An Election Commission committee on Friday asked Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) manufacturers the time-frame within which the machines can be upgraded as per its suggestions.
The high level technical committee has suggested some up-gradations including installing a small printer in EVMs as reported by HT on Friday, to give out receipts for every vote cast, similar to credit card machines in shops.
The idea is to have a record of all the votes that can be verified. The voter, however, will not get the receipt as the commission believes it could be traded. The concept is called paper trail of votes cast.
The committee asked the two EVM manufacturing companies, Bharat Electronics Limited and Electronics Corporation of India Limited, to come out with a roadmap to introduce paper trail in 14 lakh EVMs.
"The manufacturers have been asked to submit the road map in next four weeks," a senior commission official told HT. Once that is done, the full Election Commission will take a final call on by when the new feature will be added into the EVMs.
The expert committee also made a detailed final presentation on the technological aspect of introducing paper trial to the two manufacturers. "They (manufacturers) will install the printers in EVMs to gauge efficacy of the system," an official said.
"The decision can help in the crucial right to recount polled votes if the receipts are reserved," said Rakesh Varma, a HT reader, who claimed to have suggested the paper trail concept to EC last year.
Several politicians, including LK Advani of the BJP, had raised questions about the efficacy of EVMs after the 2009 general elections. Individual groups even tried to prove the machines could be tampered with, but the commission has all along refuted these claims."