After the revolution in Tahrir Square, Egyptian authorities consulted India’s Election Commission for help in conducting parliamentary polls in the country, only to get cautious advice from chief election commissioner (CEC) SY Quraishi. He asked his Egyptian counterpart to not import electronic voting machines (EVMs) from anywhere and get these manufactured domestically. Imported machines, however faultless they are, could be deemed suspect, he warned.
“The validity of any election lies in the fairness of the process, if the machine is imported from somewhere, there is always a possibility that the election will be questioned as being rigged through the machines,” he said, in an interview to FE. The recent campaign against the use of EVMs in Indian elections, Quraishi said, hinges on the chip, “which is manufactured outside the country and is therefore supposed to be suspect”.
“I was very clear that our process was very fair, but the indigenisation of manufacturing would make their elections invulnerable to such charges. I told anti-EVM campaigners as well, set up units which manufacture the chip in India, and we’ll talk,” he added.
While the Egyptians may take a call on whether or not to adhere to Quraishi’s advice, the CEC, at the end of a long season of conducting assembly polls in four states and one Union territory, said that the road to electoral reforms in India itself is a long and bumpy road. “Its been 18 years and counting,” he said.
Full Article: Imported voting machines can’t be trusted: CEC.