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EVMs may soon come fitted with printers

Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times  New Delhi , April 14, 2011
First Published: 21:39 IST(14/4/2011) | Last Updated: 01:00 IST(15/4/2011)

The Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) could soon have a small printer to tell you to whom your vote has been cast. 

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You will not get the receipt, which would be destroyed by election officers once polling gets over. “The receipt could be traded for money,” was a reason given by a senior commission functionary for giving it to the voter. The printer, likely to be installed in the EVMs, would be similar to the one used to produce credit card receipts. 

A high level technical committee of the Election Commission is meeting on Friday to finalise introduction of a small printer in EVMs to introduce verifiable paper trail of votes cast, as demanded by political parties last year.

Political parties, last year, wanted the commission to introduce a verifiable paper trail of the votes cast through EVMs, which the commission accepted. The commission asked a five member technical committee to examine the possibility of introducing this new feature in the EVMs.

The commission officials told Hindustan Times that the committee, comprising of Indian Institute of Technology professors and Information Technology experts, found that the EVMs can be upgraded for introducing this feature.

“We expect them to finalise the technological aspect of up-gradation of the EVMs and submit its recommendation,” a senior commission official said.

The move is aimed at erasing any apprehension about the efficacy of the EVMs, which was raised by senior political leaders, such as L K Advani of BJP, after 2009 general elections. Although individual groups had tried to prove that the EVM can be tampered, the commission has refuted the claims.

A final call will be taken by the full EC once the committee submits its recommendation, EC officials said.

A decision in favour of installing a printer would mean upgrading over 14 lakh EVMs used in elections. And, next time you go to vote in an assembly or a Lok Sabha poll, a printer attached to an EVM could surprise you.


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