You may have thought that the EVM (Electronic Voting Machine) saga was behind us — not yet. Heated political debates have erupted in the southern African country of Botswana over using EVMs imported from India. The ruling party, Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), passed some amendments to the electoral laws which allowed the use of EVMs. The opposition party, Botswana Congress Party (BCP), has moved court against BDP claiming that the EVMs were imported to get a favourable result for BDP. The BDP has asked for a deposition from the Election Commission of India (ECI) even though the Botswana Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) agreed that the EVMs would speed up the electoral process.
The ECI has received a request from the BDP to depose before a court on the merits of using an EVM. They have asked for a demonstration of the EVM and Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) in a court to get rid of doubts over the machines.
Last year, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) along with many others claimed that Bharat Electronic Limited (BEL), which manufactures the EVMs, was to participate in an EVM hackathon in Botswana. While BEL denied using any EVMs meant for Indian elections, there were long debates about the issue in India. The ECI is in a bind over the request due to this scenario in India.