Electronic Voting Machine (EVM)- insight into EVM Machine

Any prosperous democracy’s sign is Free and fair elections and transfer of power to the rightful winner. In the World’s Largest Democracy, elections are conducted every 5 years and the result determines how the country functions for the next 5 years.

India has a democratic past that goes back to the 4th century BCE when Mahajanapad’s system of governance was followed. With the world’s largest population, it can be challenging to conduct an election and hence, EVM Machines are used to conduct the elections.

The EVM Machines are sanctioned by the Election Commissioner of India who is responsible for conducting elections within the country. From setting up the polling booth to counting the vote,  everything is conducted by the Election Commission officers.

In this article, we will discuss what is Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) is, the advantages of EVMs, the security of EVMs, and much more.

But first, let’s discuss what is Electronic Voting Machine (EVM)

Electronic Voting Machine (EVM)- insight into EVM Machine

What is an Electronic Voting Machine (EVM)?

Electronic Voting Machine or EVM is an electronic device used for casting votes and registering the votes by the Election Commission. It was introduced back in the year 1982 in Kerala’s No. 70 Parvur assembly constituency. In 1999, it was adopted fully in every constituency for casting votes.

The EVM Machine consists of two components- Control Unit and a balloting unit which is placed with the polling officer and voting compartment respectively.

When polling offers presses a button in his/her control unit, you are ready to cast your vote by pressing the button in front of the symbol of the party you want to vote. At the same time, you’ll also find a paper ballot of the same party symbol being cast into the ballot confirming your vote.

Advantages of EVM Machine

The following are the advantage of EVM Machines-

  • It is estimated that about 10,000 tons of ballot papers were saved due to the adoption of EVMs in India which is around 2 Lakhs trees saved every 5 years.
  • The cost of EVM is fixed at Rs.17,000/unit which on a larger scale becomes cheaper to implement given the logistical cost of Ballot paper is far greater
  • EVM Machine’s transportability is far greater than the Ballot paper hence, last-mile delivery of voting rights is possible due to this
  • EVM Machines can handle large amounts of votes which is amazing for a country with the largest population
  •  The life span of the EVM Machine is 15 years hence, the cost of election as well as the availability of the EVMs is greater
  • EVM Machine uses battery so there is no dependence on electricity to cast a vote
  • EVM Machines reduced the possibility of fake votes by implementing various fail-safe mechanisms built into the software as well as hardware of the device

Disadvantages of EVM Machine

The following are the disadvantages of EVM Machines-

  • One of the biggest disadvantages of EVM Machines is the hackability of the machine but with proper security measures, one can prevent this type of disruption
  • The EVM Machine requires physical security during transportation but, this also holds for the Paper Ballot system

EVM Machine Security and Design Features

The following are some of the design features and security measures taken by Indian EVMs for better operations of the EVMs-

  • The EVM uses batteries and they do not require electricity to operate which makes them independent of electricity requirements and readily available for deployment in some harsh terrain
  • No one is allowed in the polling station to change the paper roll of the machine and is strictly prohibited
  • The arrangement o the names of the candidates in the polling station is in alphabetical order and the front of the candidate party’s symbol is also made to ensure the facilitation of the uneducated
  • An additional unit called Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) is attached to the EVMs to confirm his/her vote. A slip is printed after casting the vote with the party symbol, candidate’s name, and serial number which is visible through the second window


What is NOTA in Casting Vote?

NOTA stands for None of the Above, it is an option that provides voters to register a rejection of all the candidates officially. This provides voters an option to choose no one from their constituency.

Can EVM machines be tampered with?

No, it is highly unlikely that the EVM Machines can be tampered with because of multiple security measures implemented by the Election Commission of India which prevents the disruption in voting machine or hacking activities.

What if NOTA wins an election?

If a NOTA wins an election then the constituency will be ruled by the governor until re-election with new candidates are not organized. The elections are usually conducted again within a few days.

Do I need a Voter’s Card to cast my vote?

Yes, Voter’s Card is important to cast your vote, if you fail to show your Voter’s card then you won’t be allowed to cast the vote. If your name is present on the voter’s list then you can also show your Aadhaar card and after verification, you will be able to cast the vote.