Increase in VVPAT numbers will delay counting

Prelims level : Polity / Governance - Governance Mains level : GS II - Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications.
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Over 20 opposition party leaders had moved the Supreme Court, seeking physical verification of at least 50% of the votes cast on EVMs to ensure the purity of the process.
The petition has challenged the decision of the Commission to check VVPATs of only one randomly selected booth of a constituency. The petitioners have said that this will account only for 0.44 per cent of the votes polled.

Reply of ECI:

  • The current confidence level in the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM)-VVPAT accuracy was 99.9936%. Any increase in the sample size of verification of VVPAT slips would only lead to a “very negligible gain in the confidence level.
  • The 50% Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail slip verification in each Assembly segment of a Parliamentary Constituency or Assembly Constituency on an average shall enlarge the time required for counting to about six days.

About VVPAT:

  • The Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail is a method that provides feedback to voters. It is an independent verification printer machine and is attached to electronic voting machines. It allows voters to verify if their vote has gone to the intended candidate.
  • This second line of verification process was introduced after allegations around Electronic Voting Machines’ tampering cropped up.

How does VVPAT functions?

  • When a voter presses the button on the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail machine against the chosen candidate, a printed VVPAT slip is displayed for 7 seconds before it’s automatically cut and delivered to a sealed ballot compartment.
  • VVPAT machines can be accessed by polling officers only.
  • The VVPAT slip contains the following details:

    • A candidate’s serial number
    • Name of the candidate
    • Corresponding symbol

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