Economic Times report on Russia keen to use EVMs questioned by activist; calls it ‘planted story’


Amidst a raging controversy over the allegations of EVM tampering, Economic Times on Wednesday carried a report suggesting that even Russia may soon be rolling out the machines to conduct elections there.

economic times evms

No sooner was the ET story published, did almost every news outlet move in with lightening speed to reversion the original content and publish with headlines supposedly critical of those opposing EVMs in India.

Almost every headline was suggestive of one fact that while opposition parties in India questioned the authenticity of EVMs, a country like Russia had shown interest in learning about the machines.

Here are some of the headlines:

ET: Russia wants India’s EVM technology for its 2018 presidential election

India Today: While we worry about tampering, Russia seeks our EVM technology for presidential election in 2018

India Times (Times of India Group)- Kejriwal Might Hate EVMs, But The Russians Seem To Love It And Want The Machines For 2018 Presidential Elections

NewsX- Amidst furore over tampering, Russia seeks India’s EVM technology for 2018 presidential election
India Today, NewX, India Times all attributed their source to ET. Curiously, the ET story was based on, lo behold, no source at all.
In the name of sources, all the ET report said was “Moscow, it has been learnt, is keen to learn from India’s EVM technology experience ahead of the March 2018 presidential polls when Vladimir Putin will seek re-election.”
It continued, “Russia will also assist India in developing state-of-the-art tabulation system (again no source as to who said this) for counting of votes, according to persons familiar with the development. This system will also help Indian officials to obtain faster region-wise and group-wise polling patterns.”
Ella Pamfilova is the chairperson of the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation and she was not consulted to seek her comments on this important story.

Activist Roshan Shah said, “There is no reference whatsoever in any Russian internal EC proposals to use EVMs. They recently agreed to use QR code. Shame on Economic Times for a planted story that Russia wants to use our EVM technology.”

Shah accused the paper of planting the story to dilute the criticism the Election Commission was facing on EVM tampering.

Russia had considered using, not EVMs, but QR code technologies in November last year, as reported by website

Its report in November said, “Suggestions for use of QR code technologies when entering records to the automated system “Elections” are formulated, the experiment on its use this year proved to be quite successful, perhaps this will be expanded on any further elections outside of the single voting day in the year.”

The QR code was used by Russian election commission for 18 September polls and its success had prompted the authorities to consider its use even for future elections.

More recently, on 18 February, website Free News reported, “During the meeting of February 8 members of the CEC by a majority of votes supported the decision to introduce QR codes on the electoral protocols from the middle of may and not July as planned before. This measure in the elections will help to avoid mistrust and claims, I’m sure the CEC Chairman, Ella Pamfilova.”

Once again there was no mention of EVM even being considered or reference to the India visit of Nikolai Levichev, Deputy Chairman of the Russian election commission as ET had reported.

The issue of EVM tampering has dominated the political discourse for several weeks now with the topic being discussed in India’s Upper House on Wednesday. Indian politicians such as Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Bahujan Samaj Party chief, Mayawati, Congress and AIADMK have demanded the return to ballot papers citing the vulnerability of EVMs to tampering.


  1. It seems to be crated news ET seems to be good at. Simple public is given another diversion? Public now also can be made busy in I P L Hyderabad winning King fisher Bangalore .
    Time to win M C D election with the help pf plaiable E V M. Sab ka saat?

  2. Janata ka reporter is one of the few honest reporter left in India. Guys keep up the good job. Shame on so called national (bikau) media ET.


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