Lecture on EVMs creates chaos in Gandhinagar, rescheduled

Prof Halderman told The Indian Express from Mumbai that he and Gonggrijp did not attend the conference in Gandhinagar because "we were told very explicitly when we passed immigration that our visit should be strictly restricted to tourism." The instructions were issued verbally, though they insisted it be given in writing by the officials.

Gongripp, who has blogged on this controversy, added: "In an interesting twist, the officials are now claiming that Halderman and myself were apparently issued visas by mistake."

Halderman said they had originally applied for the conference visa, but "the conference was awaiting government clearance, so we had to seek tourist visa". "The organisers did not specify the visa type in the invitations. We hoped that by the time we arrived, the conference would have received the nod and everything would be sorted out, but it ended up being sorted out the wrong way," he said.

He added, "It's a shame for Indian democracy because there would have been a lot of people attending that paper presentation who could have worked to make India's voting system more secure."

Prof Prasaid was arrested this April after he refused to divulge the identity of the person who had given him the EVMs. He was granted bail on August 28. The bail challenged, the hearing was scheduled on December 13, but came up for hearing only on December 15, the day of the seminar.

Ironically, while the tutorial on EVMs has been scrapped from the conference schedule, the same schedule shows two other tutorials, three keynote talks and 10 sessions that are to be conducted by foreign academics from Eurpoe, the US and Asia.

Vora, who was scheduled to present the tutorial along with Halderman and his friends, will now present a paper on another topic "A method for enhancing universal verifiability" on December 19, the concluding day of the conference.

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