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Gujarat will become first big state to use Electronic Voting Machine (EVMs) equipped with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) in coming Assembly elections to make election process more transparent.
It was announced by Election Commission of India. Gujarat will be second state after Goa to use VVPAT system for the Assembly elections in entire state.
The VVPATs will cover all 50,128 polling booths during 2017 Gujarat Assembly elections. As many as 70,182 VVPAT machines will be used during election elections. Earlier, VVPATs were used on pilot basis in limited polling booths of state in 2012 elections.
Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT)
The VVPAT is a method that provides feedback to voters after they cast their votes in EVMs. It is independent verification printer machine attached to EVMs. It allows voters to verify if their vote has gone to the intended candidate. Thus, ensure free and fair elections.
In the VVPAT system, when voter presses button for candidate of his choice in EVM, a paper slip containing serial number, name of candidate and poll symbol will be printed for voter. The paper slip will be only visible to voter from glass case in VVPAT for seven seconds, after that slip will be cut and dropped into drop box in VVPAT machine. VVPAT machines can be accessed by polling officers only.
Purpose of VVPAT
VVPAT is intended as an independent verification system for EVM designed to (i) allow voters to verify that their votes are casted correctly, (ii) detect possible election fraud or malfunction and (iii) Provide a means to audit the stored electronic results.
The Supreme Court has reiterated the necessity to implement the Vote Verifier Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) in electronic voting machines (EVMs) to ensure 100% transparency in elections.
This is the second time the Supreme Court has directed Election Commission (EC) for the implementation of VVPAT in EVMs. Earlier in 2013, SC had directed the EC to introduce VVPAT in a phased manner for 2014 general elections. SC had observed that VVPAT will ensure free and fair polls and help in sorting out disputes. In response the EC had informed the apex court that the VVPAT can be introduced in a phased manner.
What is VVPAT?
The VVPAT system is a new initiative of the Election Commission to ensure free and fair elections. In the VVPAT system, when a voter presses the button for a candidate of his choice in the electronic voting machines (EVM), a paper ballot containing the serial number, name of the candidate and poll symbol will be printed for the voter. It is intended as an independent verification system for EVM designed to (i) allow voters to verify that their votes are casted correctly, (ii) detect possible election fraud or malfunction and (iii) Provide a means to audit the stored electronic results.