From fanboy to foe? Elon Musk’s take on EVMs strikes sour note in India

According to media reports, Musk has sought the elimination of EVMs from elections in the United States

Elon Musk (file photo)
Elon Musk (file photo)

NH Digital

Former Union minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar on Sunday said Tesla and Space X CEO Elon Musk’s take on eliminating electronic voting machines (EVMs) from the elections in the United States is a “huge sweeping generalisation”, inviting Musk to come and "learn some lessons" from India.

According to media reports, Musk on Saturday sought the elimination of EVMs from elections in the United States, saying "these machines could be hacked by humans or artificial intelligence".

His remarks come amidst a growing debate over the security of EVMs worldwide, especially following allegations of voting irregularities in Puerto Rico's primary elections.

The eccentric billionaire, who described himself as "a fan" of PM Narendra Modi last year, was scheduled to visit India in April this year, but postponed his trip at the last minute owing to "very heavy Tesla obligations", and announced his plans to enter the South Asian market. "Unfortunately, very heavy Tesla obligations require that the visit to India be delayed, but I do very much look forward to visiting later this year," Musk said in a post on X.

Responding to the tech billionaire’s post on X, which alleged that electronic voting machines should be eliminated as the “risk of being hacked by humans or AI, while small, is still too high”, Chandrasekhar said this was not the case at all. “This is a huge sweeping generalisation statement that implies no one can build secure digital hardware. Wrong,” the former minister and losing MP candidate from Thiruvananthapuram said.

According to Chandrasekhar, Musk’s view may apply to the US and other places where they use regular computing platforms to build “Internet-connected voting machines”.

Musk had reacted to Puerto Rico’s primary elections, which allegedly saw voting irregularities.

Chandrasekhar declared that Indian 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,” informed the former IT minister. “Electronic voting machines can be architected and built right as India has done. We would be happy to run a tutorial, Elon.”

With IANS inputs

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