Bring Back Paper Ballot Voting in Indian Elections and Save Democracy!
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The Chief Election Commissioner,
Election Commission of India,
New Delhi, Delhi.
Subject: Bring Back Paper Ballot Voting in Indian Elections and Save Democracy!
The Architects of Indian Constitution had very rightly given every Indian Citizen, a Right to Vote based on the principle of one man, one vote & one value. That is one of the most valuable Right provided by the Indian Constitution. However, through these Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) scams, this very basic Right of Indian Citizens, to choose the government of their choice through their votes, is being robbed away.
Since past few years and especially after the change in government from 2014, there are numerous cases of misuse of EVM's to benefit one political party, have come to fore. In every case of so called "faulty" EVMs, the beneficiary of the "fault" seems to be just one party. Is this just a coincidence or it is well orchestrated design introduced in EVM's to benefit one party? With these EVM scams, the trust that Indian citizens had in the abilities of Election Commission of India to conduct free and fair elections in India, has been eroded very fast.
In Paper Ballot we have end-to-end trail and recounting is possible, whereas EVM's has multiple access points of vulnerability that can change the vote of voter to a candidate which is different from what he / she opted for.
Despite Election Commission of India (ECI) and State Election Commission assuring that EVM's are fault proof, it is mere assurance and almost all political parties in past decade have demanded EVM's to be scrapped.
It is pertinent to note that well-advanced countries like Canada, Netherlands, UK, Italy, France, Germany and other nations don't use EVM's and those who attempted the use of EVMs have found faults and have scrapped their use.
1. Netherlands banned it for lack of transparency.
2. Ireland, after three years of research worth 51 million pounds, decided to junk EVM's.
3. Germany declared EVM's unconstitutional and banned it.
4. Italy also dropped e-voting since its results could be easily managed.
5. According to a CIA security expert, Venezuela, Macedonia and Ukraine stopped using EVM's after massive rigging was found.
A short look at how EVM can be easily tampered:
The Election Commission of India claims that EVM's are tamper proof, yet it doesn't allow external agencies to verify.
Paper Ballot Vote would be time consuming and expensive but it's a necessary. Why vote on a system we the people of India can't trust?
Vote is the only thing a citizen has to make his / her voice and when there are many doubts on where it goes, we need to go back to a transparent system.
Election Commission of India says that paper ballot is a costly affair. When Citizens are paying service taxes, etc and not seeing any benefits, Citizens will surely and happily be able to pay additional cost of paper ballot and other costs of conducting paper ballot elections.
Without paper ballot, the democracy is a fractured one and voting itself is an illusion.
In the recent Telangana elections it was very unfortunate that the Election Commission of India and the State Election Commission did not react to the complaint lodged by the Congress Party on illegal deletion of 22 lakh voters from the electoral rolls. Even after taking up the case to Supreme Court not even notices were served and Therefore State Election Commission went on for immediate polls. In result to that there are huge dispensaries registered in several constituencies. There is a serious mismatch between the votes polled and votes counted. Large number of EVM’s malfunctioned and certainly all these have resulted in serious concern about the EVM’s functioning.
I therefore request the people of Telangana and India to not think on party lines but think at a higher level for strengthening democracy. Urge you to think why most developed nations don't use EVM's? No matter who wins an election, but the winner has to be the real representative of people and not a one managed and assigned by faulty software.
People blame voters when they see criminals elected. But it may not be voters fault. They may very well have chosen a clean candidate but it is nexus of criminal elements who have mastered the art of EVM tampering and it is high time that we go back to a tried, tested and proven paper ballot.
Dr. Sravan Dasoju
General Secretary &
Chief Official Spokesperson,
Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee.
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