Elections 2023 Explained: What is VVPAT and how does it work?
Elections 2023: VVPAT was first introduced in India in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
The assembly elections in three northeastern states - Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland - are being held in February. The voting for the 60-member Tripura assembly was held on February 16 with the state registering 87.6 per cent turnout. Meghalaya and Nagaland will vote on February 27. The assembly by-elections in Arunachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu will also be held on February 27.
Read here: Tripura elections: 21 arrested in 16 cases of post-poll violence
The counting of votes for all the three northeastern states and the bypolls will be conducted on March 2.
A term often associated with elections is 'VVPAT' which stands for Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail. It was first introduced in India in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. According to the Election Commission of India, VVPAT is a ballotless system connected with the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM). It prints a paper slip when a voter casts his/her vote on the EVM against the candidate's name and the symbol of the party he/she is standing for.
As soon as the voter presses the button on the EVM, the VVPAT machine prints the slip that contains the name and symbol of the party they have voted for, for around 7 seconds. The machine also has a transparent window where a voter can see the printed slip. After this, the slip goes inside a sealed box of the machine. VVPAT essentially acts as a verification machine for a voter to ensure that the vote has been taken into account for which he or she has voted.
Read here: Tripura polls: Final voter turnout at 87.6%, CM’s constituency records lowest
These slips are used to corroborate the results of the EVM in case there are allegations of vote fraud or discrepancies in the vote count.
The election commission has clarified that EVMs and VVPATs are separate entities and are not connected to any network. These machines are developed by the Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) and Bharat Electronic Ltd (BEL).