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45-day awareness campaign in Pune district on VVPAT

The campaign will start from the Khadakwasla constituency and mock drills will be held in the entire district, says official

pune Updated: Dec 31, 2018 16:36 IST
Parth Welankar
Parth Welankar
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,district collectorate,VVPAT
Left-Pune District Collector Naval Kishore Ram at the collector office along with Monica Singh (centre), district deputy electoral officer and others during the presentation.(HT PHOTO)

Ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the Pune district collectorate along with the officials of election commission have decided to hold a 45-day awareness campaign in the district on the use of voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines which will be used during the elections. In Pune district a total number of 9762 VVPAT machines will be used 2019 general elections.

While addressing a press conference Pune district collector Naval Kishore Ram, said, “Considering the objections on the use of electronic voting machines (EVM) the election commission has now decided to use the voter verifiable paper audit trail machines in the upcoming general elections. However, as this is a new technology, we will have to create awareness among the voters, for which we will be organising a 45- day awareness programme in the district starting from January 4, next year.”

The campaign will start from the Khadakwasla constituency and mock drills will be held in the entire district, said Ram, adding that VVPAT machines will be taken to all 21 constituencies in the district with a team of five officers along with one police personnel.

According to Ram, there have been cases of failures of VVPAT machines in Karnataka and Telangana states, however, all the issues have been resolved and the current rate of failure is negligible.

Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat, in the month of August, had said, “The election commission is hundred per cent ready for the use of VVPAT machines. In 2013, the Supreme Court had said in one way the EVMs are good, but the voter cannot see whether the vote has gone to the candidate he/she has chosen and ordered us to go back to ballot paper or provide a paper trail. So, we are providing verifiable trail in all polls.”

What is voter verifiable paper audit trail?

A voter verified paper audit trail unit providesfeedback to voters using EVMs for voting. The voter verifiable paper audit trail functions as an independent verification system for EVMs and allows voters to verify that their votes are cast as intended. It also serves as an additional barrier to changing or destroying votes.

How does the VVPAT unit work?

Voter verifiable paper audit trail device functions like a printer attached to the ballot unit and kept inside the voting compartment. When the voter presses the button against the name of the candidate of her/his choice on the EVM unit, the voter verifiable paper audit trail unit generates a paper slip, also called ‘ballot slip’. This paper slip contains the name, serial number, and symbol of the chosen candidate. The voter can see this slip through a screened window where it stays for seven seconds and then it automatically gets cut and falls into a sealed drop box. Thus, the ballot slip neither goes into the hands of the voter nor others get to see it.

First Published: Dec 30, 2018 16:27 IST