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Can I ask for a copy of VVPAT?

The ​VVPAT provides an additional visual verification in the form of paper slip to the voter so he can ensure that his vote has been correctly recorded for the candidate of his choice.

ET Online|
Apr 15, 2019, 03.39 PM IST
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NEW DELHI: VVPAT is a specific machine that is used in elections to verify that the citizen’s vote has been correctly placed. VVPAT means Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail. In times of political mudslinging about EVM tampering, a paper trail ensures that voter faith remains intact, strengthening participatory democracy.

The VVPAT provides an additional visual verification in the form of paper slip to the voter so he can ensure that his vote has been correctly recorded for the candidate of his choice. There is no provision to hand over any copy of VVPAT to the voter.

But if any voter after having recorded his vote alleges that the paper slip generated by the printer has shown the name or symbol of a candidate other than the one he voted for, as per the provisions of Rule 49MA of Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961, the presiding officer shall obtain a written declaration from the voter as to the allegation, after warning the voter about the consequence of making a false declaration.

If the voter gives the written declaration referred to in sub-rule (1) of Rule 49MA, the presiding officer shall permit the voter to record a test vote in the voting machine in his presence and in the presence of the candidates or polling agents who may be present in the polling station, and observe the paper slip generated by the printer.

If the allegation is found true, the presiding officer shall report the facts immediately to the returning officer, stop further recording of votes in that voting machine and act as per the direction that may be given by the Returning Officer.
If, however, the allegation is found to be false and the paper slip so generated under sub-rule (1) matches with the test vote recorded by the voter under sub-rule (2), then, the presiding officer shall-

  • make a remark to that effect against the second entry relating to that elector in Form 17A mentioning the serial number and name of the candidate for whom such test vote has been recorded;
  • obtain the signature or thumb impression of that elector against such remarks; and
  • make necessary entries regarding such test vote in item 5 in Part I of Form 17C.".

The VVPAT machine gives instant feedback to the voter, through a printed slip. Essentially, after a voter presses the button confirming their vote for their chosen candidate or NOTA, the VVPAT machine prints a slip containing the name of the candidate and the corresponding election symbol and automatically drops it in a sealed box.

The VVPAT is placed in a transparent glass case, allowing the voter to see the vote. The voter slip is then displayed to the voter for about seven seconds. Then it is dropped in the storage box and a beep confirms this action. The VVPAT can be accessed by the polling officials, but not by the voters.

The Election Commission of India has repeatedly refuted claims of EVM tampering but VVPATs have been used in some elections, presumably in order to boost voter faith in the system. Opposition parties have been repeatedly demanding that the Election Election introduce VVPAT to ensure free and fair elections.

In lieu of such demands, the Election Commission had engaged the Indian Statistical Institute to arrive at a "mathematically sound, statistically robust and practically cogent solution" by scientifically analysing the issue of VVPAT slip verification with electronic count of the EVMs.

Also Read

What is VVPAT?

EVM-VVPAT pass test in Lok Sabha polls

Supreme Court rejects opposition's VVPAT demand

Eight cases of VVPAT-EVM mismatch in Lok Sabha polls

View: The point is legitimacy, Tally 50% of VVPAT machines

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