Subject: Coded data on the ECI website

Date: 7 July 2009 9:56:17 AM GMT+05:30



  • Beginning 16th April 2009 we have obtained a list of candidates for analysis of the elections from the CandidateAC.xls from your website at the Election Commission of India.Since this list was being updated (as candidates were being added) we kept downloading the newer versions of the file.
  • From the 6th of May through the 15th of May the candidate information was unavailable as it appeared in “coded form” along with "coded" candidate performance data (6th May: CandidateAC-2.xls, CandidateAC-3.xls, 7th May: CandidateAC-4.xls,11th May: Candidate AC-5.xls, 15th May: CandidateAC-6.xls).
  • On the May 6 itself we alerted the NIC/ECI to the availability of this "coded" spreadsheet. It continued to be available till the 15th of May. We requested clarification about the coded nature of the files, but as yet, we do not have your clarification of the facts. In a democratic polity,silence results in speculation, which may give rise to disturbing interpretations, as seems to be taking place now
  • The information available on 16th May, CandidateAC-7.xls, till today does not yet have the votes polled data. This has further fuelled speculation. Belief in the inviolability of the vote is at the core of democracy, and any system of enumeration needs to ensure that such a belief is well-founded. It cannot be based purely on faith and trust in the myriad individuals carrying out the processes, but on a system that ensures transparency and accountability
  • The CEC has called for a healthy debate on EVMs. This is welcome,and we as citizens have put together various questions about the case against EVMs and need for technology reforms at the ECI at as a part of this debate.

We request you to please clarify the coded spreadsheets that were downloadable from the ECI site. We would request that we be told why the results have not been uploaded on to the same spreadsheet. We also request you to please ensure that the ECI correct and update the various questions raised about the election process in the various wiki pages listed here. The ECI has a heavy responsibility to ensure that that the peoples trust in democracy is alive and healthy, because of a foolproof system for recording the precious vote of each citizen who exercises her or his choice during the elections

With best wishes,


Prof Madhav Nalapat and Dr. Anupam Saraph

See Also: Follow up letter to this unanswered letter

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