We should eliminate voting machines…


# Elon Musk call sparks debate worldwide; Indian ministers are also in tug of war

RNS: Ahead of the US elections, tech entrepreneur Elon Musk has ignited a debate by suggesting the elimination of electronic voting machines due to their vulnerability to hacking.

In a post on X, Musk stated, “We should eliminate electronic voting machines. The risk of being hacked by humans or AI, while small, is still too high.” His comments came in response to a post by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., an independent candidate for the 2024 US Elections and nephew of former US President John F. Kennedy. Kennedy highlighted recent voting irregularities in Puerto Rico’s primary elections, reported by the Associated Press, emphasizing the need for a paper trail to ensure election integrity.

“US citizens need to know that every one of their votes was counted, and that their elections cannot be hacked. We need to return to paper ballots to avoid electronic interference with elections. My administration will require paper ballots, and we will guarantee honest and fair elections,” Kennedy asserted.

In response, former Indian Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar quickly countered Musk’s statement, calling it a “huge sweeping generalization.” He explained on X that while Musk’s view might apply to the US, Indian Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) are custom-designed, secure, and isolated from any network or media. “No connectivity, no Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Internet. There is no way in. Factory programmed controllers that cannot be reprogrammed,” Chandrasekhar clarified. He emphasized that electronic voting machines can be built securely, as India has done, and even offered Musk a tutorial on the Indian system.

Musk’s comments come shortly after India concluded its seven-phased general elections, resulting in a third consecutive term for the Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA alliance and the return of Narendra Modi as Prime Minister.

Indian politician Rahul Gandhi also weighed in on the debate, posting on X: “EVMs in India are a ‘black box,’ and nobody is allowed to scrutinise them. Serious concerns are being raised about transparency in our electoral process. Democracy ends up becoming a sham and prone to fraud when institutions lack accountability.”



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