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VVPATs will be used across Maharashtra in Lok Sabha polls: ECI

Senior officials from Election Commission were in Mumbai on Tuesday to review the poll preparedness in Maharashtra, ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. They also met representatives of various political parties and noted their issues and concerns.

lok sabha elections Updated: Feb 27, 2019 12:09 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
election commission of india,VVPAT,EVM
An electoral officer demonstrates the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) .(Parwaz Khan /HT PHOTO)

The Election Commission of India (ECI) announced on Tuesday that voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines will be used for the first time at all polling booths across Maharashtra for the ensuing Lok Sabha elections.

VVPAT machines, attached to electronic voter machines (EVMs), display the name of the candidate and his symbol on a paper after a vote is cast. The voter can see the paper through a glassed display for six seconds before it drops into a sealed container. VVPAT machines are being used to bring more transparency in the system, as directed by the Supreme Court.

Ahead of the general elections, senior officials from ECI were in Mumbai to review the poll preparedness in the state. They also met representatives of various political parties and noted their issues and concerns.

Election commissioner Ashok Lavasa said the commission, to create more awareness about VVPAT machines, has already organised a campaign covering 92,428 polling stations where over 37 lakh mock votes have been cast by the common people.

Over growing concerns about the misuse of social media during elections, Lavasa said the ECI will issue guidelines to social media platforms to prevent their misuse.

Lavasa said the ECI will also conduct a thorough verification into the complaints filed by Congress leaders regarding 44 lakh bogus voters in Mumbai and complete the investigation in 15 days.

He clarified that any candidate from a constituency can ask for counting of votes with VVPAT machines in case he or she has any doubt over an EVM machine. However, it is up to the returning officer to allow or disallow the request under Rule 56D of Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961.

There are around 94,000 polling stations in the state for which the commission has planned to install around 2 lakh EVMs and one lakh VVPAT machines. One VVPAT can be attached to two EVMs, said a senior officer from the election commission.

First Published: Feb 27, 2019 12:08 IST