Verification of EVM Burnt Memory

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Source– This post on Verification of EVM Burnt Memory has been created based on the article “11 candidates apply to verify EVM burnt memory: what is this process?” published in “Indian Express” on 21 June 2024.

Why in the news?

For the first time, 11 candidates from the 2024 Lok Sabha and State Assembly elections have requested verification of the burnt memory in EVMs and VVPAT units.

About Verification of EVM Burnt Memory

1. In April, the Supreme Court allowed losing candidates to seek verification of EVM and VVPAT burnt memories.

2. The burnt memory or microcontroller in 5% of the EVMs, including the control unit, ballot unit, and VVPAT, per assembly constituency or segment of a parliamentary constituency, shall be checked and verified by engineers from the EVM manufacturers.

3. After the results are announced, any candidate who finished in second or third place can submit a written request for verification to check for tampering or modifications.

4. The court stated that candidates or their representatives “must identify the EVMs to be verified by polling station or serial number” and “have the option to be present during the verification process.”

5. Requests for verification must be submitted within seven days of the result declaration.

6. The court stated that the Election Commission of India (ECI) will notify the actual costs for the verification, and the candidate requesting it must cover these expenses. If any tampering is found in the EVM, the expenses will be refunded.

About Verification Process for EVM Burnt Memory

The ECI released the administrative SOP for checking and verifying the burnt memory of EVMs and VVPATs. Key points include:

i) The District Electoral Officer (DEO) will be responsible for overseeing the verification process.

ii) Second and third-place candidates can request verification of up to 5% of EVMs and VVPATs in an Assembly constituency or Lok Sabha segment. If both candidates request, each can have 2.5% of the EVMs verified.

iii) Candidates can choose units to be verified by providing the polling station number or the unique serial number of the Ballot Unit, Control Unit, and VVPAT.

iv) Candidates must submit their requests in writing to the DEOs and deposit Rs 40,000 (plus 18% GST) per set of EVM (BU, CU, and VVPAT) with the manufacturer.

v) DEOs will send a list of applications to the state Chief Electoral Officer, who will notify the EVM manufacturers (Bharat Electronics Ltd and Electronics Corporation of India Ltd) within 30 days of the result declaration.

vi) Verification will start 45 days after the results are declared, provided no Election Petitions are filed. If Election Petitions are filed, verification will only begin after a court order.

vii)The process should start within 30 days of manufacturers being informed of any Election Petitions.

viii) Verification will take place in designated halls at the manufacturers’ facilities, equipped with strong rooms and CCTV cameras. Electronic devices, including cell phones and cameras, are prohibited inside the halls.

ix) The halls will have a single entry and exit point, with at least one section of armed police force deployed.

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