Voters may soon be able to trail their ballot and confirm whether their vote on the Electronic Voting Machine has gone in favour of the candidate they chose. The trail will involve issuance of a printed slip for voter confirmation and will become a reality once the newly proposed Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) system is introduced by the Election Commission. The system comes in the wake of apprehensions expressed by political parties especially the BJP in respect of fairness of EVMs. The EC, which told the Supreme Court last week that it had recently approved the VVPAT design and sought its further fine tuning to ensure zero error, has invited the representatives of various political parties on 10 May to discuss the new system.
Highly-placed sources in the Commission said that it will get around 250 prototypes of printers in the first week of June to be attached with the Electronic Voting Machine (EVMs) for getting a verifiable paper trail that is set to be tested for trial in a bye-election thereafter. The new system will not be tested in the 2 June bypolls. Top sources in the Election Commission said the new system may not be implemented in the next general elections across the country as around 13 lakh such new devices are required to be attached to each EVM and entails an expenditure of around Rs 1,700 crore.
The Commission has, however, sought the opinion of various political parties on the new system and invited them to its office in this regard on 10 May.
Under the new system, a voter, by pressing a button in the EVM, will get a printed slip with the name of the candidate, his party and serial number in whose favour the vote has been cast. The voter can thus see and verify his vote through this system, but will not be allowed to take the slip home in order to ensure the secrecy of the ballot.
While some political parties have favoured the paper trail of votes, others who have long been pressing the poll body for introducing reforms in the present EVM system are hesitant to formulate their opinion on it before testing its efficacy.
Full Article: EC to meet parties on introducing paper trail of votes.