EVMs ‘absolutely credible’, reverting to paper ballots is retrograde step: Former CEC

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HYDERABAD: Asserting that electronic voting machines (EVMs) are “absolutely credible”, former Chief Election Commissioner T S Krishnamurthy on Monday said any move to revert to the old practice of paper ballots is “retrograde”. The paper ballot system is susceptible to manipulation, leads to wastage of paper and takes longer to announce poll results, among other disadvantages, he told PTI.
Describing EVMs as the “nation’s pride” and “absolutely credible”, Krishnamurthy said it’s unfortunate that some political parties are calling for
reintroduction of paper ballots. “Just because some parties didn’t do well in the elections, it does not mean the machine is bad. So, in my opinion it will be a retrograde step if the machines are withdrawn. In my opinion, EVMs are absolutely credible,” he said.
Krishnamurthy said the paper ballot system would probably take one week for election results to be announced. “So much of paper wastage will be there. Under the ballot box itself, so much of manipulation will be there. We know, in some of the elections, bogus ballot paper is used to cast (votes). Checks and balances in the EVMs are not available in the conventional ballot box system,” he said.
“Once you have ballot papers, there can be invalid votes,” he said. “Some of the countries have admired our system and suddenly to withdraw it is a retrograde step,” he added. The Congress last week urged that the Election Commission revert to the old practice of paper ballots in future elections instead of EVMs.
This is necessary as there are misgivings on “misuse” of EVMs to “manipulate the outcome contrary to popular verdict”, the party said during its 84th plenary session. Some other political parties have been alleging that EVMs were tampered with during polls and demanding reintroduction of the ballot paper system of voting.
The BJP had also said on Saturday that it can consider using paper ballots instead of EVMs in future elections if every party thinks that it should be done.