A narrative was peddled recently, in what appears to be a concerted effort by the ecosystem, about the fallibility of EVM machines. According to the story, in a mock poll ahead of the actual elections in Goa, the BJP had received 17 votes through the EVM instead of its allotted 9. As per the pre-decided outcome of the mock poll, each party was to receive 9 votes each.
The Office of the Chief Electoral Officer has now issued a statement regarding the whole matter and clarified that the initial EVM that was used was actually malfunctioning. It was further stated that it wasn’t the BJP which had received those 17 votes but it was, in fact, the Congress party which the malfunctioning EVM favoured. Calling the allegations casting aspersions on the credibility of the EVM “completely false, misleading and factually not correct”, the Commission urged voters and stakeholders to not pay heed to such rumours and false information.
दक्षिण गोवा संसदीय क्षेत्र पर मॉक पोल के दौरान सत्रह वोट बीजेपी को नहीं बल्कि कॉंग्रेस को गए थे। चुनाव आयोग के मुताबिक ईवीएम से छेड़छाड़ के आरोप पूरी तरह से बेबुनियाद हैं। pic.twitter.com/nlsdqIpxTK
— Akhilesh Sharma अखिलेश शर्मा (@akhileshsharma1) April 26, 2019
The initial rumours were spread by a variety of outlets on social media to undermine the credibility of the EVMS and thus, further the narrative of the Opposition parties that the BJP is being unlawfully favoured by the machines. Propaganda outlets such as Janta Ka Reporter, LallanTop, HW News, The Logical Indian and was furthered by people associated with the Congress party and other Opposition parties.
HUGE- In ‘election of shame’ BJP gets 17 votes from EVM with 9 votes, embarrassed Election Commission changes ‘entire set of EVM’ in Goa. Complaints of EVM malfunctioning reported from Kerala, Karnataka and Rampur in Uttar Pradesh https://t.co/dvYHVLg55X
— Janta Ka Reporter (@JantaKaReporter) April 23, 2019
During the mock polling, the Bharatiya Janata Party received 17 votes from its quota of 9 votes. The incident happened a few hours before the third phase of the election during mock polling. pic.twitter.com/2y1kaqUG45
— The Logical Indian (@LogicalIndians) April 24, 2019
The false information was also shared by the National Media Panelist of the Congress party, Shama Mohamed, and Elvin Gomes, convener of AAP Goa.
Some EVMs in Kerala were transfering every vote to BJP.
Now an EVM in Goa gives 17 votes to BJP from its quota of only 9 votes.
— Shama Mohamed (@drshamamohd) April 23, 2019
Election of shame ? Mock poll with 9 votes for each of 6 candidates in booth no 31 in 34 AC in Goa. Total count BJP gets 17, Cong 9 , Aap 8. Ind 1 . Robbery. @SpokespersonECI , @CEO_Goa claims are hollow . @AamAadmiParty pl take up
— Elvis Gomes (@ielvisgomes) April 23, 2019
For quite a long time, the Opposition parties have deliberately attempted to undermine the credibility of the EVMs to cloak their failure to sway the will of the voter. It appears that now the media is blatantly helping in them in their doomed endeavour.