Sunday, Sep 25, 2022
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Electronic voting

Wilful Machines

Despite the EC's reassurances, tampering fears remain

Wilful Machines
Prashant Panjiar
Wilful Machines
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

There is cause for concern because of the many instances of "collusion and coercion" noticed by watch groups in the assembly elections in Rajasthan, MP and Chhattisgarh held late last year. Eyewitness accounts suggested then that "disgruntled and partisan" state employees in several regions, particularly in Rajasthan, made all the difference in constituencies where the two rival political parties, the BJP and Congress, were neck and neck.

Presiding officers in various booths were seen 'guiding' voters on how to push the button casting their vote. In doing so, the officers themselves would push a button and ask voters, queuing up, to follow suit. This was amply evident in Pithhalpur in Neem ka Thana constituency, Rajasthan. Ditto in Radawas in the Bairath assembly segment. The excuse: government staff manning booths were demonstrating how to use the unfamiliar EVMs. Many voters were told they had already voted after they heard the sound of the EVM being reset by presiding officers. Saumya Kidambi of the Mazdoor Kisaan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) points out that "as government employees were going in buses for poll duties, they were shouting slogans like, 'Poll duty pe jaayenge, BJP ko jitayenge'." In several constituencies in Rajasthan, it was noticed that polling registered a sudden jump within a couple of hours of closing time when all the while it was low or moderate.

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