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E-Voting Indian Experience V. S. Sampath Election Commissioner of India Stockholm 7 December 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "E-Voting Indian Experience V. S. Sampath Election Commissioner of India Stockholm 7 December 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 E-Voting Indian Experience V. S. Sampath Election Commissioner of India Stockholm 7 December 2011

2 Indian Election (Largest Operations) Electorate – 740 million Polling Stations - 0.85 million 11 million polling personnel In 1996 national elections, 8000 tonnes of paper used Voting Machines in 2009 national election- 1.3 million 2

3 Concept & Development E-voting mooted by Commission in 1977 to save on paper, printing, storage, transportation and security of Ballot Paper Public Sector Electronics Corporation of India (ECIL) and Bharat Electronics (BEL) designed a model in 1980. Tried out in various locations, publicity made and feedback elicited. Top: Ballot paper awaiting dispatch Bottom: EVMs in store room 3

4 Journey of EVM First used in 50 polling stations in South Indian state of Kerala in May 1982 Supreme Court ruled in 1984 that EVMs can not be used without a specific provision in law Expert Committee consisting of leading scientists and technologists from Indian Institute of Technology and other eminent institutions recommended use of EVMs Law was amended by Parliament in 1988 empowering the Commission to use voting machines, with rules notified in 1992.with rules notified in 1992. 4

5 Journey of EVM-2 From 1992 to 1998, Commission conducted awareness campaigns on EVM Since, November 1998, EVMs have been used in every provincial election, including Parliament Elections in 1999 when they were used in 45 Parliamentary ConstituenciesEVMs have been used National Elections in 2004 and 2009 were conducted exclusively on EVMs Periodic Judicial endorsements of E VotingJudicial endorsements In 2006, improved features like date and time stamping were added Continuous improvement explored through the technical expert committee and in consultation with stake-holders. 5

6 EVM – Technical Features Masked/OTP (One Time Programmable) microprocessor- Software code can neither be read nor written (Software Code burnt into the chip) No operating system, Stand alone machine No input possible from any source except ballot unit Double redundant resilient memory storage for securely retaining data without a backup battery Does not require electricity, works on battery (7.5 volts) and can operate for 48 hours continuously 6

7 EVM – Operational Features Custom made to fit into procedure of balloting Each EVM can cater to a maximum of 64 candidates with 4 Ballot Units cascaded Once the close button is pressed the poll is closed and no more balloting can take place After a voter casts his/her vote, the machine goes dead till the presiding officer enables the ballot unit again by pressing a button to allow the next voter to vote 7

8 Administrative Safeguards Secure storage under armed guards and watch of political parties/ candidates First level check (FLC) of each EVM before every election by the manufacturers Twice randomized –At FLC, At Candidate Setting Mock poll at three stages – FLC, candidate setting, before poll Candidates/Agents allowed sample checks to their satisfaction 13 physical seals to protect machine13 physical seals 8

9 Polling by EVM The Presiding Officer presses the “Ballot” button on the Control Unit permitting one voter who after perusing the ballot paper on the Ballot Unit inside voting cubicle, presses the key against the candidate of his choice A red lamp glows against the name and symbol of the candidate indicating to the voter that his vote has been cast in favor of the candidate of his choice 9

10 Polling by EVM -2 The casting of the vote results in a beep in the Control Unit indicating to the Presiding Officer and polling agents that a vote has been cast The EVM goes dead after this. Nothing will happen even if the candidate button is pressed on the ballot unit The presiding officer has to enable the ballot unit by pressing the “Ballot” button on the control unit for the next voter Close button on control unit is pressed at the close of poll 10

11 Counting & Results Once the EVM is brought to the counting table all seals are checked to ensure that they are intact On pressing the result button, the machine first displays the total number of votes cast, and then the votes for each candidate one by one The result is noted by the counting officers and shown to the counting agents 11

12 Control Unit Interconnecting Cable Ballot Unit Sub-Units of EVM 12

13 Ballot Unit - Details Ready Lamp Slide Switch Window Candidate’s Button Candidate’s Lamp Ballot Paper Screen 13

14 Control Unit ON Lamp Busy Lamp Display Section Candidate Set Section Result Section Ballot Section Ballot Button Total Button 14

15 Advantages … 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 15

16 Advantages Expenditure involved in printing, storing and transportation and security of ballot paper can be avoided Low operating costs – costs only 300 USD. Maintenance cost per EVM is 3 USD per electionLow operating costs Easy to manage with less demand on man-power Low malfunctioning rate (.02%) Green election 16


18 Amendments made in Law & Rules Section 61A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, provides for use of EVMs for recording votes at elections. Section 61A is reproduced below: “ 61A. Voting machines at elections.- Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act or the rules made there under, the giving and recording of votes by voting machines in such manner as may be prescribed, may be adopted in such constituency or constituencies as the Election Commission may, having regard to the circumstances of each case, specify. Explanation- For the purpose of this section, “voting machine” means any machine or apparatus whether operated electronically or otherwise used for giving or recording of votes and any reference to a ballot box or ballot paper in this Act or the rules made there under shall, save as otherwise provided, be construed as including a reference to such voting machine wherever such voting machine is used at any election.” Inserted by Notification. No. S.O. 230(E), dated the 24th March, 1992. 18

19 EVMs were used in General Elections to State Legislative Assemblies of Goa in June 1999 and June 2002. Kerala, Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal in May 2001. Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Uttaranchal in February, 2002. Jammu & Kashmir in September, 2002. Gujarat in December, 2002. Himachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura in February 2003. Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Mizoram and NCT of Delhi in December, 2003. Maharashtra in 2004. Bihar, Jharkhand and Haryana in February, 2005. Bihar in October, 2005. Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Pondicherry in April-May, 2006. 19 Contd…..

20 EVMs were used in General Elections to State Legislative Assemblies of Manipur, Punjab and Uttarakhand In February-March, 2007. Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh in October- December, 2007. Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, NCT of Delhi and Jammu & Kashmir, 2008. Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Sikkim with Lok Sabha Elections 2009 Arunachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Haryana & Jharkhand in 2009 Bihar in 2010 Tamil Nadu, Kerala, West Bengal. Puducherry and Assam in 2011 EVMs were used in General Elections to Lok Sabha in 2004 & 2009 EVMs were also used in all bye-elections to Parliamentary & Legislative Assemblies held since November, 1998. 20

21 Judicial Endorsements The functioning of the ECI-EVMs was questioned before the Bombay High Court (Nagpur Bench) and Karnataka High Court in two election petitions. Both the High Courts examined at length some of the technicians/computer experts who were either produced by the parties or were summoned by the court as court witnesses. On such examination of those witnesses, both the High courts were satisfied about the non-tamperability of the ECI-EVMs. The Karnataka High Court went to the extent of observing “this (ECI-EVM) invention is undoubtedly a great achievement in the electronic and computer technology and a national pride”. Kerala High Court has also recorded its appreciation of the efficiency of the mechanism of the ECI-EVMs. The Madras High Court held that: “There is also no question of introducing any virus or bugs for the reason that the EVMs cannot be compared to Personal Computers. The programming in computers, as suggested, has no bearing with the EVMs. The computer would have inherent limitations having connections through Internet and by their very design, they may allow the alteration of the programmes but the EVMs are independent units and the programme in EVM is entirely a different system.” It has further observed that “The contention of the learned counsel that the use of EVMs in Japan and United States of America proved to be a failure also will not hold any water. In India, we are not following the system prevailing in the United States of America or Japan”. 21

22 Seals to Protect Machine Address Tags - 8 (3 for Control Units- 1 for sealing Candidate Set button, 1 for sealing Candidate Section and 1 for sealing result & clearing Section; and 3 for Balloting Unit- 1 for sealing ballot paper and 2 for sealing Balloting Unit outer portion for protecting it for opening and 1 for sealing carrying case of Control Unit and 1 for sealing carrying case of Balloting Unit). Special Tag - 1 for sealing result & clearing Section of Control Unit. Green Paper Seal - 1 for sealing result button of Control Unit. Outer Paper Strip Seal - 1 for sealing result & clearing Section of Control Unit. Pink Paper Seals - 2 ( 1 for Control Unit to prevent from opening of plastic cabinet and 1 for Balloting Unit to prevent from opening of plastic cabinet) 22

23 Lok Sabha Election Expenditure 23

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