Match at least 5% of EVM and paper trails: Former CEC

Match at least 5% of EVM and paper trails: Former CEC

The Election Commission should allow matching results of at least five per cent EVMs and paper trail slips to dispel doubts about the infallibility of voting machines, former chief election commissioner S Y Quraishi said on Tuesday.

He also suggested that the winning and runner-up candidates should be given the chance to match results of any two electronic voting machines(EVMs) and their respective voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines.

"EVM is a very good thing. The dispute over it should end after the provision of VVPAT. I am, however, not happy with matching results of only one per cent EVMs and VVPATs in one polling station per constituency," he said at a debate on 'informed and ethical voting', held at Jamia Millia Islamia here.

VVPAT is a device which dispenses a slip with the symbol of the party for which a person has voted for. The slip appears on a small window for seven seconds and then drops in a box. But the voter cannot take it home.

There have been demands to increase the number of polling stations where EVM and VVPAT results are matched to allay concerns about voting machines being hacked to favour a particular political party.

Sharing his views on the proposed simultaneous elections to Lok Sabha and state assemblies, the former CEC opined that the "convenience" of Election Commission should not be a consideration for elections.

"'One nation, one election' has its pros and cons. However, this proposal has got diluted and the moral authority of the demand has ended," he said.

Further, he advocated a mix of first-past-the-post and proportional representation systems to avoid situations where political parties fail to get even a single seat despite having as high as 20 per cent vote share in an election.

"This happened with BSP in 2014 elections in Uttar Pradesh where it had third largest vote share (20 per cent) but zero seat. This is against the principles of participatory democracy," he added.

Professors Jagdeep Chhokar, Sanjay Kumar and Nuzhat Parveen Khan also participated in the debate. 

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