VVPATs raised voters' confidence in Gujarat, says EC

VVPATs raised voters' confidence in Gujarat, says EC

The Election Commission said that the use of Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) devices with Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) has raised the confidence of voters in Gujarat.

Ahead of the second phase polling for Assembly elections on Thursday, the poll panel said the deployment of VVPATs along with EVMs at all polling stations during first phase made the voters feel "confident and reassured about the transparency and fairness of the electoral process".

The Election Commission is set to deploy VVPATs with EVMs during the second phase polling on Thursday.

The poll panel set up altogether 50,128 polling stations (excluding auxiliary polling stations) for the Assembly elections in Gujarat. It deployed 81,860 ballot units (Bus) and 66,358 control units (CUs) of EVMs and 71,564 VVPATs.

The first phase of polling was conducted on Saturday, with 66.75% voters exercising their franchise in "a free, fair, transparent and participative manner", said the poll panel.

Ninety-three of the total 182 Assembly constituencies will go to polls in the second phase. The Election Commission has set up 25,515 polling stations for the second phase and deployed 40,027 BUs, 32,633 CUs and 35061 VVPATs.

The poll panel said that strict adherence to the commission's stringent security and administrative protocols left no room for electoral malpractices.

The EVMs were at the centre of a controversy earlier this year, as the landslide victory of the BJP - which has been in power at the Centre since 2014 - in the Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand prompted several Opposition parties to cast doubts over the credibility of the machines.

The poll panel had earlier this year decided to use VVPATs with EVMs for all future elections.

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