Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail machines will be placed along with electronic voting machines for over 11000 polling stations in Jammu and Kashmir, the election commission of India has decided to ensure transparency during the upcoming parliamentary elections.
Officials said it would be the first time that VVPAT machines would be used with EVMs, where a voter can actually see the printed slip for few seconds to be confident the vote went to the candidate of his or her choice.
“The EVM is highly secure and tamper proof but some political party’s often raised questions over its security and transparency. To rest all the accusations ECI has decided to place VVPATs across approximately 10.6 lakh polling stations of the country,” said Rayiz Ahmed Butt, state nodal officer for Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation or SVEEP.
Butt added that EVMs and VVPAT would be placed at all 11,342 polling stations including 26 for migrant voters.
“In India only two state owned companies manufactured EVMs but questions were raised over its misuse. To tackle allegations of tampering, VVPAT is introduced where a voter can actual see the printed slip, after pressing button on EVM machine,” said Chand Kishore Sharma, an expert trainer for election officials at the national level.
Sharma said the printed slip would remain visible in the machine for seven seconds for voter to be satisfied that the vote has gone to the candidate of his or her choice.
“In counting, after postal ballot and EVMs, randomly VVPAT would be selected, where all the printed slips will be counted manually in presence of polling agents and returning officers to ensure transparency,” he said.
Jammu and Kashmir has an electorate of 78, 50,671 spread over six parliamentary constituencies out of which 40, 37,993 are male electors, 37, 39,951 female and 72,727 are service voters.