Voters at ease with paper audit trail, says poll panel

VotingSystem was tested in 5 state elections ahead of Lok Sabha polls. (IE photo)

The New Delhi constituency, which witnessed a high-pitched electoral battle on December 4, became the first in the capital to have a voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) that enable a voter to verify if his vote has been recorded correctly.

While the pilot experiment proved to be a success for the 65.95 per cent voters who turned up to vote, election officials called it a "positive experience", even as six of the 211 VVPAT machines used malfunctioned during polling.

"Our experience with VVPAT has been very positive. Electors of New Delhi constituency were completely at ease with the VVPAT system. We trained our officers well, checked the printers diligently and organised demonstrations for politicians, media as well as the citizens," Chief Electoral Officer Vijay Dev said.

The VVPAT is a machine attached to EVMs, and allows voters to check if their votes are cast the way they had intended. As soon as the vote is cast, the VVPAT shows a small slip in a glass covered screen with the symbol and the candidate voted for in the form of a small ballot paper, which after 3 to 4 seconds automatically falls into an attached closed box. .

While 11 VVPATs had failed during routine checkup a day before the elections, 10 more were unsuccessful on the day of polling and had to be replaced.

The pilot projects were introduced to gauge their success during the recent Assembly elections in five states, with the intention of replicating the process in the 2014 General Elections.

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