No paper trail this time

During the April 10 Lok Sabha polls in Delhi the election office will not use Vote Verifier Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) system that allows voters to see whom they voted through a receipt.

The hi-tech voter recording system was put to trial for the first time in the city in the New Delhi constituency during the December 2013 Assembly polls. “There is no intimation from the Election Commission yet on the use of VVPAT,” said Chief Electoral Officer Vijay Dev. Sources said that a suggestion from Delhi officials was made before the Election Commission to consider using the VVPAT in Lok Sabha polls.

 “After the good voter acceptance of the VVPAT system in the Assembly polls, we had sought the Election Commission’s views of conducting the trial of the system in the Lok Sabha’s New Delhi constituency,” said an election department official, hinting that now there was almost no chance of the system being used in the April 10 poll.

Under VVPAT, a printer-like device is linked to the EVM. The receipt generated after the vote is cast in the EVM shows the serial number, name and symbol of the candidate.

The voter not only gets a receipt to check that his vote has been cast but also gets some time to inspect the slip before leaving the polling booth.

The paper is later stored in a sealed box from where it can be retrieved in the event of a dispute over counting of votes.

An official said the VVPAT system is compatible only with those EVMs built after 2006 and shortage of such machines, perhaps, is the reason the paper trail system is not approved in Delhi Lok Sabha polls.

On October 8, 2013, the Supreme Court directed the E C to introduce VVPAT system in the general elections.
Nagaland became the first state in the country to use the hi-tech vote recording system in September last year. It was used in the by-election to the Noksen Assembly constituency.

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