Fact Check

Are EVMs being Manipulated or Tampered?

EVMs Election Commission

Recently, many viral posts and videos have been reported on social media claiming that Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) are being manipulated. However, as soon as these videos started doing the rounds on social media, Election Commission of India (ECI) has come out with facts and evidences which refute the content of all such videos and posts. We bring to readers both the potentially misleading claims about EVMs on social media and the ECI’s response to them.

Chandauli, Uttar Pradesh (UP)

Claim

A video surfaced from Chandauli in UP about how the EVMs were being brought to the designated place of storage a day after the elections were over.

Facts

The arrival of unused or reserved EVMs (which are used in case functional EVMs face problem) back to their place of storage after the elections were over, sparked the confusion. However, they were not the EVMs which were used in the polls, but the reserved EVMs.

Below is the copy of the communication informing all the contestants about the place of storage of reserved EVMs showing that EC guidelines have been duly followed by the district officials.

The statement from the returning officer of Chandauli Lok Sabha clarifies that the EVMs and VVPATs used in the polls were transported and locked in the strong room in the presence of the contestants or their agents. The security of these strong rooms was then handed over to Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). It is during the transportation of reserved EVMs and VVPATs that some politicians from Samajwadi Party reached. But, once they were made aware of the reality, they were satisfied (a letter by the District chairperson of Samajwadi Party pasted below).

The statement by the returning officer of Chandauli, UP

A letter by Samajwadi Party Chairperson, Chadauli, expressing satisfaction

Ghazipur, Uttar Pradesh

Claim

Afzal Ansari, a candidate of Mahagathbandhan from Ghazipur in Uttar Pradesh can be seen in a viral video allegedly claiming that EVMs are being swapped.

Facts

Returning officer from Ghazipur district has factually rebutted his claims. Here is the statement in a video.

Here is the clarification which says that Afzal Ansari wanted many agents to watch over the stored EVMs than what is required by the guidelines of EC. This was denied by the officials fearing overcrowding near the strong rooms. However, later Afzal Ansari agreed to the guidelines of ECI and ended his protest.

Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh

Claim

Another video from Jhansi surfaced alleging the movement of reserved EVMs without informing the contestants.

Facts

Here is the statement of returning officer of the Jhansi who clarified that EVMs used in the election were kept in the storage room in the presence of observers once all the polling parties came back. The guidelines of the ECI have been duly followed. There was some confusion when reserved EVMs were in the process of being stored in their strong rooms. But, the returning officer clearly said that contestants were informed about the guidelines being followed.

Saran, Bihar

Claim

Rashtriya Janata Dal has allegedly claimed that a vehicle full of EVMs was spotted near the strong rooms in the Saran Lok Sabha constituency.

Facts

The statement from the officials from Saran district clarified that the EVMs, which were actually taken to train the officials on duty (before the counting day), were again stored back in the designated place.

Thus, all the news and videos on social media claiming that EVMs are being swapped or tampered, are false. This now appears to be another motivated narrative especially after the exit poll trends – to discredit the entire election process of the country.

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