Stricter norms for handling EVM, VVPATs: Mock polls, GPS tracking and more
Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPATs) will be used in all polling stations along with EVMs, chief election commissioner Sunil Arora said on Sunday.
As many as 17.4 lakh VVPAT machines will be deployed for the Lok Sabha and simultaneous assembly elections.
In new SOPs issued, vehicles installed with GPS trackers and mobile-based tracking system for transportation of reserve EVMs and VVPATs will be used, Arora said.
“There will be very stringent security norms for storage, handling of VVPATs. After incidents, fresh SOPS have been issued for last mile transportation, including monitoring by GPS, including reserve too,” he said.
With this, the movement of electronic voting machines (EVMs) and (VVPATs could be tracked.
The poll panel has instructed that end-to-end movement of all reserve EVMs and VVPATs shall be carefully monitored at all times, for which vehicles of sector officers, with reserve EVMs and VVPATs, shall be fitted with GPS tracking system.
There would be mock polls and checking of EVMs and VVPATs in 5% of randomly selected EVMs, whose result would be shown to representatives of parties.
There would be mandatory checking of EVMs and VVPATs in one randomly selected polling station in an assembly constituency of a Lok Sabha constituency.
The measures come after a row over VVPAT machines being found in unauthorised places during the recent assembly elections, with opposition parties accusing poll officials of mishandling the machines.
Last month, leaders from 21 opposition parties met the Election Commission of India on the alleged tampering of electronic voting machines (EVMs). The opposition told the poll panel that there are concerns among the public over EVMs.
They had demanded that 50% of counting should be through EVMs and 50% through VVPATs which should then be cross-checked before declaration of results