Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail Machines (VVPAT)

Why is it in News?

Major opposition parties have decided to approach the Supreme Court for the demand of verification of at least 50% of VVPAT machines with EVMs.

Relevance of Topic for Prelims 2019:

Due to the frequent issues and objections involved with EVMs & VVPAT, candidates are expected to know about facts related to VVPAT.

About VVPAT:

  • Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trial (VVPAT) is an independent system attached to an EVM that allows the voters to verify that their votes are cast as intended.
  • Voters can see the printout but not take it out; VVPAT helps him in verifying that his vote was registered correctly.
  • Rule 49A of the Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961, provides that every EVM shall have a control unit and a balloting unit. Under this provision, the Election Commission of India has provided for the VVPATs in the election process.

How it Works?

  • When a vote is cast, a slip is printed on the VVPAT printer containing the serial number, name and symbol of the candidate voted.
  • This remains visible to the voter through a transparent window for 7 seconds.
  • Thereafter, this printed slip automatically gets cut and falls into a sealed drop box.
  • VVPAT’s use thermal printers and print lasts for around 5years.
  • These slips can be used for tallying by the ECI in later stage of time if needed.

Who makes VVPAT?

  • VVPATs are made by only two public sector units namely- Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) in consultation with experts from Election Commission of India.

When was VVPAT first used?

  • VVPATs were first used in the by-election for the ‘Noksen Assembly’ seat in Nagaland in 2013.
  • In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, VVPATs are being used in all the constituencies and all the EVMs.

Why is the ECI opposed to 50% verification of VVPATs?

  • As per ECI, this whole process will lead to delay in the result declaration by minimum 6 days.
  • ECI has opined that this will unnecessarily create infrastructural burden and wastage of manpower & resources of the organisation and country as a whole.

About Electronic Voting Machine (EVM):

EVMs are standalone machines that are designed to connect Ballot Unit, Control Unit & VVPATs through a cable wire system.

There is no mechanism in EVMs to communicate with any device through wireless communication or any radio frequency.


Source: eci.gov.in, TH