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Election Commission dismisses Jairam Ramesh's concerns on VVPAT as not legitimate

Election Commission dismisses Jairam Rameshs concerns on VVPAT as not legitimate

Responding to concerns raised by Congress leader Jairam Ramesh over Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) slips, the Election Commission (EC) reiterated its firm confidence in the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), stating that it 'raises no new assertions or reasonable and legitimate doubts.'

The EC expressed full faith in using Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and emphasized that the latest updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) adequately address all aspects related to EVM usage in Indian elections.

The EC's response comes after Ramesh, on behalf of the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA), sought an appointment with the EC to discuss their views on VVPAT slips. The opposition alliance had previously voiced doubts about the integrity of EVMs and called for 100% matching of VVPAT slips with EVMs, suggesting voters should drop them in a separate box.

Pramod Kumar Sharma, Principal Secretary of the Election Commission, highlighted that the rules governing VVPAT and handling of paper slips were introduced by the Indian National Congress in 2013. He deemed the recent letter from Ramesh, dated December 30, 2023, as lacking in new assertions or legitimate doubts requiring further clarification.

The EC also dismissed references to other countries and their Constitutional Courts, stating that such comparisons are "out of context." Sharma emphasized that the Commission has full confidence in using EVMs based on election outcomes, legal framework, established jurisprudence, technical security, and administrative safeguards.

The Commission pointed out that political parties and candidates are involved at every stage of EVM handling, and it has already addressed issues related to non-tampering, non-hacking, microcontrollers, end-to-end verifiability, legal provisions, counting, technical competency, manufacturing, and source code.

The EC concluded by stating that the current EVMs used in Indian elections comply with the existing legal framework and jurisprudence evolved over 40 years by the Constitutional Courts of India. It emphasized that matters beyond this framework are beyond the singular domain of the Commission.

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TAGS:Jairam RameshElection Commission of IndiaINDIAElectronic Voting Machines
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