With elections, just weeks ahead, the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) Friday presented its report on the sample size of VVPAT slip counting to the Election Commission. VVPAT (Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail) or paper trail machine is a device which dispenses a slip with the symbol of the party for which a person has voted for so that a voter gets a confirmation.
The commission is now expected to take a call on the demands of political parties to increase the number of polling stations where paper trail machine slips are matched with EVM results, to dispel fears of rigging. The VVPAT is used in all polling stations but as of now, results of EVMs and VVPATs are matched in one polling station per constituency.
The report titled ‘Random Sampling For Testing of EVMs via VVPAT Slip Verification’ was presented by Professor Abhay G. Bhatt, ISI to the Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and Election Commissioners Ashok Lavasa and Sushil Chandra. The expert committee at ISI also consisted of Prof Rajeeva L. Karandikar, Director, Chennai Mathematical Institute (CMI) and Onkar Prasad Ghosh, Dy. Director General (Social Statistics Division), Central Statistics Office.
There have been demands to increase the number of polling stations where EVM and VVPAT results are matched to dispel fears about electronic voting machines being ‘hacked’ to favour a particular political party. Parties have demanded that at least 50 per cent paper trail slips per constituency be counted to ensure there is no rigging.
Elections for the 17th Lok Sabha will be held in seven phases, between April 11 and May 19. The results will be declared on May 23.
(With inputs from PTI)