What better evidence of the inviolability of the EVMs could there be, than other countries – especially countries once at the forefront of hardware design and manufacturing than Russia – seeking to use our EVM technology for their upcoming Presidential elections of 2018?
Russia recently sought help from the Election Commission of India to get a first-hand view of the hardware, software, technology and fail-safes of our EVMs.
In fact, Nikolai Levichev, Deputy Chairman of the Russian Election Commission, visited Uttarakhand during the recent Assembly elections to look at the technology in operation first hand.
He also reportedly closely monitored the electioneering process in four other states. Following the first-hand experience, he also held wide-ranging consultations in Delhi with senior officials across ministries, in order to come to the best possible arrangement where the two countries could share the technology and gain from the exchange.
Obviously, Russia and India have had a close relationship in the past, for a variety of interests. And each such exchange has proved beneficial for both the parties involved.
In this case, from the looks of it, Russia is seeking to learn from India’s experience in conducting smooth polls through EVMs.
However, this comes at a peculiar time, when the Opposition in India has raised the possibility of EVMs being tampered with in the recently-concluded Assembly polls in five states.
In exchange for the technology, Russia will reportedly help India in developing state-of-the-art tabulation systems for the counting of votes. A system of the kind would definitely help Indian officials obtain region-wise and grou-wise polling patterns, much faster.
While it may come to you as a surprise, the fact is, this won’t be the first time that India would be aiding a country in its election procedure, either.
Back in 2014, Afghanistan fell short of ballot papers during their elections, and at the time it was India who supplied Kabul’s election body with the ballot papers at an extremely short notice.
The upcoming Presidential election, the one in which Putin (the current President), will be contesting re-election, are expected to be a mammoth task in Russia. While the population makes the task challenging in India, it is the terrain and the geographical diversity that makes it a challenge in Russia.
The election body of the country has been seeking the use of technology in their election process for a while now. By seeking the EVM technology used in elections in India, Russia is trying to make the task more manageable, while increasing the efficiency at the same time.
The question then is: if Russia considers the tech safe and unimpeachable, why doesn’t Mr. Kejriwal? Well, that’s for some other fine folks to answer, not Chip-Monks