Karnataka Elections: Who makes EVMs in India? Know how the machine works

According to the Election Commission website, India does not use any EVMs made abroad.

The results of the Karnataka assembly elections will be out on Saturday (May 13). Earlier, the Election Commission (ECI) on Thursday refuted the claims of Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, who said that Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) imported from South Africa were being used for voting. The Election Commission said that it has never sent EVMs to South Africa for use in its elections, nor has it ever imported EVMs from any country.

Are EVMs in India brought from other countries?

The Electoral Commission stated that EVMs are not used in South African elections, which could be verified from the country’s Electoral Commission website as it mentions the use of paper ballots. The commission said that all the EVMs used in the Karnataka elections were new ones from the ECI. Now the biggest question arises whether EVMs in India are brought from other countries?

On the question whether foreign technology is used in EVMs, according to the FAQ section of the Election Commission website, “India does not use any EVM made abroad. EVMs are manufactured indigenously by 2 PSUs. Bharat Electronics Limited, Bengaluru and Electronics Corporation of India Limited, Hyderabad. The website also says that after the introduction of EVMs in Indian elections, several countries like Bhutan, Nepal and Namibia used Indian-made EVMs in their elections.


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EVM is made up of which parts?

The EVM consists of two parts – a ‘Control Unit’ and a ‘Ballotting Unit’ which is connected by a 5 meter cable. The balloting unit is located in the voting compartment into which the voter enters to cast his vote by pressing the button against the name and symbol of the candidate of his choice and the control unit is located with the polling officer appointed by the EC.

The control unit is called the brain of the EVM, because the balloting unit is activated only when the polling officer presses the ballot button on it and after that the vote is cast. For the machines, “the software program code is written in-house by these two companies, not outsourced, and safety procedures are taken care of at the factory level to maintain integrity. The program is converted into machine code and only then given to the chip maker abroad as we do not have the capability to make semi-conductor microchips within the country.

The secret source code is only with a few engineers and the engineers who are in the factory are not aware of the constituency-wise machine deployment.

(Story by- Rishika Singh)


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