The Union cabinet on Wednesday removed an offer through the Election Commission (EC) to obtain 16.15 lakh voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines for around Rs 3,173.47 crore, setting happens for that 2019 Lok Sabha elections, which is conducted using these machines.
While answering the event, the EC stated that “with this the Commission will make sure the entire compliance from the orders of Top Court and it is dedication to use VVPATs with each and every EVM whatsoever polling stations in the country in General Elections 2019”.. Pros who were around the technical committee hired through the EC told The Wire the paper audit trail should settle any doubts over political parties manipulating electronic voting machines (EVMs).
Technical expert says VVPAT ‘absolutely secure’
Part of the technical committee, who didn’t wish to be named, stated the VVPATs are “absolutely secure”. Explaining their functioning, he stated: “The election is viewed only by the pack leader who votes The slip is viewed via a dark glass. It’s not visible normally. It just becomes visible when the light occurs also it occurs only if the individual voting can there be. So there’s no doubt of other people discovering who voted to whom.”
When the election is cast, he stated, “the slip will get cut and grouped into the ballot box. It’s sealed using the seal of all of the candidates along with the Election Commission. The slip carries the candidates name and number. There’s no identification from the voter onto it. Even the slip falls right into a ballot box where it’s not visible.”
Only BEL and ECIL to manufacture VVPAT machines
Meanwhile, the EC stated the brand new “VVPATs will be made by BEL (Bharat Electronics Limited) and ECIL (Electronics Corporation asia Limited) only as reported by the design authorized by the Commission according to recommendation from the Technical Experts Committee on EVMs constituted through the commission and containing eminent technical professors from IITs.”
The EC also stated it would “closely monitor producing VVPATs for timely delivery prior to General Elections 2019.”
Complying with Supreme Court order
On April 13, the apex court mentioned that “with an intent to possess maximum transparency within the system and also to restore the arrogance from the voters, it’s important to setup EVMs with VVPAT system because election is certainly not but an action of expression that has immense importance in democratic system.”
Before this, the final Court been on 2013, while answering a petition, requested the EC introducing the paper trail in EVMs inside a phased manner for that 2014 Lok Sabha elections, stating that it was significant as “it is definitely an indispensable dependence on free, fair and transparent” polls.
Subsequently, the style of VVPAT produced by BEL/ECIL was authorized by the EC in 2013 and proven to persons who have been going after matters within the Top Court. The guidelines were then amended, using the VVPAT first getting used within the Nagaland by-election in 2013.
In 2014, the EC suggested to apply the VVPAT at each polling station within the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and searched for Rs 3174 crore funding in the Central government.
However, the Narendra Modi government sitting around the proposal for any lengthy time. This motivated chief election commissioner Nasim Zaidi to create to Modi directly seeking a sudden discharge of funds to obtain enough VVPATs to pay for all polling stations prior to the following general election.
In March, the EC had posted prior to the Top Court it would want a minimum of 30 several weeks from the moment of discharge of funds to obtain the amount of VVPATs needed.
Significant shift but doubts may prevail
The shift to VVPATs is really a significant development just following the set up polls in March, the BSP, Congress, AAP and Samajwadi Party alleged that votes cast within their favour was not registered through the EVMs.
As the path continues to be paved for that procurement more VVPATs, there’s still no be certain that using they will finish allegations of election manipulation. Even though the machines were utilised on the trial basis within the set up polls, one VVPAT allegedly printed just the BJP symbol throughout a demonstration in front of the by-election at Ater in Madhya Pradesh, courting prevalent debate.