Govt clears EC's proposal for paper trail EVMs

Posted April 20, 2017

When a person votes using these voting machines, it dispenses a slip with the symbol of the party for which he or she has voted, the voter can thus verify his vote and then drop the slip in a box that is provided to them. VVPAT units enable the voter to see a paper trail of vote cast by him for 7 seconds after he presses the EVM button.

The Union Cabinet today gave its nod to the EC proposal to buy Electronic Voting Machines with paper trail, informed sources said, as per IANS.

The demand for VVPAT had been vociferously made by opposition parties after the recently held assembly polls, alleging that the EVMs were tampered.

Aam Aadmi Party, however, claimed that the EC was moving EVMs from Rajasthan and would be using old, first generation machines prone to malfunctioning.

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The latest one, sent on March 22, stated that procurement of EVMs with Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trails (VVPATs) can not be delayed any longer given the prevailing environment.

The idea of an additional layer of transparency for the satisfaction of voters in the form of a paper trail was suggested by parties in a meeting with the EC back in October 2010. Accordingly, introduction of the VVPAT was facilitated by amending the Conduct of Election Rules in August, 2013.

Last week, a delgation of Opposition parties led by Congress President Sonia Gandhi even submitted a memorandum to President Pranav Mukherjee on the issue.

Jaitley said the move would bring more transparency in the voting process. Thereafter, 20,300 VVPAT Units were purchased by the ECI in 2013.

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This also comes days after the Election Commission offered a public challenge to critics to find snags in EVMs.

In March 22, Zaidi sent a letter to Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and asked that the money be disbursed immediately as the machines need to be bought by September 2018 in order for them to be used for Lok Sabha elections in 2019. Since then, these units are being deployed in elections in select Assembly and Parliamentary Constituencies.

"Commission will ensure total compliance of orders of SC and its commitment to use VVPATs with every EVM at all poll stations in 2019 polls", the EC was quoted as saying by ANI.

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