EVMs are absolutely safe in Strongrooms: EC

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Certain complaints of alleged movement of EVMs, purportedly to replace the polled EVMs in the strongrooms, have been doing the rounds in sections of media. Election Commission (EC) on Tuesday clarified that “all such reports and allegations are absolutely false and factually incorrect. The visuals seen viral on media do not pertain to any EVMs used during the polls,” EC said.

EC further said, “after the close of polls, all polled EVMs and VVPATs are brought under security cover to the designated strongrooms, which is sealed with double locks, in the presence of the candidates and in the presence of Observers of the Election Commission.”

“The entire process of storage and sealing of the strongroom is covered under videography. Continuous CCTV coverage is done till completion of counting. Each strongroom is guarded with round-the-clock security by Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF). Further, the candidates or their designated agents remain present at the strongroom for 24X7 vigil at all times,” EC added.

“On the counting day, the strongrooms will be opened in the presence of the candidates/agents and Observer under videography. Before the counting of EVMs commences, the counting agents will be shown the address tags, seals and serial number of the EVMs to satisfy themselves to the genuineness and authenticity of the machines used in the actual polls,” EC said.

“The provisions and protocols have been explained to the political parties on multiple occasions including in several of the 93 meetings held with them at the Commission since announcement of elections,” EC said.

“The aspersions in clips being used in media merely pertain to the storage or movement of Reserve unused EVMs. However, any case of lapse even in handling of Reserve EVMs is thoroughly investigated and disciplinary action taken against the officers responsible,” EC added.