VVPATs at all polling booths in 2019 Lok Sabha polls: Election Commissioner, Sunil Arora

Election Commissioner Sunil Arora on Saturday confirmed that in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, VVPATs (Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail)  machines will be used at all polling stations.

He said, citing the success of VVPAT machines, “keeping in view its effectiveness, the Election Commission of India is committed to provide 100% VVPAT machines at all polling stations in 2019 Lok Sabha elections.”

Earlier In August, Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat said that the Election Commission of India (EC) is ready for 100% use of VVPATs. He said that the EC has ordered 17.5 lakh machines and received 10 lakh rest, that will be received by November.

Mr. Rawat, explaining the reason for use of the machines, said, “In 2013, the Supreme Court said in one case that EVMs (Electronic Voting Machines) are good, but the voter cannot see whether the vote has gone to the candidate he/she chose, and ordered us to go back to ballot paper or provide paper trail. So, we are providing verifiable trail in all polls.”

VVPAT machine dispenses a slip which shows the serial number and symbol of the party for which the person has voted, while the voter cannot take it home as it drops in a box. The details of the vote cast are also displayed on the screen of VVPATs for seven seconds. VVPATs are attached to the EVMs.

With VVPAT devices the paper slips can be counted if objections are raised unlike earlier where the number of votes polled at a booth was computerised.

Mr. Arora was talking to the media after a meeting with election and returning officers of Amritsar, Jalandhar, Tarntaran, Kapurthala, Gurdaspur, Hoshiarpur and Pathankot districts to prepare for the 2019 Lok Sabha election. 

He directed officers to gear up for the upcoming parliamentary polls and prepare well in time regarding various aspects like availability of EVMs, staff training and transportation. 

Abha Boyal

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