EC must clear doubts about EVM-VVPAT system: Ex-CEC Quraishi

Former Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi Saturday said there was no possibility of manipulating the EVM-VVPAT system, but the Election Commission should explain to the opposition and the people by clearing doubts about it. In the recent Lok Sabha polls, the opposition had alleged that Electronic Voting Machines and VVPAT (Voter Verified Paper Trail Machines) were being manipulated. The EC had refuted the allegations. Asked to comment about the allegations, Quraishi said There is no possibility of manipululation or tampering of EVM or VVPAT system. Machine cannot show different figures. Every time you press the button, it will have the same figure. I dont even understand the allegations. However, the EC should convince the Opposition and people that the system is foolproof. We have to take people along, he said. Peoples trust has to be maintained and won, he told PTI here on the sidelines of launch of Delhi-based digital media company DataLEADS website. Quraishi further said EVMs cannot be tampered because there were many checks and balances. So far, nobody has been able to prove that it can be tampered and after the introduction of VVPATs any possibility of any tampering should completely disappear, he said. On the opposition demand to go back to the ballot paper voting system, Quraishi said rather than doing away with the EVMs, one should look at improving these machines. There is no question of going back to ballot paper voting system. We have been improving VVPATs and EVM system. If there is need for further improvement, one should look at that, rather than going back, he said. Barely two days before the Lok Sabha vote count on May 23, a political row had erupted over reports of alleged tampering of EVMs. The Supreme Court had last month dismissed a plea filed by 21 Opposition parties seeking a review of its April 8 order directing the Election Commission to increase random matching of VVPAT slips with EVMs to five polling booths per assembly segment.