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03 Jun 2017

EC Hackathon starts, NCP, CPI(M) try to rig EVMs

In preparation for EC's hackathon

EC's much-awaited hackathon started on June 3 at 10am, with NCP and CPI(M) representatives attempting to tamper EVMs.

From CPI(M), Bappa Aditya Sinha, Ravindranath RB and Rahul De are at the event. From NCP, Vandana Hemant Chavan, Gaurav Jayprakash Jachak and Yasin Hussain's Shaikh are making appearance.

The contest will end at 2pm. Before starting, EVMs and VVPAT machines were demonstrated to the teams.

In context

In preparation for EC's hackathon
Parties remain away despite cries of foul


Parties remain away despite cries of foul

Several parties cried foul after the BJP won in recent regional elections. AAP even held an EVM tampering demonstration in the Delhi Assembly, though with replica of EVMs and not actual ones.

The EC, as it had promised earlier, announced an open challenge for anyone who could prove the allegations of tampering.

However, only two of seven national and 65 regional parties confirmed participation.

Details of the challenge

The contest will be held during 10am-2pm at Delhi's EC headquarters. Fourteen randomly-selected EVMs from the Punjab, UP and Uttarakhand elections have been brought in. EC sent a list with details of the machines, including control and ballot unit numbers, to the NCP, as requested.

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What will the challenge entail?

Three representatives from each party will attempt to hack maximum four EVMs in four hours.

In the first part, members will have to prove EVMs were rigged in favor of a particular party by altering original results. They can use keys on EVMs, cell phones, bluetooth etc.

Next, they will have to prove the EVMs used in elections were tampered with before poll day.

Some rules non-negotiable for EC

The EC has, however, refused to budge on some of its rules, including not allowing the internal circuitry to be changed. It has also denied permission to take the EVM out of the premises during the competition.


What will others be doing?

RJD had applied for participation, but was disqualified as the application was submitted late.

BJP, CPI and RLD said they would like to observe the challenge.

AAP and Congress, meanwhile, refused to participate. They demanded that no rules should be imposed on how parties try to hack the machines. AAP had requested permission to change the motherboard in the EVMs, which the EC denied.

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