Bawana bypoll: Uncertainty over counting of EVM paper trail slips
The by-poll to the Bawana assembly seat is scheduled to be held on August 23 but confusion prevails in the state election body about implementing the decision on compulsory counting of paper trail slips, which was reportedly approved by the full commission before Nasim Zaidi retired as the CEC.delhi Updated: Jul 30, 2017 23:48 IST
The by-poll to the Bawana assembly seat is scheduled to be held on August 23 but confusion prevails in the state election body about implementing the decision on compulsory counting of paper trail slips, which was reportedly approved by the full commission before Nasim Zaidi retired as the chief election commissioner earlier this month.
In a bid to further reinforce the credibility of electronic voting machines (EVMs), the ECI had decided to make it mandatory to tally paper trail slips with the EVM results in five percent polling stations in each assembly seat for all state and Lok Sabha elections.
The decision came in response to a demand made by political parties at a meeting held by the ECI on May 12.
Sources in chief electoral office, Delhi, said they were yet to receive any specific order on the subject from the central commission.
“VVPATs will be attached to all EVMs but the commission press note issued for the by-election does not say anything about tallying paper trails with EVMs. The order has to come from the central commission as the modalities will have to be fixed by ECI. The exercise will require a bit of alteration in the counting hall and staff allocation. Paper trails will have to sorted and bundled before counting,” an official said.
The bypoll to the Bawana constituency was necessitated after AAP MLA Ved Prakash resigned to join the BJP, days before the MCD polls, held in April this year.
The Aam Aadmi Party -- which has been most vocal in raising the issue of ‘EVM tampering’ following its electoral setback in the Punjab assembly and Delhi municipal elections earlier this year -- had petitioned the ECI earlier this week, requesting it to try and implement the compulsory counting of paper trails in the Bawana by-election.
The issue got traction after the Buldhana district collectorate in Maharshtra recently admitted that one of the EVMs that was used in the local body polls held in February this year was malfunctioning.
“The by-election of the Bawana assembly constituency is due anytime. This provides an ideal opportunity to the Election Commission to implement the decision to tally the Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail slips with the votes recorded by the EVMs,” the party had said in the letter.