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EC to test 'paper audit trail system' during Dec 4 Delhi polls

System aims to reduce election fraud by allowing voters to verify if their votes have been registered correctly

Surabhi Agarwal  |  New Delhi 

The (EC) of India has decided to test its voter’s verifiable (VVPAT) system across 211 polling station in the New Delhi constituency in the upcoming assemble elections in Delhi on December 4.

The system, which aims to reduce election fraud by allowing the voters to verify if their votes have been registered correctly and have been marked to the right candidates, was used in Nagaland earlier.

VVPAT also tries to douse some concerns pertaining to the authenticity of the electronic voting machines. The poll panel will also use it during the upcoming elections in Mizoram in 10 constituencies.

Under the new system, a printer is attached to the ballot unit of the voting machine and when a voter casts his vote, the printer generates a paper slip. The slip which is visible from inside the machine shows the name and symbol of the candidate.

After a brief pause, it automatically drops into the sealed box. In case of any doubt, these paper slips can be counted at the time of counting of votes and talklied with the number of votes recorded in the electronic voting machine, EC said in a statement.

“In case of a dispute, the paper slip will prevail,” said Alok Shukla, deputy election commissioner. He added that thermal printers are being used for generating the receipts, which will last for atleast five years and can be therefore produced in court in case of a dispute.

These machines are being manufactured by state owned Ltd (BEL) and Electronics Corporation of India Ltd (ECIL) and the government has currently given orders for 20,000 machines to be delivered within a month’s time.

There are 10 lakh polling stations in the country and the machines will be deployed as soon as they are made available by the vendors, Shukla added. Negotiations are also ongoing to arrive at a cost for the machines, he said. The system has been tested in extreme conditions such as desert (Jaisalmer), Rains (Cherrapunji) and altitude (Leh/Ladakh).

There are 1,24,032 voters in the New Delhi constituency which has a total of 186 polling stations and 25 auxiliary polling stations.

First Published: Sun, November 17 2013. 15:44 IST