England, Italy, Germany Have Banned EVMs: What Were Their Reasons?
The issue of Electronic Voting Machines being tampered with in India has been raked up by several political parties. Linked to this debate is the core emotion of democracy – making it no ordinary issue.
Naturally, the voices alleging tampering with the very fabric of democracy have instilled a fear even among the common populace – “could it be that our elections are rigged?”
Several countries in the world – including Germany, Netherlands and the United States of America – have banned the use of EVMs.
Senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy writes in a column for The Hindu:
There is worldwide acceptance of the need for a paper trail in conjunction with EVMs. Electronic voting was introduced in many countries. But serious doubts were soon raised about the security, accuracy, reliability and verifiability of electronic elections. In October 2006, the Netherlands banned the use of EVMs. In 2009, the Republic of Ireland declared a moratorium on their use. Italy has followed suit. In March 2009, the Supreme Court of Germany ruled that voting through EVMs was unconstitutional, holding that transparency is a constitutional right but efficiency is not a constitutionally protected value.
Besides, England and France never even relied on EVMs. Even a tech-friendly country like the US has banned the use of EVMs.
What's Special About EVMs in India?
In defense of India’s EVMs, the machines cannot be tampered with, either through the internet or bluetooth. They’re kept separate from other machines. But according to the Aam Aadmi Party’s expose on Tuesday, the machines can be hacked at the booth level.
This is not the first time a debate about EVMs has been triggered in the country. Swamy had raked up this issue in 2009, though he was not with BJP at the time, and the Congress party was holding fort at the Centre.