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EC admits ‘mass failure’

The poll panel has summoned officials of the Hyderabad-based,state-owned ECIL over this.

Written by Express News Service | Aizawl | Published: December 1, 2013 4:56:57 am

The Election Commission has admitted “mass failure” of the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines in the November 25 Mizoram Assembly elections. The poll panel has summoned officials of the Hyderabad-based,state-owned Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) over this.

Addressing a press conference in Aizawl Saturday,Mizoram Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Ashwani Kumar and Jt CEO H Lalengmawia said 21 VVPAT machines,of around 212 deployed in 10 constituencies within Aizawl city,failed. While 11 failed on November 24 as preparations were underway,10 more failed as polling proceeded the following day and had to be replaced.

“I am not sure we can call this a robust machine at this stage,” Kumar said,adding the ECIL was anyway two weeks late in delivering the VVPAT machines,which coupled with the failures led to “administrative challenges”.

The VVPAT machines were used for the first time in the Noksen by-polls in Nagaland in September,and the Mizoram polls were the first instance of their use on a large scale. Attached to EVMs,the machines allow voters to verify that their vote has been cast in the way they wished,and were deployed in 10 of Mizoram’s 40 constituencies.

They are slated to be used in the Delhi Assembly polls on December 4,in Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit’s New Delhi constituency.

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