New Delhi, May: Almost a week after the announcement, no political party has applied for the Election Commission's challenge to try and tamper the electronic voting machines. The deadline will end today at 5 pm, for the hackathon scheduled on June 3.
The EC had announced the hackathon on last week, inviting the 7 recognized national and 49 state parties to submit applications, after they alleged tampering of EVMs. Election Commissioner asked parties to prove both the tamperability of the machines as well as showing evidence on whether EVMs used during the recent polls were tampered.
The EVM Challenge is open for participation from the National and State Recognized Political Parties only which participated in the five States' Assemblies Elections viz. Goa, Punjab, Manipur, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, Said EC.
The Aam Aadmi Party, which is at the forefront of an opposition allegation that EVMs were rigged in recent Assembly and Delhi municipal elections, has asked the EC to reconsider the terms set for the challenge and allow it to be an open 'hackathon' where tampering of any kind can be demonstrated.
AAP leader Sanjay Singh said that a party delegation will meet the panel to review the restrictions. "One cannot just chant mantra and hack the machines. The EC should let us operate them," he added.
Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi earlier said that there is no need of reverting to the paper ballot system because Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail System will end all doubts of political parties. He said the EC had formed a committee to examine the issue and its report was submitted to the Supreme Court and the Law Ministry.
Election Commission had rejected political Party's claim of EVM tampering. The Commission said that gadgets other than ECI EVMs can be programmed to perform in a pre-determined way, but it simply cannot be implied that Commision's EVMs will behave in the same manner because they are technically secured and function under an elaborate administrative and security protocol.