Gujarat has dispatched a total of 2,200 Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) from its reserve after the Election Commission sought them for the Lok Sabha polls in Himachal Pradesh. The hill state that has four Lok Sabha seats will go to polls in the last phase on May 19.
“The Election Commission had demanded about 2,200 Ballot Units (BUs) to be given to Himachal Pradesh. They are taking them now,” said S Murali Krishna, Chief Electoral Officer, Gujarat.
A Ballot Units and a Control Unit together form an EVM.
A team from Himachal Pradesh had come last Friday to collect the EVMs from the state.
Himachal Pradesh is the third state after Bihar and Kerala to which Gujarat has sent EVMs for the ongoing Lok Sabha polls. While Gujarat used brand new M3 (Model 3) version of EVMs and VVPATs for Lok Sabha polls that was held in a single phase on April 23, it had sent over 40,000 machines of M2 version to both Bihar and Kerala.
“The number of candidates contesting polls have gone up and so they will need more BUs.
A shortage of BUs occurred because the number of candidates went above 16,” the official said about the urgent requirement for BUs from Himachal.
The last date for withdrawal of candidature in Himachal Pradesh was May 2. Kangra, Mandi, Hamirpur and Shimla are the four Parliamentary constituencies that go to polls on May 19 and there are about 17 candidates in the fray from Mandi.
The Indian Express had earlier reported that the failure rate of M2 machines during First Level Checks (FLCs) were much more than more modern M3 machines that were used in the Lok Sabha polls in Gujarat.
Election Commission officials pointed out that over 1,533 VVPATs and 800 EVMs that malfunctioned, and were replaced during the polling day in Gujarat on April 23 were much less compared to the replacements that happened during the 2017 Assembly elections in the state. While only 2.93 per cent of the VVPATs and 1.7 percent of the EVMs malfunctioned in this Lok Sabha polls, the failure rate of these machines were over five per cent during the 2017 Assembly polls.