Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Foolproof Voting System using EVMs

Indian parliamentary elections are just over and few parties & candidates have started complaining about the manipulation of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) to favour certain parties/candidates. During elections, few EVMs developed problems and some voters found the red light (confirmation light) glowing near other candidates than the one they voted for. This resulted in some believing that EVMs are tampered with. Some believed that the EVM software could be programmed to favour a particular party.

I have the following suggestions to make the EVM voting process a foolproof & reliable one:

- Like ATM, the EVMs can give a confirmation slip with the printed symbol to which we voted. That slip should not have any other identification details of the voter. ie only the party symbol shall be printed in that slip. That slip should be dropped in the ballot box kept nearby. This process will give immediate confirmation to the voter that his vote has gone to the right candidate. Also in case of future disputes, the ballot box votes can be counted and final decision can be arrived at.

- If booth capturing or mass bogus voting is reported from a booth, then for that booth alone, don't add the votes polled by that party. ie if A party gets 121 votes, B party gets 253 votes and others get 75 votes and if A party indulges in unfair practices, deduct the 121 votes polled by A party from their final count. For the fear of losing these votes, no party would indulge in unfair practice.

- At the end of every round, the votes polled by all the candidates of that constituency should be displayed in an electronic board kept outside the counting center. This step will stop the corrupt officials from meddling with the numbers later. Also the general public and media will get instant trends.

- In the long run, biometric system should be used which will make bogus voting impossible and indelible ink obsolete.

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