An old video showing a person cast their vote on an electronic voting machine is being shared on social media with a false claim linking it to the ongoing Bihar Assembly elections.
BOOM found that the video had been shared on several Facebook pages in May 2019 and is not connected to the present Bihar polls.
Bihar went to polls on October 28 and voting for the second phase of the three-phase elections is scheduled on November 3. The video is viral at a time when canvassing for the elections is at peak.
The viral video shows a person putting their fingers on the buttons adjacent to the symbols of Bharatiya Janata Party and Bahujan Samaj Party. A moment later, light in front of the BJP candidate blinks confirming that the vote has gone to BJP.
A Hindi caption with the viral video translates to 'The moment BSP chief Mayawati announces support to BJP, pressing the button next to elephant on EVM machines in Bihar is redirecting the votes to lotus. This is a terrific alliance. An aware citizen recorded the incident and helped unearth the scam behind the EVMs'.
(Hindi: जनमत की खुल्लम खुल्ला लूट इधर उत्तर प्रदेश में बसपा प्रमुख मायावती ने भाजपा को समर्थन का एलान किया उधर बिहार में हाथी का बटन दबाने पर कमल को वोट पड़ रहा है गजब का गठबन्धन है किसी जागरूक नागरिक ने कैमरे में कैद करके ईवीएम जो कि सत्ता हासिल करने की जादुई मशीन बनी हुई है का पर्दाफाश हो गया अन्यथा भक्तगण हारने के बाद ही सवाल उठाने पर मोदियाते हैं।)
The post is archived here.
Viral On Twitter
The video is viral on Twitter with a Hindi caption that translates to 'The game has begun in the first phase of polling itself. BJP's vote...cast it on elephant, it goes to lotus'.
Lotus and elephant are the poll symbols of BJP and BSP respectively.
(Hindi: पहले ही चरण की वोटिंग में खेल शुरू हो गया है...बीजेपी का वोट डालो हाथी पे जाता कमल पे)
The tweet is archived here.
It is noteworthy that Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati had recently said that her party would lend support to BJP in the Uttar Pradesh MLC elections.
BOOM searched Facebook with relevant keywords in Hindi including 'EVM machine', 'हाथी का बटन', 'कमल', 'बीजेपी को वोट' and found the same video on some Facebook pages last year.
(English: Elephant button, Lotus BJP, vote)
We found the same video uploaded on a Facebook page on May 21, 2019 with a Hindi caption which translates to 'Ban EVM machines. Despite pressing the elephant button the vote is going to lotus. Watch it yourself'.
(Hindi: EVM मशीन बेन करो हाथी का बटन दबाने पर भी कमल पर बीजेपी को वोट जा रहा था आप खुद देख लो।)
View archive here.
Another Facebook profile has shared the same video on may 26, 2019 with the same caption.
We also ran a reverse image search on key frames from the viral video and found several other Facebook posts viral during May 2019 with captions in Gurmukhi.
The same video was posted on 16 May 2019 (archive link) on Facebook with a caption in Gurmukhi which translates to 'What more evidence should there be of EVM manipulation? The button pressed by the elephant went to the lotus. Let the whole Punjab know'.
(Original: ਇਸ ਤੋ ਬੜਾ ਹੋਰ ਕੀ ਸਬੂਤ ਚਾਹੀਦਾ ਹੈ EVM ਦੀ ਹੇਰਾਫੇਰੀ ਦਾ. ਬਟਣ ਹਾਥੀ 🐘ਵਾਲਾ ਦਬਿਆ ਵੋਟ ਕਮਲ ਤੇ ਗਿਆ. ਸ਼ੇਅਰ ਕਰ ਦਿਉ ਦਬਕੇ , ਸਾਰੇ ਪੰਜਾਬ ਨੂੰ ਪਤਾ ਲਗ ਜਾਵੇ।)
It is noteworthy that the General election was held in seven phases between April 11 and May 19 last year. The results were declared on May 23, 2019. The video was viral around the same time.
A close view of the video shows that the person in the video has put two fingers on two different buttons on the EVM.
BOOM was not able to independently verify where was the video actually recorded.
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