Electronic Voting Machine - EVM
EVM is a simple electronic device used to record votes in
place of ballot papers and boxes which were used earlier in
conventional voting system. It was first used in 1982 in the
bye-election to Parur Assembly Constituency of Kerala for a
50 polling stations.
An Electronic Voting Machine consists of two Units – a Control Unit and a Balloting Unit. Both are joined by a five-meter cable. In the voting center, the Control Unit is with the Presiding Officer or a Polling Officer. The Balloting Unit is placed inside the voting
compartment. When the voter presses the `blue button’ against the candidate and symbol of his choice, a tiny lamp on the left side of the symbol glows red and simultaneously a long beep sound is heard. Thus, there is a both audio and visual indication for the voter to be assured that his vote has been recorded. EVM is sturdy enough to withstand rough handling and variable climatic conditions. An EVM machine can store the result in its memory for 10 years and even more.
The two central govt. undertakings i.e. The Bharat Electronics Ltd. in Bangalore and Electronic Corporation of India Ltd. in Hyderabad are the only manufacturers of EVM machines for India. An EVM machine runs on an ordinary 6 volt alkaline battery. EVMs can record a maximum of 3840 votes. EVMs can cater to a maximum of 64 candidates. There is provision for 16 candidates in a single Balloting Unit. If the total number of candidates exceeds 16, a second Balloting Unit can be linked parallel to the first Balloting Unit. EVM cannot be used if the number of contesting candidates goes beyond 64 in any constituency.
There are several benefits of using EVMS. The most important advantage of EVM is that it reduces the cost of printing of millions of ballot papers, as only one ballot paper is required for fixing on the Balloting Unit at each polling station. This results in huge savings by way of cost of paper, printing, transportation, storage and distribution. It makes the process of counting of votes much faster than the conventional system and the result can be declared within 2 to 3 hours. It eliminates the possibility of invalid and doubtful votes.
Bhutan and Nepal also used EVMs manufactured in India during their last elections.