The first day of voting in India is dotted with glitches in the electronic voting machines

Election officials demonstrate the functioning of an Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) and Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha polls during a voter awareness programmeIANS

  • Multiple constituencies around India are reporting of problems with their Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).
  • Odisha and Andhra Pradesh are among the two states with the highest instances of EVM malfunctions so far.
  • A Jana Sena party member was also arrested for trying to destroy an EVM machine in Andhra Pradesh.
The general election has only just begun and reports of Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) malfunctions are flying in from multiple corners of the country. Butchirajupalem in Visakhapatnam and Cooch Behar in West Bengal were one of the first constituencies to halt voting because the EVM machines stopped working.

One of the poll booths in Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh and two booths in Hyderabad, Telangana are also reported facing problems with their voting machines a while later.

But most of the EVM malfunctions are being reported in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.

In Andhra Pradesh, Telugu Desam Party and the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) are reporting EVM malfunctions. YSRCP is reporting that as many as 99 of the polling booths aren’t working. Tensions between both political parties have resulted in violent clashes and ransacking of poll booths.

According to the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, Chandrababu Naidu, its a discouraging signal for voters who may not necessarily return once an EVM has been replaced or repaired.

And if it wasn’t enough that EVMs are breaking down on their own, a Jana Sena party member was arrested from trying to destroy one of the voting machines in the Guntakal Assembly constituency of Anantapur district in Andhra Pradesh.

According to the election commission there have been six incidents in Andhra Pradesh, five in Arunachal Pradesh, one in Bihar, two in Manipur and one in West Bengal.

The issue of EVMs

EVMs have faced their fair share of controversy in India. There has been many a claim that the machines are vulnerable to being hacked and have security issues. It’s one of the reasons that Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) was brought into the picture. It allows voters to verify that their vote was registered correctly.

Confidence in EVMS as a voting mechanism has been waningIANS

Even the Supreme Court, in trying to increase confidence in the electoral process has asked the for random auditing of poll booths to increase from one to five.

See also:
Here's how voters can verify their ballots during the world's largest democratic exercise

India's Supreme Court orders five-fold increase in vote audits putting Election Commission under pressure to prepare

What Is The Difference Between EVMs And VVPAT?
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