14 things you must know about Electronics Voting Machines

Several Asian and African countries have expressed their interest in using Indian-manufactured EVMs. Some have already started using it.

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The controversy surrounding the Electronic Voting Machines has returned to the centre stage in India after some political parties who performed poorly in the recently concluded assembly elections in 2017 accused the winners of tampering the machines.

The Election Commission of India and several experts have rejected the allegation saying that the machines are tamper-proof.

We are presenting here some interesting facts everyone should know about this voting machine.

1.M. B. Haneefa invented the first Indian voting machine in 1980. It was first used in 1981 in the by-election to North Paravur Assembly Constituency of Kerala in 50 polling stations.

2.Haneefa’s original design was exhibited in government exhibitions held in the cities of Tamil Nadu. The Election Commission of India commissioned the EVMs in 1989.

3.They are being manufactured by two public sector undertakings Bharat Electronics Limited and Electronics Corporation of India Limited.

4.The Industrial designers of the machines were faculty members at the Industrial Design Centre, Indian Institute of technology ( IIT) Bombay.

5.The EVMs manufactured in 1989-90 were for the first time in 16 Assembly Constituencies in the States of Madhya Pradesh Rajasthan and NCT of Delhi at the General Elections to the respective Legislative Assemblies held in November 1998.

6.An EVM machine is a simple machine and can be operated by both polling personnel and the voters easily. It can work in in variable weather condition and can withstand rough handling. It does not run on electricity nor it requires internet connectivity.

7.They run on an ordinary 6-volt alkaline battery manufactured by Bharat Electronics Ltd and Electronic Corporation of India Ltd. Each machine can cater to a maximum of 64 candidates and record a maximum of 3840 votes.

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8.The Electronics Voting Machines are lighter and portable and each consists of two interlinked units viz. ballot unit and control unit (used by the polling officials). Voters use the ballot unit to exercise his vote while the control unit is used by polling officials.

9.Each EVM costs Rs.5,500/- with battery. This was the price when they were purchased in 1989-90.

10.The Electronics Voting Machines were introduced to reduce the cost of printing of millions of ballot papers, transportation, storage and distribution and they make it eco-friendly. The government does not need to engage a large number of counting staffs.

Counting is very quick and the result can be declared within 2 to 3 hours as compared to 30-40 hours, on an average, in ballot papers system.

11.The Control Unit can store the result in its memory for 10 years and even more. The battery is required only to activate the EVMs at the time of polling and counting.

12.The battery can be switched off as soon as the polling is over. This will be required to be switched on only at the time of counting. The battery can be removed as soon as the result is taken and can be kept separately.

13. Currently, there are three versions of Electronics Voting Machines. First is the one manufactured before 2006. Another is a post-2006 version. The post-2006 version has also been upgraded.

14. Several Asian and African countries have expressed their interest in using Indian-manufactured EVMs. Some have already started using it. Those who have purchased Indian-manufactured EVM include Nepal, Bhutan and Namibia.

Big Wire

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