VVPAT machines at every polling booth by 2019 general elections says EC | india-news | Hindustan Times
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VVPAT machines at every polling booth by 2019 general elections says EC

VVPAT machines will be used in all polling stations for the general elections in 2019 as the EC has already asked for an additional fund of Rs 3,174 crore from the government for their purchase.

india Updated: Mar 17, 2017 00:11 IST
HT Correspondent
Election Commission

Election Commission of India showing the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machine in Kolkata on April 20, 2016.(Ashok Nath Dey/ HT File Photo)

Dismissing speculation over the reliability of electronic voting machines (EVMs), the Election Commission (EC) has asserted that the technology is fail-safe and that it is gearing to make the voting system watertight by introducing voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) by the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

“The ECI unequivocally reiterates that given effective technical and administrative safeguards, EVMs are not tamperable and the integrity of electoral process is preserved,” the poll panel said in a statement issued on Thursday.

What is a VVPAT machine?
  • VVPAT allows a paper slip to be generated bearing the name and symbol of the candidate along with a recording of the vote in the control unit .
  • Under the VVPAT, a printer is attached to the balloting unit and kept in the voting compartment.
  • In case of dispute, the slip can be counted to verify the result being shown on the EVM.
  • VVPATs were approved by the EC in 2013; they were used in the Nagaland by-election the same year.
  • In Goa assembly elections in this year, VVPATs were used in all 40 constituencies.

The commission, which has been reiterating the efficacy of the machines, has also drawn attention to the use of VVPAT in some of the polling areas in the recently-concluded five-state assembly polls, which allows voters to see who they have voted for.

VVPAT machines will be used in all polling stations for the general elections in 2019 as the EC has already asked for an additional fund of Rs 3,174 crore from the government for their purchase.

Based on consultations with political parties in 2010, VVPAT machines were introduced with a view to enhance transparency, an EC official said.

VVPAT allows a paper slip to be generated bearing the name and symbol of the candidate along with a recording of the vote in the control unit so that, in case of any dispute, the slip can be counted to verify the result being shown on the EVM.

Under the VVPAT, a printer is attached to the balloting unit and kept in the voting compartment. “The paper slip remains visible on VVPAT for seven seconds through a transparent window,” EC officials said.

Designed by BEL/ECIL, VVPATs were approved by the EC in 2013; they were used in the Nagaland by-election the same year.

The Supreme Court has also ordered the introduction of VVPAT in phases and asked the Centre to sanction funds for their procurement.

“In an ongoing case in the Supreme Court, the Commission in the month of March put forth that it will get the requisite number of VVPATs manufactured in 30 months from the time of release of fund by the government,” EC officials said.

The poll panel that conducts elections to the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, and state assemblies procured 20,000 VVPATs in 2013 and has since used VVPATs in 143 assembly constituencies.

Another 33,500 VVPATs were manufactured by BEL in 2016; so far, VVPATs have been used in 255 assembly constituencies and nine parliamentary constituencies.

In Goa assembly elections in this year, VVPATs were used in all 40 constituencies.

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