What is an EVM?

What is an EVM?

The Congress on Wednesday joined the opposition chorus of -'no EVMs,-' and EVMs or electronic voting machines should not be used in the Gujarat...

The Congress on Wednesday joined the opposition chorus of "no EVMs," and EVMs or electronic voting machines should not be used in the Gujarat assembly elections later this year as they are under "suspicion."

The Election Commission is set to buy next generation EVMs that become “inoperable” the moment attempts are made to tinker with it, a move which comes amid claims by some parties that the machines were tampered with during the recent assembly polls, according to a report in Indian Express. An EVM consists of two Units – a Control Unit and a Balloting Unit – joined by a five-meter cable.

The Control Unit is with the Presiding Officer or a Polling Officer and the Balloting Unit is placed inside the voting compartment. Instead of issuing a ballot paper, the Polling Officer in-charge of the Control Unit will press the Ballot Button. This will enable the voter to cast his vote by pressing the blue button on the Balloting Unit against the candidate and symbol of his choice.

EVMs manufactured in 1989-90 were used on experimental basis for the first time in 16 Assembly Constituencies in the States of Madhya Pradesh (5), Rajasthan (5) and NCT of Delhi in November 1998. EVMs can run on an ordinary 6 volt alkaline battery in case of any power disruption. EVMs can record a maximum of 3,840 votes.

As normally the total number of electors in a polling station will not exceed 1500, the capacity of EVMs is more than sufficient. In case the number of contesting candidates goes beyond 64 in any constituency, EVMs cannot be used in such a constituency. The conventional method of voting by means of ballot box and ballot paper will have to be adopted in such a constituency.

If an EVM goes out of order, a spare EVM is provided and the votes recorded until the stage when the EVM went out of order will be safe in the memory of the Control Unit. It is not necessary to start the poll from the beginning. The EVMs have been devised and designed by Election Commission in collaboration with two Public Sector undertakings viz., Bharat Electronics Ltd., Bangalore, and Electronic Corporation of India Ltd., Hyderabad. The EVMs are now manufactured by the two PSUs.

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