Call to replace EVMs with paper ballots gets louder amid hacking concerns

Calls to replace EVMs with paper ballots have been amplified after the Maharashtra incident, with political leaders criticising EVMs for lacking transparency and potentially undermining democracy.

Kanav Khanduja
Updated18 Jun 2024, 04:37 PM IST
Indian Electronic Voting Machine (EVMs)
Indian Electronic Voting Machine (EVMs)

A recent incident in Maharashtra has reignited the debate over the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in Indian elections. The controversy arose when a relative of Shiv Sena leader Ravindra Waikar allegedly brought a mobile phone inside a counting centre to generate an OTP that unlocked an EVM. It is alleged that the phone was connected to the EVM and used to generate an 'unlocking' OTP. 

This incident has intensified calls from various political figures in India to replace EVMs with traditional ballot papers. 

Former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has been vocal in his criticism of EVMs. He argued that returning to paper ballots would uphold the true spirit of democracy. 

On Tuesday, he posted on X (formerly Twitter), “Just as justice should not only be served but should also appear to have been served, so should democracy not only prevail but must appear to be prevalent undoubtedly. In electoral practices across the world, in almost every advanced democracy, paper ballots are used, not EVMs. We too must move towards the same in upholding the true spirit of our democracy.”

The Congress party also endorsed the proposition to replace EVMs with ballot papers. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi intensified criticism by likening EVMs to a "black box" and accusing the government of stifling dissent on the issue. He pointed out a lack of transparency in the electoral process, which he believes undermines democracy.

Maharashtra Congress President Nana Patole questioned the central government's reluctance to revert to ballot papers. He highlighted concerns about the reliability of EVMs and cited examples from developed countries like the US and Japan that use paper ballots. Patole said, "Voting is our fundamental right. There is a question in front of people if their vote gets delivered in favour of the candidate they vote for. Why doesn't the central government use ballot paper for voting?" 

Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Priyanka Chaturvedi urged the Electoral Commission of India (ECI) to assure voters that “constitutional methods" wouldn't be affected and that the elections would be “free and fair.” 

CPI General Secretary D Raja also expressed doubts about the credibility of EVMs.

In a recent post on X, billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk also pitched for eliminating EVMs. Elon Musk said, “We should eliminate electronic voting machines. The risk of being hacked by humans or AI, while small, is still too high." This led to criticism from many Indians, although Musk was likely referring to US EVMs.

Catch all the Politics News and Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates & Live Business News.MoreLess
First Published:18 Jun 2024, 04:37 PM IST
HomePoliticsNewsCall to replace EVMs with paper ballots gets louder amid hacking concerns

Most Active Stocks

Tata Steel

03:59 PM | 10 JUL 2024
-3.8 (-2.21%)

Indian Oil Corporation

03:59 PM | 10 JUL 2024
0.25 (0.15%)

Bharat Electronics

03:58 PM | 10 JUL 2024
-0.85 (-0.25%)

Ashok Leyland

03:52 PM | 10 JUL 2024
-2.4 (-1.05%)
More Active Stocks

Market Snapshot

  • Top Gainers
  • Top Losers
  • 52 Week High

Capri Global Capital

03:49 PM | 10 JUL 2024
11.15 (5.2%)

Vardhaman Textiles

03:47 PM | 10 JUL 2024
26 (5.13%)

India Cements

03:29 PM | 10 JUL 2024
13.85 (4.92%)

NLC India

03:59 PM | 10 JUL 2024
12.9 (4.9%)
More from Top Gainers

Recommended For You

    More Recommendations

    Gold Prices

    • 24K
    • 22K

    Fuel Price

    • Petrol
    • Diesel
    HomeMarketsPremiumInstant LoanMint Shorts