EC studies paper trail option as EVM backup


Following up on the suggestions made by political parties at a meeting convened on October 4, the EC has set up a committee which includes P V Indiresan, former director of IIT-Madras, and D T Shahani and A K Agrawala, professors at IIT-Delhi.

The selected members are noted specialists of instrumentation engineering and the same committee had done the technical evaluation of the upgraded EVM in 2006. 

Referring to the all-party meeting, the EC said in its communication to the committee members, “There was a consensus among political parties that the EVMs should continue to be used in our elections to the Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assemblies. Several political parties, however, suggested that the possibility of incorporating a “voter verifiable paper trail” in EVMs should be explored.”

At the all-party meeting, most parties, barring the Congress, had demanded the printer trail for EVMs. Telgu Desam Party leader N Chandrababu Naidu made a power-point presentation on this issue and demanded a voter verifiable trail in EVMs to ensure that the vote was correctly registered.

The Bharatiya Janta Party too strongly argued for a “paper trail” as a back up to the EVMs. The party also demanded that voters should get the acknowledgment of their votes cast.

Subsequently, the EC has asked the experts to initiate the process with wider consultations with political parties. It has also requested the political parties to interact with the committee with their suggestions in this matter. The expert committee will now decide the dates and venue of their meetings with them.

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