Audit source code of VVPATs, EVMs

  1. Supreme Court has sought the Election Commission’s view on a petition demanding an audit of the source code, which is considered the brain of the EVMs.
  2. Source code is the list of instructions that cause the computer to display screens, record votes, tally votes, and perform all other functions both visible and invisible. For example, when the voter presses the VOTE button, that action triggers a list of instructions for the machine to follow internally.
  3. The petition demanded that a public independent body, other than the manufacturers of the machine, must examine the software and ensure that a hash function (a technical term which means a lock to the software) is maintained for each machine’s source code. By doing so, the petitioner claimed that if the software of the machine has been tampered with, the hash function will change automatically providing proof that the machine has been tampered with.
  4. EVMs are electronic voting machines which enable the voter with a button for each choice. It is attached by a cable to an electronic ballot box.It comprises of two units – control unit and balloting unit.The control unit is with the Election Commission selected polling officer while the Balloting Unit is in the voting section into which the voter enters to cast their vote.
  5. The VVPAT, or Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail, is an EVM-connected verification printer device.It allows voters to verify if their vote has been cast correctly by leaving a paper trail of the vote cast.