Since 2000 the country has witnessed 107 Assembly elections and three Lok Sabha polls (2004, 2009, and 2014) where EVMs were used to cast and record votes in all the constituencies and at all the poll booths. The parliamentary polls of 2004 were the first general elections to be fully conducted through electronic voting machines (EVMs). The incumbent government lost power. Before that the Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Puducherry and West Bengal in 2001 were completely conducted using EVMs. During the first two Lok Sabha elections in 1952 and 1957, and simultaneous Assembly polls, each candidate was allotted a separate ballot box. The poll symbol of the candidate or his party was pasted on the respective ballot boxes.
There was no ballot paper yet with names of the candidates and respective poll symbols printed on it. The voters were required to drop a pre-printed ballot paper in the box of the candidate of their choice.
The literacy in India was less than 30 per cent and such a system led to fears of manipulation, tampering and booth capturing. The separate ballot box system was replaced with a single ballot box one and now the voters were given a ballot paper with names and symbols of the candidates printed on them.