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Election Commission ducks issue of greater VVPAT usage

Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora on Sunday said the committee of experts from the Indian Statistical Institute, constituted to determine a feasible threshold for counting of Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) slips, would submit its report before the conclusion of the Lok Sabha election process.

In February, leaders of Opposition parties had approached the Election Commission (EC) expressing concerns over the possibility of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) being tampered with. They demanded that 50% of the EVM results be matched and cross-checked with VVPAT slips before declaring the Lok Sabha election results.

Responding to a query, Mr. Arora said the political parties had given the EC a memorandum to that effect. Stating that the matter was also pending in the Supreme Court, he said the EC had started counting VVPAT slips at one polling station per Assembly constituency.

 

However, as that political parties and other stakeholders raised the issue of counting more VVPAT slips, the Commission appointed a high-powered committee from the Indian Statistical Institute to look into the issue.

“The Commission expects the report to come any time, certainly before the poll process is over. It will then discuss the report and take a view,” he said.

As per the standard procedure, the first level check of EVMs and VVPATs is completed in the presence of representatives of political parties. A two-stage randomisation of the machines will also be done. Before the actual use of EVMs and VVPATs at polling stations, mock polls are conducted on the machines in three stages.

Source: thehindu.com

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