BEL and Botswana deny holding any hackathon to test EVM machines

Botswana, which is interested in buying EVMs from India denied that an attempt was made to check if the EVMs could be hacked.

Botswana, which is interested in buying EVMs from India, and their manufacturer Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) on Sunday denied that an attempt was made in the southern African nation to check if the electronic voting machines could be hacked.

The clarification came following reports that a hackathon was organised in Botswana. A BEL statement said that its team went for a demonstration on the invitation of the Independent Electoral Commission of Botswana and was there from May 16 to 21. It said that in Botswana, the team discussed with IEC about the news of this hackathon and told them it was deputed only for demonstration of EVMs and VVPAT (Voter verified paper audit trail) machines.

"IEC confirmed that BEL team has been requested to make in-depth presentations and demonstrations of EVMs and VVPATs, and categorically denied having arranged for a hackathon concerning the Indian EVMs," the statement said.

The IEC also denied that any hackathon was organised. "We categorically deny having arranged for a hackathon on the Indian EVM," it said in a letter. According to reports, no other device can be introduced into the system. Each  EVM has a serial number which centrally tracked. In India, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had organised an EVM challenge.


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