Poll panel to get 16 lakh paper trail machines by Sept
New Delhi: The Election Commission will get over 16 lakh paper trail machines by September for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the poll panel has informed the government.
Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) is a machine which dispenses a slip with the symbol of the party for which a person has voted for. The slip drops in a box, but the voter cannot take it home.
The voters see voter-verifiable paper audit trail slip for seven seconds, which would be an acknowledgement receipt for the party they voted for in the election.
The commission said that as of now, it has 1.79 lakh VVPAT machines. In April 2017, it had ordered 16,15,000 VVPATs from PSUs Bharat Electronics Ltd and the Engineers Corporation of India Ltd at a cost of Rs 2616.30 crore.
The machines would be made available to the EC by the two manufacturers by September 2018. EVMs and VVAPTs are manufactured by the two public sector companies.
The law ministry had sought information on VVPATs from the poll panel to be shared in Parliament.
The use of paper trail machines is aimed at dispelling doubts about votes cast using EVMs. Since June 2014, the Commission had given at least 11 reminders to the government seeking funds for VVPAT machines. Recently, when AAP, Congress and BSP questioned the reliability of the EVM, the poll panel had come out with a detailed release defending the machine.
The Supreme Court has supported the EC endeavour to use VVPATs in a phased manner to usher in more transparency in voting. The EC had deployed VVPAT machines in all the recent assembly polls.
While the machines are used at all polling stations, the paper slips printed by the machines from only one polling station per assembly constituency are matched with the votes recorded by the electronic voting machine. There have been no complaints of a mismatch so far.