A DAY after the Opposition mounted an aggressive campaign against the credibility of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) units, the Election Commission (EC) successfully matched 12,480 EVMs with their corresponding paper slip count, till 10.30 pm Thursday, save one in Andhra Pradesh.
According to EC spokesperson Sheyphali Sharan, the mismatch in one polling station in Andhra Pradesh was apparently because of “human error”.
The most common human error leading to VVPAT mismatch is when a poll officer forgets to clear the mock poll date before the final voting begins.The Commission will ascertain the exact reason for the error in Andhra Pradesh soon, said sources.
This is the first Lok Sabha election covered completely with VVPAT units. The Supreme Court on April 8 had directed the Commission to compulsorily verify VVPAT slips with EVM count in at least 5 polling stations of every assembly segment. As per this direction, the EC has to match VVPAT slips in roughly 20,570 polling stations, across 542 Lok Sabha seats.
Till 10.30pm Thursday, this exercise was completed for 12,480 polling stations, of which error was reported in one in Andhra Pradesh.
Verification of VVPAT slips went on till late Thursday night and a final report of all 20,570 polling stations will only be available Friday.
The Opposition had mounted an aggressive campaign questioning the credibility of EVMs and VVPATs filing a petition in the Supreme Court last month demanding 100% VVPAT count and also approached EC this week to seek VVPAT verification before the EVM count begins.
Both demands were rejected by the SC and EC, respectively.