Home States Karnataka K’taka govt. seeks 250 EVM machines from election commission to host hackathon

K’taka govt. seeks 250 EVM machines from election commission to host hackathon


(G.N.S) Dt. 03
Poll bound later this year, and having disputed the authenticity of the electronic voting machines (EVMs), the Karnataka Congress government on Tuesday has sent an official request to the election commission seeking “randomly” selected 250 electronic voting machine (EVM) to conduct a public EVM hackathon to “dispel” doubts over the machines being susceptible to hacking. A letter seeking the EC assistance in conducting the hackathon has been sent by state IT-BT minister Priyank Kharge to the chief election commissioner Achal Kumar Jyothi.
Kharge in his letter has also sought design documents, test descriptions and results, and security procedures used by the EC for testing the EVMs. In the letter, Kharge has said: “I would propose hosting an EVM challenge, jointly hosted by the government of Karnataka and the EC, inviting important stakeholders of the scientific community like technocrats, scientists, corporates, R&D institutes, start-ups and tinkerers and not just political parties to participate in testing EVMs for errors.”
Justifying the reasons for public participation in the hackathon, unlike the EC hackathon which was thrown open for political parties only, Kharge has said that the challenge must go beyond political parties and should be open to all the young and bright minds in the country to ensure a pure scientific engagement with the community without political agenda. “The reason we should throw this challenge open beyond political parties is that a lot of individuals or corporates would not like to associate themselves with any political party,” the letter reads.
While hailing the decision of using the voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT), which has been insisted upon by the Supreme Court to be utilised in all elections, Kharge has disputed that “unless the VVPAT is randomly verified with the EVMs, they too will fall suspect sooner than later.” The Congress government in the state earlier last month, including chief minister Siddaramaiah, has disputed EVMs citing that they can be hacked and cannot be trusted, thus seeking the 2018 elections to be held on ballot papers.

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