Electronic voting machines (EVMs) can indeed be rigged. Contrary to the Election Commission of India’s stonewalling and denials, new research and experiments by American computer scientists have established that electronic voting systems can be manipulated in a variety of ways. Some of the new evidence has been published in a New York Times article ‘The Myth of the Hacker-Proof Voting Machine’, which provides startling details backed by technical findings and expert interviews. The intense research being conducted in America is due to domestic controversies about whether the 2016 presidential election was free and fair. However, the insights into EVM vulnerability are both relevant and timely for India.
Many political analysts are convinced that the outcome of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections would hinge not so much on the mood of the electorate but on whether polling is conducted through EVMs or the old system of paper ballots and manual counting of votes.
Although this might appear to be needlessly suspicious or cynical, the latest US research indicates that blind trust in EVMs might be misplaced.