While the Election Commission of India says "No", Orissa Higher Education Minister and senior BJP leader Samir Dey did not believe it.
Immediately after counting of votes for the Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) was completed, Dey made the allegation raising many eyebrows.
While Dey's allegation against the BJP's alliance partner—the BJD, had its political impact, the people on the streets were confused.
If the EVMs could be tampered as alleged by Dey, then the country's democracy is in trouble!!!
Frequently asked question about EVM follows:
What is an Electronic Voting Machine?
An EVM is a simple, reliable, tamper-proof, error-free equipment that allows a voter to choose one from among several candidates.
The EVM is designed to collect, record, store, count and display polling data with cent per cent accuracy.
Can an EVM be tampered with?
An EVM is controlled by a microprocessor with 'burn-in' software, which cannot be altered or replaced.
Once the polling is over, the polling officer shuts the EVM by pressing the 'close' button. Mechanical, electrical, and software security features are provided to ensure the integrity of the polling data.
How does it function?
An EVM consists of two units, the control unit and the balloting unit, joined by a 5 metre cable.
The control unit is kept with the polling officer in the booth.
The balloting unit is placed inside the voting compartment and used by the voter.
One balloting unit can handle 16 candidates.
Up to four balloting units can linked with a single control unit to accommodate as many as 64 candidates.
So, how does one vote with the EVM?
The balloting unit is a small box atop which each candidate and his/her symbol are listed, in much the same manner as on a ballot paper.
Against each candidate's name, a red LED [light-emitting diode] and a blue button are provided.
Instead of issuing a ballot paper as in the old days, the polling officer in charge of the control unit presses the ballot button.
The voter then casts his vote by pressing the blue button against the name of the desired candidate.
As soon as the button is pressed, the LED lights up and the machine emits a long beep.
This indicates that the vote has been registered in the control unit.
The number of votes for the respective candidates is calculated automatically.
What happens if a voter presses the button twice?
When the selected button is pressed once, the red light next to it glows and a long beep is emitted. Thereafter the system is disabled.
So even if you press the button again instantly, no more votes can be registered until the polling officer presses the ballot button on his control unit.
Who devised them?
The EVM has been designed by the Election Commission in collaboration with two public sector undertakings -- Bharat Electronics Ltd, Bangalore, and Electronics Corporation of India Ltd, Hyderabad -- after a series of meetings, prototypes, and extensive field trials.
The EVMs are now manufactured by these two undertakings.
The EVM were first used in India almost two decades ago in the North Paravur assembly by-election in Kerala.
The loser, A C Jose, successfully challenged the result and the courts ordered a re-election, though not on the grounds of tampering with the machines.
EVMs manufactured in 1989-1990 were used on an experimental basis in 16 assembly constituencies in the states of Madhya Pradesh (5) and Rajasthan (5) and the National Capital Territory of Delhi (6) during the elections to the respective legislative assemblies in November 1998.