Russia is hoping to embrace India’s EVM technology for its upcoming presidential election, even as Indian politicians themselves continue to debate their efficiency.
Russia hopes to learn from “India’s experience” of conducting polls through EVMs, ahead of the 2018 presidential election, according to a report in The Economic Times.
The report says, Nikolai Levichev, Deputy Chairman of the Russia’s Election Commission, visited Uttarakhand this year during February’s Assembly polls to observe and understand the process of voting through EVMs. He also monitored elections in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Manipur and Goa and was reportedly impressed with the EVM system as it reduced the role of people in the poll process.
Levichev also held “wide-ranging consultations” with senior officials in Delhi to learn more about EVM technology and understand its best practices.
Russia’s interest in EVMs comes at a time when India’s Opposition leaders have expressed grave concerns regarding EVM tampering.
In a press conference held just yesterday, Aam Aadmi Party’s Arvind Kejriwal had alleged tampering on a “massive scale” in Madhya Pradesh’s Bhind. “We challenge the Election Commission to make the EVM available to us for 72 hours. We will read the code and rewrite it too,” Kejriwal said.
Alleged EVM tampering has also remained a hug issue in Parliament, with various Opposition leaders disrupting proceedings to protest the issue.
In light of tampering allegations, the Election Commission also decided to replace over 9 lakh EVM machines with advanced M3 machines, ahead of the 2019 general elections. These machines will become inoperable the moment someone attempts to tamper with them.
Meanwhile, in a move to return the favour, Russia will assist India in developing a “state-of-the-art tabulation system” for counting of votes. This system is also expected to help Indian officials in “obtaining faster region-wise and group-wise polling patterns.”
The 2018 presidential elections — in which Vladimir Putin will seek re-election — will be a massive process for Russia, which is why the country’s election commission hoping to ensure it goes smoothly with the help of EVM technology.
Looks like Russia will be voting for PM Modi too!