Electronic voting machine
In picture: An electronic voting machine.Twitter/Doordarshan News

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) hinted on Friday that it just might pull out of the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) hackathon organised by the Election Commission (EC) that will be held on June 3.

Just hours before the application process came to a close, AAP leader Gopal Rai said at a press conference that they had written to the EC, asking it why it was "running away" from the no-holds-barred hackathon it had promised. 

The letter also talked of how an EC officer had said only "visual examination" of the EVM would be permitted. Rai pointed out that no hacker would be able to tamper with a system just by looking at it. "Do you think that a machine can be hacked by looking at it?" the AAP has said in its letter to the poll panel.

Interestingly, some of the arguments put forth by the AAP in the letter seem a little to far-fetched. The party says in the letter addressed to the poll panel: "You have said that tampering or replacing the motherboard of an EVM would mean that it is 'no longer the same device'. How would you know that the motherboards of the existing ECI machines have not been replaced or tampered with?"

It also said: "In your Press Conference last week you had said that if any tampering takes place with the motherboard of an EVM, then the machines becomes dysfunctional, and shows an error sign. If this is the case, then why don't you let us (or any technical experts) try and tamper the motherboard?"

EVM in Delhi Assembly
In picture: Saurabh Bhardwaj demonstrates tampering of "EVM-like device" in Delhi Assembly special session.Screenshot

It may be noted that the AAP has already claimed to have hacked an EVM in the Delhi Assembly. However, it was actually an "EVM-like" device on which AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardawaj demonstrated the hack. There are several reasons why that incident cannot be called a proper EVM hack

The AAP has nevertheless soldiered on in its attempt to show that EVMs can be hacked. It, along with several parties, have been petitioning the EC to ensure that eVMs are not used in future elections.