Archive for the ‘EVM Vulnerabilities’ Category


All-Party Meeting on EVMs echoes a Consensus on EVMs with Paper Trail

Posted by Narasimha Rao under EVM Vulnerabilities

An all-party meeting was held today at the Election Commission of India’s Nirvachan Sadan to discuss electronic voting machines (EVMs) besides many other issues requiring electoral reform.
In the morning, all national parties including the Congress, CPM, CPI, BSP and NCP have in principle endorsed the BJP’s view articulated by its  senior party leader Ravi Shankar Prasad that the Election Commission shall examine provision of a paper back up for the EVMs in the form of a physical print out of every vote for the voters as an acknowledgement that their vote has been recorded properly. (See the following report)
And, in the afternoon, leaders of a large number of state political parties have endorsed a specific model of a “printer attached with the ballot unit of an EVM” presented by TDP leader Chandrababu Naidu in a power point presentation to provide paper trail for the EVMs.
As per Naidu’s design, each ballot printout comprising the party symbol [...]

Losers must trust election results, not just winners

Posted by Narasimha Rao under EVM Vulnerabilities

At the FAME seminar on electoral reforms last Sunday, chief election commissioner S.Y. Quraishi recalled the instance of a candidate who lost by one vote in the 2008 Rajasthan assembly elections. The candidate was C.P. Joshi, the then Congress state president and present rural development minister in the UPA government at the Centre. At the request of C.P. Joshi, a recount of postal ballots (less than 200 hundred) was ordered and a re-tabulation of the votes was done on the EVMs. Yet, the difference was the same one vote and Joshi was declared lost.
While Quraishi emphasizes Joshi’s case to say that the counting of votes in our elections is fair, the reality is that this “recount” of votes cannot be considered to be a proper recount at all. This amounted to merely checking if any clerical errors were made in totaling the votes polled in different EVMs as the results are noted [...]


Posted by Narasimha Rao under EVM Vulnerabilities

Maoists can run away with Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs). Election Commission of India (ECI) feels helpless. It says it can do nothing about it. Chief election commissioner S.Y. Quraishi said as much to the BJP delegation which met him last week.

Goons and criminals can run away with EVMs. ECI does nothing except filing FIRs.
Nearly 80 machines have been stolen as per ECI’s own admission. As Quraishi himself says, no arrests have been made in the past.
But the Election Commission of India (ECI) shows overzealousness in harassing Hari Prasad for merely using an EVM made available to him for vulnerability demonstration.
The ECI is pursuing vengeful agenda against Hari Prasad for being a whistle blower by publicly demonstrating the vulnerabilities of EVMs and nailing its egregious lies about some fictional magical qualities of the EVMs unknown in the field of electronic security.


Now, the latest update on ECI’s continuing [...]

BJP demands EVMs with paper audit trail, Election Commission dodges demand

Posted by Narasimha Rao under EVM Vulnerabilities

L.K. Advani, chairman of the BJP parliamentary party and Nitin Gadkari, National President of the BJP have repeatedly asserted the need for a reform in the voting system and have in fact demanded that the system of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) with Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) should be implemented. The party remains firmly committed to this demand.
Reiterating this demand for introduction of EVMs with a paper back up to ensure transparency and to provide an audit trail, the BJP yesterday urged the Election Commission to convene an All-party meeting to discuss concerns of various parties regarding EVMs. In its response, the Commission said that an All-party meeting will be convened in the near future (?) but providing a paper back up (VVPAT) as demanded by the BJP would be difficult as there are likely to be lots of printer related problems.
The delegation was led by Ravi Shankar Prasad, chief spokesman and General [...]

ECI’s conduct and “conspiracy” theories make the EVMs suspect

Posted by Narasimha Rao under EVM Vulnerabilities

Every time there is some expose, there is an attempt to shoot the messengers. That a research paper prepared by Hari Prasad, Alex Halderman (Asst. Professor, University of Michigan) and Rop Gonggrijp (Dutch expert) et al. on on their EVM demonstration has been chosen for presentation at an international conference on computer security to be held in Chicago is significant. Read the Hindustan Times report here.
Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS) is the one of the world’s most highly rated computer security conferences. Being selected for presentation at this conference is in itself regarded as evidence that the paper has  solid research value. Not just that. The paper on Indian EVMs had received the highest score in its rankings thus making it the best paper to be submitted from this year’s submissions. Check it out yourself at the following link.
Does anyone need more to establish that the tamperability demonstration by these technical experts was a [...]

Hari Prasad’s arrest smacks of vendetta by the ECI, VeTA demands immediate acquittal

Posted by Narasimha Rao under EVM Vulnerabilities

Peeved by the EVM researchers’ research findings that “India’s EVMs are vulnerable to fraud”, Election Commission hit back at the critics with the vengeance unknown to the scientific community around the world. Arrest of Hari Prasad Technical Coordinator of VeTA on charges of theft, house trespass or house breaking etc. under sections 380, 454 and 457 smacks of intolerance and vendetta.
Public Relations exercise
By its vicious actions, the Election Commission of India has earned notoriety worldwide. We are getting messages of solidarity from the scientific community worldwide for this witch-hunt. Why is then the ECI feigning ignorance and innocence in the matter? Flustered by the public outcry, the ECI is indulging in a public relations and damage control exercise to save itself from further embarrassment.
Proof of ECI’s role
What makes the role of the ECI in pressing charges against Hari Prasad is the sweeping nature of allegations in the complaint by the District Collector/ District Election [...]

The ‘story’ behind Hari Prasad’s arrest and its aftermath

Posted by Narasimha Rao under EVM Vulnerabilities

For most of you concerned about the plight of Hari Prasad, let me give you the good news. He is doing fine. On the legal front, the father-son duo of Ram Jethmalani and Mahesh Jethmalani, India’s ace criminal lawyers whom I met yesterday in Mumbai agreed to defend Hari Prasad in the case. Mahesh Jethmalani will appear in court on behalf of Hari Prasad. Both the lawyers were horrified that a technologist with good intentions of strengthening democracy was being harassed in this manner raising serious question marks about the motives. Watch out for one of the most fascinating battles for saving democracy from one of the country’s finest lawyers.
I made a day’s trip to Mumbai yesterday to have a ‘feel’ of the ground situation, to tie up the legal help and to explore other factors leading to the arrest. Some shocking facts have surfaced.

Hari Prasad: An “ECI” don!!
The kind of attention [...]

“3 Idiots” determine Indian election results

Posted by Narasimha Rao under EVM Vulnerabilities

Did you know before that India’s electoral democracy is hostage to three idiots? Lest you think that I am being irreverent to the three election commissioners holding constitutional office, let me inform right away that the three people that I am referring to are junior programmers in the EVM manufacturing companies who have written the EVM software or source code that drive all the functions of the EVMs.
This revelation was made by none other than Prof. P.V. Indiresan, chairman of the expert committee of the Election Commission of India at the Electronic Voting Technology (EVT) workshop in Washington, DC yesterday. He told a stunned audience comprising some of the best voting system security experts and computer scientists that the Election Commission of India believes that these junior programmers are honest and trustworthy as they have been told so by the EVM manufacturers namely, the BEL and ECIL. The Election Commission is told that each [...]

My Guest Column in Tehelka Magazine: The Case Against Electronic Voting

Posted by Narasimha Rao under EVM Vulnerabilities

In Today’s blog, I am reproducing excerpts from my guest column published in the latest issue of ‘Tehelka’ magazine dated July 10. Do read the full article at the link given at the end of this blog.

The Case Against Electronic Voting
By GVL Narasimha Rao
Why is India embracing EVMs, when the world is moving away from them, as they are easy to tamper with?
ELECTRONIC VOTING machines (EVMs) have been in universal use in India since the general election of 2004, when paper ballots were phased out completely. For the past several months, there has been a flood of opposition to the EVMs by political parties.
….India’s experience with electronic voting is similar to the US and Western Europe. Electronic voting systems have come to be criticised in a number of countries for not meeting minimal standards of system integrity, transparency and verifiability, and for not allowing a fair recount in case of disputes.
Germany discarded [...]

Awful projections by exit polls and media pundits raise EVM Tampering concerns

Posted by Narasimha Rao under EVM Vulnerabilities

The track record of exit pollsters in predicting Lok Sabha elections was remarkable until 1999 in India. My own projections for successive Lok Sabha elections in 1996, 1998 and 1999 for the Times of India were spot on. (Refer Table 1)  Similarly, my projections for the assembly elections to Uttar Pradesh (2007), Gujarat (2007), Madhya Pradesh (2008) published in the MINT newspaper were also spot on.
It is therefore natural to ask why Indian pollsters in general (and that includes my own predictions) and media pundits in particular have failed to read the voter mood correctly in the 2009 and 2004 Lok Sabha elections when they were able to do so very accurately until 1999? (Refer Tables 2 and 3)
Is there something esoteric and mysterious in the fact that the only two parliamentary elections in India’s parliamentary history, where the pollsters in general have gone horribly wrong, were totally ‘electronic’ elections in which electronic voting machines [...]