Published on March 5, 2014
SEMINAR ON Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) Submitted By Mustahid Ali
Presentation • The Genesis – Concept, Challenge, Solution • Concerns • Remedies • EVM – Technological Features – Description – Operation • Polling, Closing, Counting & Results • Advantages • Statistics of Interest
Genesis - Concept • • • Idea mooted by the Chief Election Commissioner in 1977 Pros and cons of E-voting vis-à-vis ballot paper analysed by High Power Committees Recommended E-voting to save avoidable and recurring expenditure on printing, storage, transportation and security of Ballot Paper to the exchequer Top: Ballot paper awaiting despatch Bottom: EVMs in store room
Genesis - Challenge • • • • Evolve a machine which would fit into the existing Election Procedure Appear familiar to the voter Addressing the skepticism of the Political Parties and Intelligentsia including Press Evolving a machine and a procedure which would be transparent and acceptable to all Top: Ballot box being carried to the polling station Bottom: EVMs being carried to the polling station
Genesis - Solution • • Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) a leading Public Sector Company engaged in the design and manufacture of professional electronics was commissioned to design a machine to prove the feasibility Once feasibility was established, Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) a second Public Sector Company was co-opted into the exercise Voters waiting to cast their vote
Genesis - Solution Voting the Ballot box way • • • • Voting the EVM way • Both the companies (ECIL & BEL) brought out models with a common User Interface in 1980 The machines were extensively tried out at locations across the country Publicity campaigns were run in the press and other media Seminars conducted by Election Commission of India in various forums Feedback obtained used to fine-tune the machine
Concerns • • • • • How secure is the data ? Can the data be tampered with ? How does the machine operate in remote areas without electric power ? What happens if the power fails in the middle of the voting process ? Can the data be stored long enough to be used as evidence in a court of law in case of electoral disputes ? Top: EVM being demonstrated to the press Middle: EVM being demonstrated to VIPs Bottom: Address to the press on EVMs
Remedies • • • • • All mechanical, electrical and software security features are Counting provided to ensure the integrity Ballot paper way of the voting data It is independent of mains power and operates on a special power pack It is tamper-proof and error free It incorporates a microprocessor that has ‘burnt-in’ software code which cannot be altered or retrieved All the data is recorded on nonvolatile dual redundant memory chips and can be retained for over 6 months even when the power pack is removed Counting - EVM way
EVM – Technology Features • Centres around state-of-the-art microprocessor with built-in PROM storing the software code which cannot be retrieved or altered • Reliable, robust and error free software • Legacy software with machine codes used to preserve integrity and security • Double redundant resilient memory storage for securely retaining data without a need for a backup battery • User friendly operation sequence • Portable and easy to operate • Custom made to fit into the existing pattern
EVM – Technology Features • Provision is made on all the sub-units for sealing to ensure that the units are not tampered with • Each EVM can cater to a maximum of 64 candidates with 4 Ballot Units cascaded • The EVM can be used for conducting “TWO” simultaneous polls. • EVMs to conduct up to “FOUR” or “MORE” simultaneous polls to suit the electoral systems of other countries are developed and demonstration models available
Sub-Units of EVM Interconnecting Cable Control Unit Ballot Unit
Ballot Unit - Details Ready Lamp Slide Switch Window Candidate’s Button Candidate’s Lamp Ballot Paper Screen
Ballot Unit - Internal parts Ready Lamp Slide Switch Candidate’s Button Masking Tab
Control Unit ON Lamp Display Section Busy Lamp Candidate Set Section Result Section Ballot Section Ballot Button Total Button
Control Unit - View of Bottom Compartment Power Switch Connector for Interconnecting Cable Bottom Compartment Cover Connector for Auxiliary Unit
Control Unit - Display Section 4-Digit Display Panel ON Lamp Busy Lamp 2-Digit Display Panel
Control Unit - Candidate Set Section Candidate set section inner door Candidate set section outer door Provision for thread seal Latch Power pack compartment Candidate set button Plug for power pack Provision for Thread seal
Control Unit - Result Section Result I button Clear button Close button Result II button Inner latches Frames for Paper seal
Control Unit - Ballot Section Total button Ballot button
Polling • The voter is identified from the voters list and records his presence by a signature or thumb impression • The Presiding Officer presses the “Ballot” button on the Control Unit permitting one vote • The voter then proceeds to the polling cubicle and after perusing the ballot paper on the Ballot Unit, presses the key against the candidate of his choice
Polling • A red lamp glows indicating to the voter that his vote has been cast in favour of that candidate • The casting of the vote results in a beep in the Control Unit indicating to the Presiding Officer that a vote has been cast • He then proceeds to release another vote by pressing the “Ballot” button and the process continues
Closing • The cap on the “Close Button” is removed and the button pressed • The cap is then replaced • The unit is then switched “Off” and the interconnecting cable disconnected
Counting & Results • The Power pack / Battery is checked for health by pressing the TOTAL Button • After getting ready to note down the result, the green paper seal over RESULT-1 Button is pierced and RESULT-1 Button is pressed.
Counting & Results • • The “RESULT-1” button is pressed to display the results The results are then noted.
SEQUENCE OF OPERATION OF BUTTONS ELECTRONIC VOTING MACHINE CLEAR RESULT-1 CLOSE CAND. SET BALLOT
Advantages • • • • • • Modernises the election process User friendly – can be used even by illiterates Simple to operate and can be installed in a short time Preserves voting secrecy No scope for invalid votes Facilitates quick and accurate counting – possible to declare results instantaneously • Re-usable by simply erasing votes recorded in earlier poll
Advantages • Huge expenditure involved in printing, storing and transportation and security of ballot paper can be avoided • Lowers operating costs • Easier to manage with less demand on manpower • Provision can be made to connect to a “CENTRAL STATION” to consolidate and display / record the results countrywide
Statistics of Interest • • • • • Around one million machines deployed during Lok Sabha, 2004 polls Low failure rate Costs around US $ 300 Estimated saving on the switchover to EVM is Approx US $ 40 million Political Parties and Intelligentsia who initially were skeptical now endorse the machine for its veracity EVM being demonstrated to voters before the recent elections held in the state of Jammu & Kashmir
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