VVPAT to be introduced in 10 constituencies in Assam assembly polls

Feb 24, 2016 11:11 IST

VVPAT - Voter-verified Paper Audit Trail
Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT), a method of providing feedback to voters using a ballot less voting system, was in news on 23 February 2016.

It came in news, after Assam’s Chief Electoral Officer announced that VVPAT will be introduced in 10 constituencies (around 2400 polling booths) in upcoming assembly polls. He said that Dispur and Jalukbari assembly constituencies in Kamrup Metro district will be included in the VVPT trial.

VVPAT is intended as an independent verification system for Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) that allows voters to verify that their votes are cast as intended and can serve as an additional barrier to changing or destroying votes.

The printer-like apparatus linked to the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) will generate a receipt showing serial number, name and symbol of the candidate. This will confirm the voter that his/her vote reached to the person to whom it was casted.

The receipt, once viewed, goes inside a container linked to the EVM and can only be accessed by the election officers in rarest of rare cases.

The system allows a voter to challenge his or her vote on basis of the paper receipt for the first time. As per a new rule, the booth presiding officer will have to record the dissent of the voter, which would have to be taken into account at time of counting.

The idea of using VVPAT was for the first time suggested during an All Party Meeting on 4 October 2010. Subsequently, the Union Government issued a notification on 14 August 2013 amending the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961, to enable the Commission to use VVPAT with electronic voting machines.

For the first time Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) with Electronic Voting Machines was used for the Noksen Assembly seat in Tuensang district of Nagaland in September 2013.

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