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VVPAT, a revolutionary step in voting transparency

Sunday, 27 April 2014 - 7:10am IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: dna

A newly-introduced ballot verification method is set to revolutionize the dynamics of the poll process by making it more credible.

Introduced for the first time in 516 polling stations across eight states during the ongoing elections, the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) allows an individual voter to verify whether the EVM has registered her/his vote correctly.

Like the ATM from which one gets a receipt of the transaction, the VVPAT, a small device attached to the EVM, gives you a receipt immediately after you press the button. This piece of paper tells you to which party or candidate your vote has gone. It will also have the names of the voter, the constituency and the polling station.

But unlike the ATM, the VVPAT retrieves the paper trail (made strong by plastic coating) back into the machine to keep the confidentiality of the voter intact.

"We hope this new addition to the voting system will make the election process more transparent," Akshay Rout, director general of Election Commission, told dna.

In the present elections, VVPAT is being used at 385 polling stations in Mizoram, 35 PS in Lucknow (UP), 30 PS in Patna Sahib (Bihar) 26 PS in Bangalore-South (Karnataka), 22 PS in Jadhavpur (West Bengal), 8 PS in Raipur (Chhattisgarh), 6 PS in Gandhinagar (Gujarat) and 4 PS in Chennai Central (Tamil Nadu).

Encouraged by the voter feedback, the EC is now planning to use VVPAT, manufactured by public sector undertakings—BEL and ECIL—in a big way in the coming assembly elections. As the system is compatible only with post-2006 EVMs, the EC hopes to achieve all India VVPAT coverage by only the 2019 elections.

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