What can EVM (Electronic Voting Machine) do?
Electronic voting machine (EVM) is a device that allows voters to cast their votes electronically, instead of using paper ballots or other traditional methods. EVMs have been used in various countries around the world, such as India, Brazil, Estonia, and the Philippines, to improve the efficiency, accuracy, and security of the electoral process. In this article, we will discuss the importance of EVMs and their advantages and disadvantages.
What is an EVM?
An EVM is a machine that consists of two units: a control unit and a ballot unit. The control unit is operated by the election officials, who can activate the ballot unit for a voter, monitor the number of votes cast, and close the polling. The ballot unit is used by the voter, who can press a button next to the name or symbol of the candidate or party of their choice. The vote is then recorded in the memory of the control unit and a paper receipt or record is printed for verification purposes.
There are different types of EVMs, depending on the technology used. Some EVMs use direct-recording electronic (DRE) systems, where the voter touches a screen or presses a button to mark and cast their vote. Some EVMs use ballot marking devices (BMD), where the voter uses a screen or a device to mark their choices and then prints a paper ballot that is scanned by an optical scanner. Some EVMs use online voting or internet voting systems, where the voter uses a computer or a mobile device to mark and cast their vote online.
Why are EVMs important?
EVMs are important because they can offer several benefits for the electoral process and democracy. Some of these benefits are:
1.Faster counting and delivering of election results. EVMs can reduce the time and effort required to count and transmit the votes manually, which can speed up the announcement of the results and reduce the uncertainty and tension among the voters and candidates.
2.Increased trust in elections as human error is avoided. EVMs can eliminate the errors and discrepancies that may occur due to human factors, such as misreading, miscounting, or tampering with the ballots. EVMs can also provide an audit trail and a paper record that can be used to verify and recount the votes if needed.
3.Cost reduction when applying EVMs on multiple electoral events. EVMs can reduce the expenses involved in printing, transporting, storing, and disposing of paper ballots, which can save money and resources for the election management bodies and the government.
How to ensure safe and effective use of EVMs?
To ensure safe and effective use of EVMs, some measures that can be taken are:
1.Testing and certifying the EVMs before deployment. The EVMs should be tested and certified by independent experts or agencies to ensure that they meet the technical standards and requirements for functionality, security, usability, accessibility, etc.
2.Educating and training the election officials and voters on how to use the EVMs. The election officials and voters should be educated and trained on how to operate and troubleshoot the EVMs, as well as how to report and resolve any issues or incidents that may arise.
3.Implementing security measures and protocols to protect the EVMs from attacks. The EVMs should be protected by physical and cyber security measures and protocols, such as encryption, authentication, firewalls, antivirus, locks, seals, etc. The EVMs should also be monitored and audited regularly to detect and prevent any unauthorized access or interference.
4.Providing a paper trail or record for verification and audit purposes. The EVMs should provide a paper trail or record of the votes cast, either by printing a paper receipt or record for the voter or by storing a paper ballot in a sealed box. The paper trail or record should be used to verify and audit the electronic results, either randomly or comprehensively, to ensure their accuracy and integrity.
EVMs are an important innovation that can enhance the electoral process and democracy. However, they also pose some challenges and risks that need to be addressed and mitigated. By adopting best practices and standards, EVMs can be used safely and effectively to improve the voting experience and outcome for all.
Post time: 17-07-23