Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Subramaniam Swamy on EVMs

There is an op-ed by Subramaniam Swamy on EVMs in today's Hindu . He raises a lot of pertinent points, one of which is quite damning (italics mine):
For example, the respected International Electrical & Electronics Engineering Journal (IEEE, May 2009, p.23) has published an article by two eminent professors of computer science, titled “Trustworthy Voting.” They conclude that although electronic voting machines do offer a myriad of benefits, these cannot be reaped unless nine suggested safeguards are put in place for protecting the integrity of the outcome. None of these nine safeguards, however, is in place in Indian EVMs.
I googled for this article, to confirm whether there was any merit to his allegation, but the article is behind a pay wall. Another interesting point he raises is the employment of convicted hackers by a political party just before the elections (no prizes for guessing which party):
On the eve of the 2009 elections in India, I raised the issue at a press conference in Chennai, pointing out that a political party just before the elections had recruited those who had been convicted in the U.S. for hacking bank accounts on the Internet and credit cards.
If these allegations are true, my already low level of confidence in these machines just went down another notch.

Update (May 6, 2010): Vindication from a University of Michigan study.