Electronic Voting Machine


Over the years we cast our votes by the Ballot method by putting the stamp against a candidate's name and then folding the ballot paper as per a prescribed method before putting it in the Ballot box. This is a long, time-consuming process and very much prone to errors.

Recently, Election Commission of India, has introduced a new method of polling by Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) which is a simple, safe and secure method that takes minimum of time.

What is EVM?

The complete EVM consists mainly of two units - (a) Control Unit and (b) Balloting Unit with cable for connecting it with Control unit. A Balloting Unit caters upto 16 candidates. Four Balloting Units linked together catering in all to 64 candidates can be used with one control unit. The control unit is kept with the Presiding Officer and the Balloting Unit is used by the voter for polling.

The Balloting Unit of EVM is a small Box-like device, on top of which each candidate and his/her election symbol is listed like a big ballot paper. Against each candidate's name, a red LED and a blue button is provided. The voter polls his vote by pressing the blue button against the name of his desired candidate.

How to Vote?

The entire process is very easy to understand: Like in earlier system, your name is called and you are asked to sign or put your thumb impression in a register. After your identification is done by Election Officer, an ink mark is put on your finger, same as earlier. Then the Election Officer gives you a slip that bears the Voter register number where you signed or put your thumb impression. You hand over this slip to the presiding officer who confirms the serial number and permits you to vote by pressing the button of the Control Unit of EVM.

You are not given any ballot thereafter, and are sent to the EV Machine placed behind a card board in a corner. The machine is placed in such a way that your polled vote will be a secret. On the Balloting Unit of EVM, you press the blue button placed in front of your favourite candidate and release. As soon as the button is pressed, the red LED indicator lights up and a whistle sound comes from the machine. This signifies that your vote has been casted rightly. Now you can come out. In case of red LED not working, press the Blue button firmly again. If finding it difficult, consult the Presiding Officer. Your vote is complete safe and secret and there is no room for error as well. You can rest assured that your vote is not going to be invalid in any case.

The Voting Machine is attached to the 'Control Unit'. When the user presses the button, his vote is registered in the control unit and the number of votes for the respective candidates is calculated automatically.

After the hour fixed for the close of the poll and the last voter has recorded his vote, the EVM is closed so that no further recording of votes in the machine is possible. At the counting place, only the control unit is required for ascertaining the result of poll at the polling station at which the EVM was used. The balloting unit is not required.

Some Faq's

1.What happens if a button is pressed twice?
When a button is pressed, the red light situated near it glows and a beep sound occurs. Then the system is rendered disabled. Even if you press the button again, it wont be registered. It is only when the Presiding officer presses the button on the Controlling unit upon arrival of the next voter, that the machine gets reactivated. What happens when more than one button is pressed simultaneously? Although it seldom happens, in this case the red light will not glow and no beep will occur. This ensures that the voting has not been done.

2.How is voting confirmed?
When the button is pressed, the red light glows followed by a beep.This confirms voting.

3.Is the voting confidential?
It is as confidential as the previous system. As in the previous system the voting is done in separate enclosures. Even the Presiding Officer is not able to trace out the vote polled.

4.What happens when there is power failure?
Since the EVM is battery operated there will not be any disruption due to power failure.

5.Is the EVM shock proof?
As the machine is made of plastic and does not uses electricity for operation, there is absolutely no chance of getting a shock.

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