Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) [UPSC GS II]

Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) introduced in India in 1982 allow the citizens to vote electronically and ease the job of the Election Commission of India in counting the votes. Aspirants preparing for the IAS Exam should be aware of this topic. 

The Election Commission of India and issues related to Voting are very important when it comes to UPSC Exams or any other Government Exams. These topics of the UPSC Syllabus come under the Indian Polity and Governance part of the General Studies Paper-2 section. 

What is an EVM – Electronic Voting Machine?

  • EVMs are electronic voting machines which enable the voter with a button for each choice of candidate. It is attached by a cable to an electronic ballot box. 
  • It comprises two units – control unit and balloting unit. They are connected by a 5-metre cable. 
  • The EVM runs on a 6-volt single alkaline battery fixed in the control unit. 
  • It can even be used in areas that have no electricity.
  • The control unit is with the Election Commission selected polling officer. 
  • The Balloting Unit is in the voting section into which the voter enters to cast their vote in secret by pressing the button against the name and sign of the candidate of their choice.

Read in detail about the Election Commission of India.

Pros & Cons of EVM

Pros  Cons 
Environmentally friendly 

  • Less use of paper
  • No printing 
  • Easier to store and transport
  • Higher shelf life
Security

  • Not easily, but can be hacked and tampered with.
  • The time gap between the voting and the counting of votes is a risk to possible tampering, as the ballots are physically stored after votes
Efficient

  • Faster counting of votes
  • No bogus votes
  • No invalid votes
  • Easy to install and use
  • Can be used by the State Legislative Assembly as well as Parliament.
Technical Issues

  • Malfunction in the software can give out errors.
  • Hardware can cause issues too if the EVM is not handled with care.
Security

  • Not easily tampered
Authenticity

  • Citizens/voters can’t verify their votes.

Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT)

  • VVPAT is an independent verification printer machine and is attached to electronic voting machines. 
  • It allows voters to verify if their vote has gone to the intended candidate.
  • When a voter presses a button in the EVM, a paper slip is printed through the VVPAT. The slip contains the poll symbol and name of the candidate.
  • It allows the voter to verify his/her choice.
  • After being visible to the voter from a glass case in the VVPAT for seven seconds, the ballot slip will be cut and dropped into the dropbox in the VVPAT machine and a beep will be heard.
  • VVPAT machines can be accessed by polling officers only.

Kickstart your UPSC 2020 Preparation today!

Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) – Indian Polity:- Download PDF Here

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