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’90-Second Hack? Really?’ Poll Commission Expert Bristles At AAP Claim

'90-Second Hack? Really?' Poll Commission Expert Bristles At AAP Claim
NEW DELHI: The Aam Aadmi Party’s live demonstration of how an Electronic Voting Machine or EVM can be tampered with, has been brushed off by the Election Commission. Calling AAP’s machine a “namoona” (lookalike), one of its experts scoffed at lawmaker Saurabh Bhardwaj’s claim of changing the mother-board of an EVM in 90 seconds.

“Not even one screw can be opened in 90 seconds on an actual EVM, let alone swapping a full mother-board,” said one of the engineering experts of the poll panel on condition of anonymity.

The machine displayed is not real thing and hence, “the claims of hacking an EVM are bogus,” said Rajat Moona, a member of the commission’s Technical Expert Committee in New Delhi, who is also the Director of Indian Institute of Technology, Bhilai.

The commission has said any “so called demonstration” on duplicate gadgets cannot be “exploited to influence our Intelligent Citizens & Electorate to assail or vilify the EVMs used by the Commission in its electoral process”.



Reiterating the Election Commission’s claim that the EVMs are tamper-proof, he said the AAP lookalike will not pass even one the multi-level checks for EVMs before they are sent to polling booths.

Irked by continuous opposition claims of EVM tampering in the recent elections, the Election Commission has announced a hackathon – where unbelievers have been invited to try and hack into a machine — which will be held at the end of this month. On Tuesday, after AAP’s live demonstration in the Delhi assembly, poll panel sources said the party was welcome to try its hand on a real EVM at the hackathon.

AAP has signaled its readiness, saying Mr Bhardwaj, the party’s “gadget guru” who held the show-and-tell at the assembly on Tuesday, will represent it. Party chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who also has an engineering background, had earlier claimed that he could think of 10 ways in which an EVM can be hacked.

AAP said the machine it used has been built by IIT graduates and experts have concluded that it is an accurate replica of EVMs used in elections. The Election Commission sources contended that the actual EVM, manufactured, stored and used under its strict supervision, is a different beast altogether.

A statement from the Commission read: “Very simply put, any ‘look-alike” machine is just a different gadget, which is manifestly designed and made to function in a ‘tampered’ manner and has no relevance, incidence or bearing on the Commission’s EVMs.”