Should we discontinue EVMs?

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Dileep
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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby Dileep » 07 Jul 2009 12:26

Thanx KVRao for the report. It answers a lot of questions.

It is an OTP microcontroller. No bootcode, No application code. Just a single block of code in the OTP ROM. Nothing better than that. The E2PROM is chip id matched to the controller too.

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby Tanaji » 07 Jul 2009 13:56

RajeshA wrote:EVMs are far more economical than papar ballots, and the tallying takes place much more quickly.

We don't need to get rid of the EVMs but enhance the EVMs with a verification system which is missing. The verification system has to be through a separate system than the EVMs.

We only need to enhance it with small printouts, which can be verified by the voter and later be deposited in a 'ballot' box (technically it is not the ballot) by him.

Needed Criteria are:
1. Easy to manage
2. Cheap
3. Fast
4. Difficult to circumvent
5. Verifiable

Can somebody find fault in the following proposal, based on EVMs with Paper Trail?

- The Voter approaches an EVM,
- Voter inserts his citizen UID smart card into the EVM
- EVM enables/activates the voting display
- The citizen votes by pressing the right button(s) and going through the voting 'wizard'.
- EVM makes a small printout of the vote, which has a barcode and voting choice clearly printed on it. From the barcode one can ascertain a unique vote ID (not to be mixed up with voter ID, there is no correlation), and also the serial number of the EVM.
- The voter confirms that the vote is correct, by looking at the printout.
- The voter takes the printout to the polling official and in latter's presence and view, inserts the printout into the 'ballot' box.

Benefits:
a) Quick tallying of votes after the election through the use of an EVM.
b) In case of controversy, there can be a recount on the EVMs first.
c) In case of further dispute, there can be an recount of votes by automatic tallying of the printouts (barcodes based) and comparison of votes with those in the EVM.
d) In case of further dispute, the tallying of printouts can be done manually by election officials.


Well, the cliche goes that you can only have two out of fast, cheap and good. You have managed to put all 3 of them :)

In an ideal world, the above is great. However, we have around 1 lakh EVMs. These EVMs are very basic, and dont even have a screen (see the links from KV Rao). You are proposing to replace this by something that has

  • A screen
  • A far faster processor
  • More lines of code
  • More peripherals
  • A printer

The above translates to the following

  • Increased costs: We will be replacing 1 lakh machines, so this cost is significant
  • More attack surfaces for the attacker: Earlier when one just has to secure the CU, BU and the cable, now the surfaces are more. We have to ensure that the additional lines of code are vetted, the peripherals are made secure and so is the screen. Which means a lot more work and costs when doing a security audit
  • Impracticality: One of the most fundamental things about the elections is that the election centers are in places that are remote and are either without electricity or very erratic. Current EVMs require little power and are powered by a standard car battery. With the added peripherals, power requirements also increases. Which means you have to cart along additional power supplies just to get the lot working.
    The other factor is moving the equipment. Not every site is accessible. IF you have observed the elections, the officials have to reach a lot of sites by foot, elephants and horses due to lack of roads. How do you propose one hauls this set of equipment along?
  • Probability of failure: The current EVMs are rugged and "Indianised". Even then we had around 1800 failures. With more peripherals, the chances of failure increase as well, which means a failure of just one peripheral disables the whole center. Additionally one has to keep a certain amount of peripherals in reserve to account for failures... with the added equipment, the cost of doing this also increases

Note that the US is using precisely the same set of features in their EVMs as you are proposing. And we all know where that has gotten them: I would bet that given the nature of the argumentative Indian, we will see far more objections than what we have to our basic EVM.

Can you imagine the field day Raju will have when a Diebold clone is used as a EVM in India? He will die in paroxysms of delight....

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby Dileep » 07 Jul 2009 15:34

The US needs all the bells and whistles for the EVMs because there, the ballot is too complicated. You will have legislative proposals on the ballot, and also things like preferential votes. In India, we just need the single vote. The SSimple EVM is the apt solution there.

The technical evaluation proves that it is practically impossible to replace the software in a machine, or tamper with the vote recording in the EVM.

The rest of the arguments, like the gun-point thing is equally applicable to the paper ballot as well.

Remember, EACH KEY PRESS is going to be time stamped and logged. That is better than a paper trail IMHO.

(That feature is not there in the current EVM, but is in the spec of the gen 2 machines)

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby vera_k » 07 Jul 2009 22:23

Dileep wrote:Remember, EACH KEY PRESS is going to be time stamped and logged. That is better than a paper trail IMHO.

(That feature is not there in the current EVM, but is in the spec of the gen 2 machines)


If the software is compromised, it can generate a fake key press log once it is activated. Many states used newly manufactured gen 2 machines for this election.

Link

Link

Link

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby RajeshA » 08 Jul 2009 03:31

Tanaji,

thank you very much for the feedback!

Your critique relates to when the hoofs of flying horses hit concrete. Yours were are all very good points, and I will ponder over them. But if EVMs can come to where only paper was used, then enhanced EVMs with paper trail can come where EVMs used to rule. When that day comes, we will have to see.

Cheers.

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby paramu » 08 Jul 2009 05:20

BijuShet wrote:
paramu wrote:If there are doubts about EVMs in the minds of some people, just replace it. Period.
Do not argue that it saves money and time, so we should continue with EVMs.

Just to clarify, Do you mean replace it with paper ballot or another kind of EVM ?

Replace what people have doubts about - EVM.

Democracy runs only if people trusts the system. Once people start suspecting that electoral process is rigged, it will be the beginning of decline of democracy.

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby paramu » 08 Jul 2009 05:24

RajeshA wrote:- EVM makes a small printout of the vote, which has a barcode and voting choice clearly printed on it. From the barcode one can ascertain a unique vote ID (not to be mixed up with voter ID, there is no correlation), and also the serial number of the EVM.

No barcode or any other encrypted codes on paper. How do you know whether the rigging was done in such a way that it prints correct name and symbol, but incorrect bar code.

You go for paper trail count only when there are doubts about electronic result. Let people count manually.

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby AnimeshP » 08 Jul 2009 05:57

I am wondering whether we would have had 2-page (as of now) discussion on the EVMs if the election results were different ?

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby Virupaksha » 08 Jul 2009 06:01

g.kacha wrote:I am wondering whether we would have had 2-page (as of now) discussion on the EVMs if the election results were different ?

We had the discussions before, after results and now also. You can see two articles posted from congress men itself above. So as of now we are following absolute political neutrality :P

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby AnimeshP » 08 Jul 2009 06:18

ravi_ku wrote:
g.kacha wrote:I am wondering whether we would have had 2-page (as of now) discussion on the EVMs if the election results were different ?

We had the discussions before, after results and now also. You can see two articles posted from congress men itself above. So as of now we are following absolute political neutrality :P


Looks like one of the pet topics of discussion among some of the folks here .... :D ... lage raho ...

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby Rahul Mehta » 08 Jul 2009 06:27

paramu wrote:No barcode or any other encrypted codes on paper. How do you know whether the rigging was done in such a way that it prints correct name and symbol, but incorrect bar code.

You go for paper trail count only when there are doubts about electronic result. Let people count manually.


I agree with you, but EVM worshipers say that people of India love EVMs, and its only some of us with EVM phobia who are scared of EVMs. And lastly, EVM worshipers have become tree hugging greenoes, and are crying about trees lost if paper ballots will be used. How can we EVM phobic people show that majority of Indian citizens hate EVM?

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby Viv Sreenivasan » 08 Jul 2009 07:24

As to the issue of EVMs how about this solution. Keep the EVMs but on the day of voting get the CEC or another
authorized group to issue ballot papers for randomized constituencies. For example say there are 500 odd constituencies. On the day of voting or previous day (ie as soon as it can be done before election) transport ballot papers to 25 or 50 or even 100 randomized constitutencies.

Also it needs to be made sure that EVMs are assigned to particular constituencies so that they cannot be switched before hand. This is a simple process just get some super glue fashion some numbers from metal and attach to the top of the machine. Voters in those 25 or whatever number constituencies will have to vote twice once on the machine and once on the ballot paper. Then if there is a big discrepancy between the two (barring a few mistakes here and there) you can be pretty sure fraud is going on. If there is fraud in EVMs this method will pick it up clearly. What do you guys think?

To even lessen the chances of fraud for those conpiracy theorists out there i would get 5 eminent people from different fields to come up with 5 random constituences. Now unless all these people (may include such as Naryanan Murthy, Anil Ambani, CEC, Ratan Tata, Chief of Air force, Chief of Army, Chief of Navy, Sachin Tendulkar, Amitabh Bachanan etc) are all working against the interets of India and are in the hands of MNCs the system will be fool proof. If even one EVM is found to be rigged then the election results will be declared null and void and a rerun will be held with even more randomized constituencies tested using both ballot and evms.

Of course there is a chance the perpetrator will get away if he only tampers with a small number of evms but this process increases the risk for him proportionally. Just like the booze bus doesnt test every motorist and and the sec guard at the airport doest do a explosive check on every passenger there is no need to do ballot papers on every constituency in order to impose an unacceptable risk. If there is a 50% risk of getting caught (very probable under this method) will the fraudist really go ahead with it? I dont think so.

They above process would be in addition to the usual procedures to safeguard evms.
Last edited by Viv Sreenivasan on 08 Jul 2009 08:54, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby Viv Sreenivasan » 08 Jul 2009 08:31

If 100 out of 500 constituencies are tested using ballot paper and say 250 out of 500 machines are rigged. Then the chance of not getting caught becomes .5 x .8 = .4. Therefore the chance of getting caught becomes 60%. Not bad for a simple randomized process.

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby Dileep » 08 Jul 2009 10:39

When ISD facility was introduced, a lot of people objected to that, claiming the national security is going to collapse. Same with internet, e-mail, cell phone, net banking, and whatnot.

Paranoia has no answer. I believe it is IMPOSSIBLE to mess with the EVM without a LEAK somewhere. Of course since the aliens sitting under the swiss alps, or the jews sitting in manhattan, or the matrix computer wishes otherwise.

EVMs are here to stay, and the allegations will die a natural death. BTW, how old are you Rahulji?

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby shiv » 08 Jul 2009 10:45

How do you rig an EVM?

I don't know.

Then how can an EVM be rigged?

Oh it can be rigged by someone who knows how to rig it.

How will that someone know?

He has to know the code and must have access to the EVM.

How does one find out the code?

It is a secret. Known only to the designers and the people who rig the machines.

Can I find out the code?

No it is a secret.

Then it must be secure.

No it is NOT secure because it is a secret. If it was not a secret it would be secure.

Surely, if it is insecure, it cannot be a secret. Someone must know.

Of course. Any two bit hacker can find out. There are tools on the net to do that.

Can I do that?

Of course.

How?

You have to get an EVM first.

How?

Well it may be difficult for you and me, but for people who want to hack it - it should be easy to get hold of one. With the sort of corruption in India anyone can bribe an election commission official an get an EVM and hack it.

Can you do that for me?

Well I could if I wanted to but I am not a criminal.

OK suppose I got and EVM and hacked it, how would it help the enxt election? I mean how would I be able to hack it so that my candidate in the next election gets most votes, but not all.

You could rewrite the instructions to award one in three votes to the candidate of your choice.

But some constituencies have 25 candidates and have more than one EVM per booth because the EVM ha a limited number of buttons and cannot accommodate 25. So would the rigged vote not go to someone else?

That is possible - but unlikely in most cases.

How would I know which button is assigned to which candidate in the next election?

Oh there are ways. You could bribe the officials before the election to find out.

So I have to do this hacking and rigging just before the next election. I first bribe them to give me access to an EVM and them I bribe them to tell me which candidate is being assigned which button

Yes. That should be easy.

But with thousands of EVMs being stored in a secure area how would I know which EVMs are going to the booths that I want hacked?

Oh bribery and corruption.

If I hacked one EVM would the code spread to all others? Wouldn't I have to hack them all?

Yes.. not the way it is done. All EVMs for a particular constituency can be programmed by a computer.

Does that mean that I do not have to hack the EVM individually?

Yes.

But then how do I hack the program to make every 2nd or 3rd vote to go to my candidate? Do I hack each EVM or is it sufficient to hack the central programming computer for each constituency that assigns buttons to the list of candidates.

Both will have to be hacked.

How many constituencies are there?

Over 500.

How many polling stations are there? Each one will have at least one EVM right?

Thousands.

So all I have to do is to hack thousands of EVMs to assign buttons after the list of candidates is decided, when the date for filing nominations is over. I then have to find out which EVM's will be sent to which polling booths and hack the programming computer to assign the name of the candidate I want to receive votes from hacked buttons. And I do this for all EVMs across the country by serially doing all this in all district level election commission offices assigned to do this?

Yes. It's that simple. Paper ballots are so much more secure.

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby RayC » 08 Jul 2009 11:02

I reckon an EVM can be rigged if it is an inside job!

The controversy has arisen since Chawla appears to be slimy and then the retired IAS chap has shown the Election Commission how to rig and though the Commission stated that they would come back, they have remained silent!

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby Dileep » 08 Jul 2009 11:27

Shivji Image

Except that you can't use a computer to hack into a bunch of EVMS. You got to do it one by one, by de-soldering the controller and E2PROM, and re-soldering a spuriously programmed controller and a blank E2PROM.

Or you need to bribe the manufacturing facility to program the machines with the spurious code.

Raju

Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby Raju » 08 Jul 2009 12:01

two things that capture attention are 'the new EVMs' and the 'totalizer' software technology. It is highly possible that the h-panky lies somewhere in this.

If there is spurious code in the manufacturing facility, then those machines with spurious code have also to be destroyed post-elections to erase all evidence of misuse. Or else they can be given back to the manufacturer on some pretext.

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby amit » 08 Jul 2009 12:30

Raju wrote:It is highly possible that the h-panky lies somewhere in this.


This is the beauty of keeping on repeating something ad infinitum. It gets a life of its own. And becomes a irrefutable fact.

So it's been proven comprehensively that EVMs were hacked into and the election results manipulated to give a particular party victory. I'm convinced of that. Why?

Because I know someone who knows someone who knows someone who in turn knows someone who has heard of someone who has been told by someone that some form of "totalizer" software technology could be used theoretically to hack "new EVMs".

Goebbels the original propagandist would have been proud! :rotfl:

Raju

Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby Raju » 08 Jul 2009 12:40

Never before in the history of Indian elections has a vote been cast for one party and the rival got his green bulb glowing in turn showing vote received. Since this is happening for the first time in history of Indian elections. Thus justifiably there is a noise being created for the 'first time' since history of Indian General elections that the results could have been tampered most likely through EVMs. Every thing has a first time.

In other news the assets of judges will not be held upto public scrutiny anymore. Any member of the public who shows more than a passing interest can be imprisoned for 3 years. And this has been passed by a Congress minister named Veerappa Moily. What does that tell you ?

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby kvraghav » 08 Jul 2009 12:54

ok.I have a simple question though.If we leave the software thing alone,is it possible to short the buttons of 2 different candidtaes??Just asking.I am not thinking of any conspiracy theories please..

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby Dileep » 08 Jul 2009 13:01

Yes, it is possible. It has happened too. It was found in the mock poll that the light was lighting on the wrong candidate's row. It was later found that there was a short circuit.

The mock poll purpose is to catch such things onlee.

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby Tanaji » 08 Jul 2009 13:32

Rahul Mehta wrote:
paramu wrote:No barcode or any other encrypted codes on paper. How do you know whether the rigging was done in such a way that it prints correct name and symbol, but incorrect bar code.

You go for paper trail count only when there are doubts about electronic result. Let people count manually.


I agree with you, but EVM worshipers say that people of India love EVMs, and its only some of us with EVM phobia who are scared of EVMs. And lastly, EVM worshipers have become tree hugging greenoes, and are crying about trees lost if paper ballots will be used. How can we EVM phobic people show that majority of Indian citizens hate EVM?


<Rahul Mehta logic begins>

It is TRIVIAL to prove that anyone that supports paper ballots have vested interests and stands to gain financially. It is obvious that anyone supporting paper ballots personally gains at least 1 crore from the NBJPRIE by providing the paper and ink required for paper ballots and other associated costs. Rahulji, I challenge you to post numbers that disprove that paper ballot supporters are making at least Rs. 1 crore from this effort and thats why they hate EVMs.

<Rahul Mehta logic ends>

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby AjayKK » 08 Jul 2009 13:37

Posted w/o comment.


"EVMs made by PSUs, but coded by private vendors"

Omesh Saigal was the first person to take up the issue of manupulating Electronic Voting Machines with the Election Commission of India after the Lok Sabha polls results were announced.

But now he suddenly finds that the entire political class has hijacked his ‘Banish the EVM’ plank.This former Delhi Chief Secretary, who passed out from IIT, Kharagpur, in 1962, wrote a detailed letter on June 30 to Chief Election Commissioner Navin Chawla about the possibility of rigging the EVMs.

“I have been tracking the use of EVMs since 2004 when they were introduced throughout the country. I was very intrigued by the West Delhi Lok Sabha result. Before that, the Delhi assembly election results in 2008. That’s when I thought, I must investigate. A group of us, ex-IITians decided to probe this purely out of academic interest,” he said.

Letter to EC

In his letter to the EC, the 68-year-old Saigal raised questions about the violibility of EVM machines. The machines, though, exclusively manufactured by the two PSUs, BEL and ECIL, outsourced their software to a private vendor.


“We were shocked when we learnt from the website of the BEL that both the PSUs were outsourcing the production of software. They, however, keep the source code a secret, even from the Election Commison. The details of the manufacturer are not shared with the public,” he said.

Cong & EVM contracts

A BJP National Executive Member said, “At the risk of sounding like a bad loser, I would like to point out that it is no coincidence that software firms that have bagged EVM maintenance contracts, both in Delhi and Andhra, belong to Congress MPs.” :?:


Link

Link

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby RajeshA » 08 Jul 2009 13:58

Regarding EVMs with Paper-Trail solution.

paramu wrote:
RajeshA wrote:- EVM makes a small printout of the vote, which has a barcode and voting choice clearly printed on it. From the barcode one can ascertain a unique vote ID (not to be mixed up with voter ID, there is no correlation), and also the serial number of the EVM.

No barcode or any other encrypted codes on paper. How do you know whether the rigging was done in such a way that it prints correct name and symbol, but incorrect bar code.

You go for paper trail count only when there are doubts about electronic result. Let people count manually.


Manual Counting is always an option, when there is a paper trail. In case of dispute one can always fall back on the option. Even in India sooner or later, the cost of time and human resources will begin to be appreciated.

I am still not sure if printouts haphazardly thrown into a 'ballot box' can be mechanically processed and counted. In which case, they probably would have to be counted manually until such printout counting machines are developed.

Barcodes are important, because they assign each vote a unique id (no correlation with voter ID). This vote ID is unique for the whole election, and can always be traced in the system and referred to, should a dispute arise. Vote ID also tells you which EVM in which booth was used for the purpose of voting.

Of course all this information can also be in textual form, but that could cause visual clutter on the small printout, I had in mind. Secondly it decreases the burden on the OCR, especially in cases where the printout may have been 'damaged' to some extent, and the text may not be readable. A bit far fetched here.

The name of the candidate on the printout can also be read through OCR (Optical Character Recognition). This must be straight-forward as the OCR system would have been trained to the special font being used in the printouts from the EVM. We should however be aware that the name of the candidate and the party of the candidate may be printed out in multiple (two or more) languages.

In case the OCR finds something difficult to read, it can scan the printout, make an image of it, and send it to some work-flow engine, where a human (a counting agent) can be asked to verify the vote, and judge how the voter voted, and assign the vote to a particular candidate. Or the OCR can simply send the voter ID to the counting official, and the counting official can go find out the vote printout physically and assign the vote.

In this system, I am focusing on trying to do as much as possible automatically. The votes in the EVM can be read automatically as they are right now. Secondly even the printouts can be tallied automatically. Thirdly even for 'damaged' printouts there is computer support for the counting official. In the last case, the counting can also be done manually by the counting officials.

As Tanaji mentioned earlier, the focus should be on cheap, quick and secure.

Elections in India need all these three attributes. The scale and magnitude of these elections, the ensuing costs, and the stakes make this all the more important.

Raju

Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby Raju » 08 Jul 2009 15:06

AjayKK wrote:Posted w/o comment.


"EVMs made by PSUs, but coded by private vendors"

Omesh Saigal was the first person to take up the issue of manupulating Electronic Voting Machines with the Election Commission of India after the Lok Sabha polls results were announced.

But now he suddenly finds that the entire political class has hijacked his ‘Banish the EVM’ plank.This former Delhi Chief Secretary, who passed out from IIT, Kharagpur, in 1962, wrote a detailed letter on June 30 to Chief Election Commissioner Navin Chawla about the possibility of rigging the EVMs.

“I have been tracking the use of EVMs since 2004 when they were introduced throughout the country. I was very intrigued by the West Delhi Lok Sabha result. Before that, the Delhi assembly election results in 2008. That’s when I thought, I must investigate. A group of us, ex-IITians decided to probe this purely out of academic interest,” he said.

Letter to EC

In his letter to the EC, the 68-year-old Saigal raised questions about the violibility of EVM machines. The machines, though, exclusively manufactured by the two PSUs, BEL and ECIL, outsourced their software to a private vendor.


“We were shocked when we learnt from the website of the BEL that both the PSUs were outsourcing the production of software. They, however, keep the source code a secret, even from the Election Commison. The details of the manufacturer are not shared with the public,” he said.

Cong & EVM contracts

A BJP National Executive Member said, “At the risk of sounding like a bad loser, I would like to point out that it is no coincidence that software firms that have bagged EVM maintenance contracts, both in Delhi and Andhra, belong to Congress MPs.” :?:


Link

Link


:lol:

khul gaya poll ..

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby AjayKK » 08 Jul 2009 15:10

^^ Dilli billi vendor = ??

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby Sachin » 08 Jul 2009 15:47

Viv Sreenivasan wrote:As to the issue of EVMs how about this solution. Keep the EVMs but on the day of voting get the CEC or another authorized group to issue ballot papers for randomized constituencies.

Any body who has seen the elections done using the ballot paper knows that this is going to be impractical. The Government cannot despatch a set of officials on the morning of elections to a constituency. That is because there is a long list of bureaucratic procedure which is required to be done before the polling begins. The Presiding Officer has to make a list of ballot papers, sit and sign each and every one of them etc. etc. Also they need to setup the polling areas etc. There is also a similar formality which needs to be completed before the polling boxes are sealed, and handed over to the police. These procedures got simplified when EVMS were introduced.

Dileep wrote:It was found in the mock poll that the light was lighting on the wrong candidate's row. It was later found that there was a short circuit.

So we can skip that also as a possibility. It would be nearly impossible to make lots of EVMS have short circuits in favour of Congress.

Raju wrote:khul gaya poll ..

This seems to be quite a possibility. Has Congress or the Election Commission gave their opinions on this possibility? As RayC Sir mentioned it is that fact the Election Commissioner is a slimy character/congress stooge which is causing worries.

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby Rahul Mehta » 08 Jul 2009 21:55

Dileep wrote:When ISD facility was introduced, a lot of people objected to that, claiming the national security is going to collapse. Same with internet, e-mail, cell phone, net banking, and whatnot.

Paranoia has no answer. I believe it is IMPOSSIBLE to mess with the EVM without a LEAK somewhere. Of course since the aliens sitting under the swiss alps, or the jews sitting in manhattan, or the matrix computer wishes otherwise.

EVMs are here to stay, and the allegations will die a natural death. BTW, how old are you Rahulji?


I am 41 years old. And FYI, I have B Tech in CS from IITD and MS in CS from Rutgers U.

I dont know of ANYONE who screamed security risk in ISD, internet or mobile.

And as per non-paranoids, do you know of that Mogul Emperor who said "Delhi door hai, Delhi door hai"? He was the true-non-paranoid. And we all should be like him, right? :roll:

----

To start with,

1. Have open EVM? Have you checked the source code?
2. Do you know any one who has gone thru EVM's source code?
3. Can you get me the EVM so that I can check the source code? Will pay the (reasonable) cost.


Let me answer the questions. You wont get me an EVM. You never checked EVM. You dont know anyone who checked EVM. EVM is not available to any third party at cost price so that he can verify. And yet you believe that EVMs are 100% safe !!

Now thats what I call as true "Delhi door hai" spirit.
Last edited by Rahul Mehta on 08 Jul 2009 22:09, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby RayC » 08 Jul 2009 22:03

EVMs are as safe as the Budget of Pranab Mukherjee and Indian Shining and the Am Admi no longer the Am!

All on assumptions!

I don't care who finds out how I have voted. All I want is that my vote COUNTS!! And NO ONE manipulates my Vote.

Why should I be afraid of others knowing how I voted?

The Communists tried to intimidate me once and I told them to clear off if they wanted their heads intact!

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby Samay » 09 Jul 2009 01:04

Questions that I want to ask anyone who supports EVMs(perhaps an election for this may be needed :wink: )
1. what's wrong with a ballet paper ?

2.can't you cast vote using a ballot paper?
3.or will your vote be lost using ballot paper?
4. are you too environmentalist to favour EVMs on the basis of saving 3-4 days of counting??
5.If these are not the cases then are the germans,americans,so called developed nations,,are they fools?or they still dont know how much it matters to risk national choice ?.

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby paramu » 09 Jul 2009 01:27

RajeshA wrote:Regarding EVMs with Paper-Trail solution.
Barcodes are important, because they assign each vote a unique id (no correlation with voter ID). This vote ID is unique for the whole election, and can always be traced in the system and referred to, should a dispute arise. Vote ID also tells you which EVM in which booth was used for the purpose of voting.

You don't seem to get the point.

When you already have automatic EVM, why do you need barcoded printout?

It is because, they suspect EVMs are tampered. Then why can't barcodes be tampered too? If you have doubts about EVM results, just sit and manually count, even if it takes 5 days to get correct results.. It is not speed or cheapness that is important at this stage. What is important is fairness!

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby BijuShet » 09 Jul 2009 02:19

RayC wrote:...
I don't care who finds out how I have voted. All I want is that my vote COUNTS!! And NO ONE manipulates my Vote.

Why should I be afraid of others knowing how I voted?

The Communists tried to intimidate me once and I told them to clear off if they wanted their heads intact!

Rayji your past association with the million and half armed men allows you that luxury and confidence. Most poor Indians cannot be given such assurance by GOI hence prefer a secret ballot. I would like these citizens to be able to vote in secret and be assured that their vote is counted in an free and fair manner. EVM or no EVM, the motives of the current occupier of the office of the CEC is a big concern. AjayKK's link does not do much to assuage such fears.

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby BijuShet » 09 Jul 2009 02:35

Here is my take on how to improve the system.
1) Give the voter a printout ticket of his vote.
2) This ticket would have
a) 16 digit number where the first 8 digits would identify the specific EVM and the last 8 digits would be a non repeating random number. Thus each voter would gets a unique identifier for his vote.
b) A time stamp when the vote was cast
c) The EVM button number that identifies his candidate. EC will be required to publish each Candidate's button mapping after the election for each EVM.
3) Post election let the EC publish this entire vote data on the EC's website.
4) Each voter can check their 16 digit code to see their vote or put the first 8 digits identifying the EVM to see the totals for each candidate on that EVM.
Comments and suggestions as always are welcome.

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby RajeshA » 09 Jul 2009 03:22

Regarding EVMs with Paper-Trail solution.

paramu wrote:
RajeshA wrote:Regarding EVMs with Paper-Trail solution.
Barcodes are important, because they assign each vote a unique id (no correlation with voter ID). This vote ID is unique for the whole election, and can always be traced in the system and referred to, should a dispute arise. Vote ID also tells you which EVM in which booth was used for the purpose of voting.

You don't seem to get the point.

When you already have automatic EVM, why do you need barcoded printout?

It is because, they suspect EVMs are tampered. Then why can't barcodes be tampered too? If you have doubts about EVM results, just sit and manually count, even if it takes 5 days to get correct results.. It is not speed or cheapness that is important at this stage. What is important is fairness!


What is wrong with speed and cost-effective fairness?

Let us say, you have done an EVM count. Some party was not satisfied and disputes the whole thing. Then one says, Ok let's do a printout count (printouts without barcodes), and then you find out, there is a discrepancy. The EVM count and the printouts tallies do not match. What do you do then?

It could have been that, somebody did vote for some candidate but forgot to put his printout in the ballot-box, or out of mischief put some other paper inside, or put a printout from some other voter who voted in some other polling booth inside. In this case the printout tally would differ from that of the EVM.

On the other hand, if the EVM has been manipulated, then the voter would find out when he confirms his vote on the printout, or in case the EVM prints out the right candidate name for whom the voter voted but still assigns the EVM vote to a different candidate, then the counting officials would learn of it, should the count be disputed, or should they recount in case of a very close race. At the latest then, the counting officials will know that a discrepancy is there.

Whom do you believe, the EVM or the printout tally? Both can be wrong.

So there is a need for an analysis. How do you analyze? By looking at patterns of when the votes were correctly assigned and when they were wrongly assigned. For that you need to look at individual votes and correlate between EVM votes and printout votes. How do you do that?

There has to be some unique Vote ID on the printout, which makes the connection between the EVM vote, and the printout vote, so that the two can be compared for consistency.

If there are too many unaccounted for EVM votes, there is some kaale men daal.

The Barcode serves only to save the vote ID. A barcode can be read more easily by a barcode reader, than some numerical Vote ID by a OCR reader. The numerical Vote ID does not interest the voter anyway. He is only interested to know whether the vote is being counted in favor of the candidate he voted for. So all this information which is not relevant to the voter, can be placed in the barcode.

An automated EVM and printout vote comparison can be used to support analysis into the discrepancies. The computer can show the counting officials a possible tampering incident or a particular pattern of discrepant behavior by the EVM.

It is not just a matter of counting the votes, but knowing where and why the counts differ is also important.

Now you say, barcodes can be tampered too, if EVMs can be tampered with. Perhaps you might like to elaborate on what you mean by that, what kind of tampering you have in mind, and what can be achieved by that tampering.

I repeat - the barcodes simply have the Vote ID, the EVM ID, and perhaps the time of voting in it as information. I said the actual candidate's name who got the vote, would be read using OCR of the humanly-readable candidate's name on the printout, and not from the barcode.

One can of course code the Vote ID, the EVM ID, the time of vote in humanly-readable form, but the voter would not confirm this, it would clutter the printout unnecessarily, and it would make the task of OCR software more demanding in the automatic analysis.

Human counters of votes can be used if everything is disputed, but what can they contribute additionally to the confidence in the impartial and correct count? So what is the need of using them? What is wrong in cutting costs and time and not losing anything in fairness. Manual counting however remains an option.

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby RajeshA » 09 Jul 2009 03:32

BijuShet ji,

Both of our suggestions deal with a paper trail. However in your case, you suggest one can take the printout home. A few things pop into my mind.

a - The EVM can always assign more votes than those casted. No sure way of confirming the absence of such manipulation.

b - Not all voters would be seeing wheter their votes were counted correctly, rather just a minuscule minority.

c - There is nothing separate to recount if the need arises. One can't ask all the citizens who voted to send-in their printouts.

d - The printout can hardly be a piece of evidence, as such a printout can be made anywhere, including outside the polling booth.
Last edited by RajeshA on 09 Jul 2009 04:03, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby paramu » 09 Jul 2009 03:34

OK. I take back. I think I misread your barcode thing as fast mathod to count votes. Your suggestion seem to detect the mischief.

I still think the detection can be fudged by making sure that printout has exact same data as inside EVM.

If there is a mismatch in EVM count and manual, EC has to order repolling using paper ballots.

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby RajeshA » 09 Jul 2009 04:11

Regarding EVMs with Paper-Trail solution.

paramu wrote:OK. I take back. I think I misread your barcode thing as fast mathod to count votes. Your suggestion seem to detect the mischief.

I still think the detection can be fudged by making sure that printout has exact same data as inside EVM.

If there is a mismatch in EVM count and manual, EC has to order repolling using paper ballots.


Paramu ji,

a) It is important that the EVM has the same data as on the printout! :)

But I presume you mean in some sort of manipulation scenario. However I fail to see, how that can contribute to rigging. In case you come up with some ideas on this score, please let me know. There is always room for improvement. :)

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby paramu » 09 Jul 2009 04:35

RajeshA wrote:a) It is important that the EVM has the same data as on the printout! :)

But I presume you mean in some sort of manipulation scenario. However I fail to see, how that can contribute to rigging. In case you come up with some ideas on this score, please let me know. There is always room for improvement. :)

This is not election rigging.

Anyway, that doesn't matter as the manual count would have caught it and re-poll would have ordered. It is not worth for the person who rigged to go such an elaborate method to hide details.

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Re: Should we discontinue EVMs?

Postby vera_k » 09 Jul 2009 05:25

http://www.politicsparty.com/hatch_analysis.php

Chandrababu Naidu and Jayalalithaa are now co-ordinating the Exposure of the Electoral fraud that changed the Results of the 2009 Lok Sabha Polls.


The Maintenance Contracts for the Electronic Voting machines were given by the Chief Electoral Officers to Congress Businessmen. One of them is an MO from Vijayawada called Rajagopal a son-in law of Upendra, defected from the TDP to The Congress Party, made millions in Power Contracts and doles out Monthly Payments to everybody in the Congress President's Office.


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