Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) officials have invited hackers to prove whether or not the country’s proposed electronic voting machine (EVM) system can be manipulated. The new voting system is expected to be used for the country’s next general election in 2019. The IEC, along with a team of experts from the system’s supplier Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) of India, will demonstrate how the EVM (with the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT)) works, amid calls for the government to abandon the project. BEL is a state-owned company of India that produces EVM internationally known as Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting machines because they record votes directly in electronic memory.
Kabelo Hulela, Public Relations Officer for Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said the demonstration session, organised for next week will offer an opportunity for those with the know-how to disrupt, hack and compromise the secure performance of the machines to do so.
“All those with the technical capability to hack the EVM are invited to come forward,” said Hulela.
Media reports indicate that the voting machines have been banned in Germany, the Netherlands and Ireland because they are prone to hacking and manipulation, and are allowed in most American states only with the back-up of a voter-verified paper trail.