100 pc paper trail voting planned in Gujarat, Himachal elections

VVPAT machines produce a printout of the vote cast using an EVM. The printout is deposited in a box and can be used to resolve any dispute regarding the election.

Written by Ritika Chopra , Maneesh Chhibber | New Delhi | Published:April 20, 2017 5:23 am

THE ELECTION Commission of India has decided to link all Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) with Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines in the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections, scheduled to be held towards the end of this year. According to sources in the EC, this decision was taken sometime back and orders for the new machines have been placed.

VVPAT machines produce a printout of the vote cast using an EVM. The printout is deposited in a box and can be used to resolve any dispute regarding the election. “We will need a maximum of 80,000 VVPAT machines in these two states. We already have 55,500, and orders have been placed with the two companies to begin manufacturing the rest. With demands being made by many political parties for holding all future elections with 100 per cent VVPAT machine-connected EVMs, the EC has taken this decision,” a senior EC functionary told The Indian Express.

After the BJP’s victory in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections in March, the BSP and AAP had alleged “massive rigging” of EVMs. They received support from many other Opposition parties, including the Congress and SP, which demanded that VVPATs should be used in all future elections. In the recent Assembly elections in five states, VVPAT machines were provided in all the polling booths in Goa (40 seats), and 33 of the total 117 constituencies in Punjab. Meanwhile, the Cabinet on Wednesday cleared the allocation of Rs 3,174 crore for the purchase of VVPAT machines.

Sources in the EC said the poll panel would require an additional 16,15,066 VVPATs by 2019, when the Lok Sabha elections will be held simultaneously with the state elections in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Sikkim, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh, Maharashtra and Haryana. Each VVPAT machine is estimated to cost Rs 19,650. Since 2013, when the Supreme Court ordered the EC to implement the VVPAT system in a phased manner so that they would be in place for the 2019 general elections, the poll panel has repeatedly written to the the Centre for funds.

As first reported by The Indian Express, in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in October last year, Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi had said: “I’m writing to draw your kind attention to the crisis that may occur during the next General Elections to Lok Sabha in 2019, if required numbers of replacement Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and new Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) are not produced in time by Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL), the two defence PSUs.”

While doubts have been raised over whether BEL and ECIL have adequate capacity to produce all the VVPAT machines before the 2019 elections, an EC functionary said: “On our request, both these PSUs have increased their manufacturing capacity. Our target is to get all the required VVPAT machines by September-October 2018, so that there is enough time to remove any minor glitches.”

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  1. P
    Pinna
    Apr 21, 2017 at 3:22 am
    The losers are bound to find errors in the new EVMs too. They may demand for multiple copies of the acknowledgement slips. One for the Election Commission and several others for their own party head offices! Maya, Mamta, Mulayam Kejri and Rahul will never ever get satisfaction till they win by hook or crook. They are all in opposition but behaving as if they are the Government! How long will the government will suc b to their demands and pressures. Challenge them in Parliament to present their justifiable demand within a month before the order for new EVMs is placed. Otherwise, tomorrow they may put a newdemand!
    Reply
    1. N
      narayan kutty
      Apr 20, 2017 at 2:58 pm
      Poor election commission lacks determination and grit.They were suc bed to pressure by treacherous opposition politicians
      Reply
      1. N
        Namasivayam Nadarajan
        Apr 20, 2017 at 12:12 pm
        This VVPAT is simply a waste of public money. If the EVMs could be tampered earlier, it can be tampered even now in the VVPATs. That is, the printout can be made first and the ac ulation of votes to the wrong candidate done after. How does one ensure correctness of the final result in a cons uency with the paper trail? Collect all the paper trails and count them and cross check with the result? However, I would like to say that tampering of EVMs are not at all feasible for the following reasons: 1. The system recognises each contestant only by a number ranging from 1 to 64 (with 4 polling units when that many people contested) and by their symbols or names. The symbols and names are external to the electronic system, they are meant to facilitate the voters in easy identification of the candidates. 2. In one cons uency, the candidate of X party may be at the top and in another it may be at the middle. How does one send the exact control unit to the right cons uency?
        Reply
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          Dr.Damodar Biswal
          Apr 20, 2017 at 11:58 am
          Before introduction of EVMs the EC had called all political parties to conduct demonstration of the working of the EVMs with experts to clarify the doubts.All political parties agreed to introduce EVMs for its swift n error less working.But unfortunately all losing parties including BJP raised doubts about impartiality of the EVMs.Will they stop criticising the EVMs after the new feature additions?Will playing politics by losing candidates be stopped?Only time will tell.
          Reply
          1. V
            vnksk
            Apr 20, 2017 at 9:11 am
            Very unfair. Kejru, Mayawati and their follower Cong and Akhilesh denied their weeping and protesting opportunity.
            Reply
            1. D
              Dr.Damodar Biswal
              Apr 20, 2017 at 12:05 pm
              BJP also did the same thing in 2000 under Mr.Narasimgha Rao the spokesperson of BJP along with the present CM of Maharastra. .Senior leaders like LK Advanijee,Subramanium Swamy complained against EVMs in 2009.So blaming the opposition would be unfair.All losing parties blamed EVMs for their defeat.
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                P.C. Kulkarni
                Apr 20, 2017 at 12:33 pm
                When BJP, Adani object it is fair. When others object it is unfair Typical duplicity of bhakts
                Reply
                1. N
                  Narender Balda
                  Apr 21, 2017 at 2:52 am
                  Find out first who ordered and who consumed Rs.11,000 plate meal at Kejriwal(Aam Admi leader) house and who is going to pay instead of chanting Adani name.
              2. M
                madhu
                Apr 20, 2017 at 8:21 am
                Why there is one large state? it is better to divide into 2 or three states?
                Reply
                1. N
                  Narender Balda
                  Apr 21, 2017 at 2:51 am
                  Find out who ordered and who consumed Rs. 11,000 plate meal at Kejriwal house and who is going to pay instead of chanting Adani name.
                  Reply
                2. A
                  Ask
                  Apr 20, 2017 at 6:58 am
                  Better late than never! Good step to restore confidence in electoral process
                  Reply
                  1. T
                    Truth
                    Apr 20, 2017 at 5:40 am
                    E C should have ensured VVPAT in U P as well , since it was a crucial State for all parties concerned.........anyway better late than never , and hope the P M allows a fair ele.ction in 2019 !
                    Reply
                    1. g
                      guru592006
                      Apr 20, 2017 at 7:52 am
                      In 2014 parliament election also modi won because of EVMs
                      Reply
                      1. V
                        vk
                        Apr 20, 2017 at 8:07 am
                        Mamta, Khujli and Lalu is honesty certified by Lefty liars. Shameless Liars
                        1. W
                          Werr Nitgel
                          Apr 20, 2017 at 10:45 am
                          Yes, Congress was so tired of ruling this country that they ordered the EC to rig the EVMs in favour of Modi. It makes so much sense.
                          1. D
                            Dr.Damodar Biswal
                            Apr 20, 2017 at 12:06 pm
                            All losers have complained against EVMs irrespective of party affiliations.
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