With several political parties voicing doubts on the functioning of electronic voting machines, the Election Commission has decided to conduct a field trial of the Vote Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) system in five locations in the country, including Cherrapunjee, by the end of July.
The VVPAT will ensure that the voting machine prints a paper ballot or facsimile, which can be verified by the voter. This audit trail will help the electorate examine how their votes were cast and tabulated.
Besides Cherrapunjee in Meghalaya, the field trial will be conducted in Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi, and Jaisalmer in Rajasthan.
Besides the AGP in Assam, several NGOs and political parties in Meghalaya had also expressed their reservations on the functioning of EVMs.
The United Democratic Party of Meghalaya, in the regional consultation on electoral reforms held in Guwahati on January 12, had urged the Election Commission to get back to using paper ballots as a majority of people were not confident about the use and effectiveness of EVMs.
“A referendum in India on the use of EVMs could be conducted by the Election Commission so as to instil faith in the people on such paperless voting methods”, UDP leader John Kharshiing said.
The Meghalaya chief electoral officer P. Naik said a mock poll would be conducted in 35 polling stations to check the Vote Verifiable Paper Audit Trail system.
An official statement issued today in this regard said the Election Commission had convened a meeting of all political parties on October 4 last year.
Several parties had suggested that the commission consider introducing the audit system.
“The commission then referred the matter to the technical expert committee on EVM for examining the matter and making recommendations,” the statement said.
Full Article: EVM scan to clear doubts.