VVPATs to be used in Lok Sabha Elections

  • Category
    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    14th Feb, 2019

In a move to make the use of EVMs even more fool-proof, the EC has announced that there will be 100 per cent use of Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPATs) during the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Context

In a move to make the use of EVMs even more fool-proof, the EC has announced that there will be 100 per cent use of Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPATs) during the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

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  • Instructions have been issued already to use VVPAT systems with all the EVMs through which voters can verify their votes during the forthcoming Lok Sabha Elections.
  • Leaders of several opposition parties approached the Election Commission on to ensure that 50 per cent EVM results are matched and crosschecked with VVPATs before the declaration of results.

What are VVPAT machines?

  • It is an independent verification printer machine attached to electronic voting machines. It allows voters to verify if their vote has gone to the intended candidate.
  • VVPATs are a second line of verification and are most useful in the time when allegations around Electronic Voting Machines' tampering crop up.
  • It was first used in 2013 in Nagaland's Noksen Assembly constituency.

What is Electronic Voting Machine?

  • EVMs or electronic voting machines provide the voter with a button for each choice which is connected by a cable to an electronic ballot box.
  • An EVM consists of two units--control unit and balloting unit--and these two are connected by a five-meter cable. When a voter presses a button against the candidate he/she wishes to vote for, the machine locks itself.
  • This EVM can be opened only with a new ballot number. This way, EVMs ensure that one person gets to vote only once.

What is M3 EVM?

  • It’s an advanced version of EVM having a Public Key Interface (PKI)-based mutual authentication between various EVM units for identifying a genuine unit, of authorised manufacturer, in the field to ensure that only genuine EVMs can be used for communication within the network.
  • Technologically, these are more advanced than the current EVMs, but will be same in terms of operation.

WHY is India using EVMs?

  • Electronic voting machines have been in use in India since 1999. Using EVMs means doing away with paper ballots, and in turn, saving millions of trees from being cut.
  • It makes the entire process of voting simpler--a click on the button and your vote is registered.
  • EVMs, in the long-run, have turned out to be cost-effective as well. Although the initial cost of an EVM is between Rs 5,000 and Rs 6,000, the machine, on an average, lasts for 15 years.
  • These machines don't require electricity and run on batteries. At the same time, the EVMs are lighter and portable compared to the huge ballot boxes.
  • And most importantly, EVMs have made the vote-counting process much faster, delivering results in hours as against manual counting of votes which could take days.

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