Prelims Level
Mains Level
Prelims Syllabus : P8 Elections Mains Syllabus : GS2N Important aspects of governance, transparency

Why in News:

  • Leaders of Opposition parties will meet Election Commission (EC) officials to urge the panel to spell out the mechanisms to address any mismatch between voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) and electronic voting machine (EVM) tallies during the counting of votes.

Details:

  • Opposition parties had suggested that if there is a discrepancy, then the votes of the entire Assembly segment should be counter-checked with the VVPAT machines.
  • It is said that any discrepancy would raise a doubt on the integrity of the entire electoral process and the EC is yet to bring out the guidelines it promised.

Background:

VVPAT system

  • Voter verifiable paper audit trial (VVPAT) is an independent system attached to an EVM that allows the voters to verify that their votes are cast as intended.
  • When a vote is cast, a slip is printed on the VVPAT printer containing the serial number, name and symbol of the candidate voted.
  • This remains visible to you through a transparent window for seven seconds.
  • Thereafter, this printed slip automatically gets cut and falls into a sealed drop box. If there is a need, these printouts can later be counted.
  • It is intended as an independent verification system for EVM designed to
  • • allow voters to verify that their votes are casted correctly,
  • • detect possible election fraud or malfunction and
  • • Provide a means to audit the stored electronic results.

Advantages in VVPATs:

  • Enables to verify vote: Instant feedback to voter that vote polled has been allocated to the intended candidate.
  • Enables authorities to count the votes manually if there is a dispute in the electronically polled votes. Operates under a Direct Recording Election system (DRE) which detects fraud and existent malfunctions. Will ensure greater transparency in voting process.
  • Gives both the voters and political parties an assurance.
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