The Madras High Court was told by the Election Commission of India that the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) could not meddle through Wi-Fi or radio devices. Also, EVMs could not be interfered with through these devices. The above stated by the ECI in the counter affidavit filed against the court’s queries based on the plea filed by the DMK party. The purpose of it was to ensure rational Legislative Assembly Elections.
Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy disposed the matter post recording some of the crucial ECI’s assurances on various fronts. The following are:
- Identifying critical and vulnerable polling booths:
The court accepted the submission made by the ECI that said, the list of such booths accidentally released to political parties by the electoral officers, but the political parties could not avail the remaining information concerning the vulnerable booths based on security concerns.
- Older EVM machines were replaced with the M3 Voting Machines manufactured between 2017-2019.
- VVPAT Counting:
There is no impact on the returning officers’ power to undertake a candidates’ request to randomly count the votes despite the Supreme Court’s directions regarding the random count of votes.
- CCTV coverage and webcasting:
The Court’s view on this was, the CCTV footage could not tamper, and also remarked that “ECI controls the footage and not a second of it must be missing nor there can be any glitch.”
- EVM security:
As per the Election manual, the EVMs guarded before the pre-polls. Further, before the polling takes place, the machines used are scrutinized to ensure that EVMs start right from zero votes. Lastly, no person can tamper with the EVMs through WIFI or any radio device. With this, the court disposed of the matter.