especially after and before an election, was a must to retain the credibility of the elections," Saigal affirmed, demanding that for the sake of transparency names and ownerships of these private companies must be disclosed, as also the details of the factories where they were actually manufactured.

The records retained in the factories must also be immediately taken over by the EC to prevent any tampering and to facilitate an audit, he said.

He also pointed out how, after nearly two years of deliberation, Germany's [ Images ] Supreme Court ruled last March that e-voting was unconstitutional because the average citizen could not be expected to understand the exact steps involved in the recording and tallying of votes. Earlier, Ireland had given up e-voting for similar reasons.

In the United States too, after considerable controversy the Federal Election Commission has come up in 2005 with detailed voting system guidelines which run into more than 400 pages.

Saigal said that it is noteworthy that not a single safeguard mentioned in these guidelines are in place in India.

Saigal said he had gone into all the safeguards built into the e-voting system in India with the help of former colleagues and IT experts and finds it both 'possible and plausible' to rig these machines and get a crooked result.

"If the credibility of the electoral process is to be ensured, pre- and post-election checks of the software now fused onto the chips of the EVMs is a must," Saigal said.

It is not that all the 10 lakh odd machines used in the poll need to be checked. If we take only those booths where one of the candidates has received 75 per cent of the votes and in constituencies where the margin of the winner is less than 15,000, not more than 7,000-odd machines will need to be checked.

Saigal argued in his report that "if we cannot do this we must revert to the paper ballot."

"The need for a fair, free and transparent polling system transcends any reasons anyone may have to the contrary," he added.

A Correspondent in New Delhi

B) EC had known the fundamental flaws of EVMs since 2000; not remedied
By Prof Radhakrishnan
Organiser, July 5. 2009

The result of the April-May 2009 General Elections to the 15th Lok Sabha has proved that Indian psephologists and media pundits on Indian politics, particularly from the electronic media, are worse than astrologers. But like astrologers even after they err they righteously peddle their wrongs as rights, and keep the viewers in their shibboleth. As this is an integral part of their disingenuous commercial and survival strategy, the less said, the better.

There have been complaints about election rigging. As this is nothing new, India has not had violence and mayhem as Iran witnessed recently. All the same the complaints cannot be taken lightly.

In an Op-Ed “Dangers of trusting them too much” in The New Indian Express of May 29, 2009, reproduced with minor modifications as another Op-Ed “Are electronic voting machines tamper-proof?” in The Hindu of June 17, 2009 Dr Subramanian Swamy wrote: “Is there a possibility of rigging electoral outcomes in a general election to the Lok Sabha?

This question has arisen not only because of the unexpected number of seats won or lost by some parties in the recent contest. It is accentuated by the recent spate of articles published in reputed computer engineering journals and in the popular international press, which raise doubts about the integrity of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).”

Why are the EVMs so vulnerable? Swamy’s explanation is important: “Each step in the life cycle of a voting machine—from the time it is developed and installed to when the votes are recorded and the data transferred to a central repository for tallying—involves different people gaining access to the machines, often installing new software. It wouldn’t be hard, says an election official, to paint a parallel programme under another password on one or many voting machines that would, before voters arrived at the poll stations, ensure a pre-determined outcome.”

Swamy’s article is of huge political relevance in India, as evident from his own claims: “The Election Commission of India has known of these dangers since 2000. Dr MS Gill, the then CEC, had arranged at my initiative for Professor Sanjay Sarma, the father of RFID software fame at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and his wife Dr Gitanjali Swamy of Harvard, to demonstrate how unsafeguarded the chips in EVMs were. Some changes in procedure were made subsequently by the EC. But the fundamental flaws, which made them compliant to hacking, remained.”

In 2004, the Supreme Court’s first bench, comprising Chief Justice VN Khare and Justices Babu and Kapadia, directed the Election Commission to consider the technical flaws in EVMs put forward by Satinath Choudhary, a US-based software engineer, in a PIL. But the EC has failed to consider his representation.

Now several High Courts are hearing PILs on the EVMs. This is good news. I believe the time has arrived for the Supreme Court to transfer these cases to itself, and take a long, hard look at these riggable machines that favour a ruling party that can ensure a pliant Election Commission. Else, elections will soon lose their credibility and the demise of democracy will be near. Hence evidence must now be collected by all political parties to determine the number of constituencies in which they suspect rigging. The number will not exceed 75, in my opinion. We can identify them as follows: Any 2009 general election result in which the main losing candidate of a recognised party found that more than 10 per cent of the polling booths showed fewer than five votes per booth should be taken, prima facie, as a constituency in which rigging took place. This is because the main recognised parties usually have more than five party workers per booth, and hence with their families will poll a minimum of 25 votes per booth for their party candidate. If these 25 voters can give affidavits affirming whom they voted for, the High Court can treat this as evidence and order a full inquiry.

If the cases are transferred to the Supreme Court, in adjudicating them time is the essence. If the court deals with them in its usual lackadaisical style Swamy’s prophesy of doom, that is, elections soon losing their credibility and the demise of democracy will be near, may turn out to be a reality.


EVMs ‘manipulated’ in Orissa polls, claims Azad, Union Health Minister
Organiser July 5, 2009

BHUBANESWAR: Congress general secretary in charge of the party’s affairs in Orissa Ghulam Nabi Azad alleged ‘manipulation’ of electronic voting machines (EVMs) had led to the party’s defeat in the assembly and parliamentary elections in the state.

“EVMs were manipulated during the poll which resulted in defeat of many Congress candidates,” Azad said in a press conference here.

The Congress won only 27 of the state’s 147 assembly seats and six of the 21 Lok Sabha constituencies in Orissa. The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD), led by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, bagged 103 Assembly and 14 Lok Sabha seats.

Azad met the candidates in the twin polls and reviewed the reasons of dismal show, constituency wise. After the review meeting, he also charged the BJD with misusing the official machinery during the polls.

There was a wide-scale misuse of official machinery by the ruling BJD, which led to the debacle of the Congress party in the poll,” he alleged.

Azad blamed the BJD for converting the flagship schemes initiated by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) into other schemes of state government, extracting all the mileage. He conceded the “last minute changes in leadership and failure to choose the right candidate” were also responsible for the Congress’s defeat.

The meeting was attended by all the candidates, district level office-bearers and other senior leaders of the party. However, Azad did not say anything about any likely change in the state unit leadership following the poll debacle.



At 9:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

dear sir,
you have discussed technical ways in which an EVM can be manipulated.
I am a non technical person yet in my own commonsense way i think the EVMs may have been manipulated. is it that all the exit-polls conducted by all the print media and electronic media went so GROSSLY wrong.
2. in all the areas where mr. narendra modi campaigned ,BJP had only around 10% success and in the areas where mr. rahul gandhi campaigned the success rate of the cong. was more than 70%.
question arises in my mind
a. is over electorate so naive that they vote for looks only?(rahul gandhi has nothing else to his credit)in contrast, mr. modi has some remarkable achievements to his credit viz.making gujarat an energy surplus state, hence making it aprime destination for all industrialists( remember NANO), busting the mafia networks(remember dr. manmohansinghji had to ask the states, ncluding the cong. ruled states, to bust the mafia gangs but mr. modi had not waited for the p.m. to tell him to do so), efforts to make Narmada waters to reach the remotest area of kutch, improving the roads-----an the list goes on.
clearly, when the roumors were on that in 2014 the fight will be between narendra modi and rahul gandhi, all efforts seem to have been made to show mr. modi in poor light as a loosing horse and rahul gandhi as a winning horse.

At 1:35 AM, Blogger hindblogger said...

It is possible but I can not give any ease to BJP - it was a miserable show and they required this whip.

@ blind support always is dangerous. They were best but they dropped to worst-why and how is big issue for them to handle now. I fancy if they will be having anyone as tall as A.B Vajpayee.

At 11:16 PM, Blogger dsk said...


It is very simple to cheat very neatly without getting caught. No extra votes will also be there in totals, and the numbers will match perfectly with any manual tracking at the polling stations!

This can be THEORETICALLY be achieved by an End of day program, which runs after the EVM is run after disconnecting it from the Control Station after polling, which is a simple [MAX} function to
find the candidate with Maximum Votes and swap it with the preferred candidate! The machine can be so programmed that this routine can be erased after it's use so that one can never find it out.

I have some fool proof methods to counter this and also bring more transparency to Elections thru EVMs.


Global IT & Innovation Consultant


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