348 of 500 signatures

To Sh. Sunil Arora,

Chief Election Commissioner

Nirvachan Sadan, Ashoka Road,

New Delhi 110001

 

As the first phase of the Elections came to a close on April 6, 2019, news of malfunctioning Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) has been pouring in from across the country.

 

For one, a number of voting machines were not working in several states including Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Bihar, Assam, Manipur, West Bengal, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh. This delayed the voting in a number of places.

 

What is extremely serious and worrying however is misrecording of the votes by the VVPAT system in a number of cases. While voters selected other parties, the system recorded the vote in favour of the ruling party.The first reports have been recorded from Assam, Meghalaya and earlier in Meerut in Uttar Pradesh.

 

In case of the news from Uttar Pradesh, in 2017, the voter recorded the misrecording. While the machine was replaced, and the Election Commission has clearly ordered that the machines cannot be tampered with, this sounds like a serious violation of the ECs orders.

 

Given that it is impossible to gauge the scale at which the misrecordings are taking place, and this is an extremely crucial election, we urge the Election Commission to:

 

Make a clear announcement for people to look out for these misrecordings and make a note of the same.

 

With immediate effect withdraw the machines which are found tampered with.

 

Immediately launch surveillance and check the EVMs for the remaining 6 phases.

 

Launch an investigation to check the scale of tampering and all parties involved.

 

As responsible citizens concerned about the future of this country, we urge you to take immediate action.

 

After all, the outcome of the 2019 Elections will have an impact on the trajectory of this country.

 

References

Phase One: Voter Complaints Over Malfunctioning EVMs Pour in From Several States: The Wire

Furore in Meerut after voter presses BSP on EVM, vote goes to BJP: The Times of India

 

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