Will Use Paper Trail VVPAT Machines in Gujarat, Says Poll Panel

Bruno Cirelli
Agosto 10, 2017

The poll panel said around 70,000 VVPAT machines will be required for the Gujarat assembly polls and by August 10, a thousand of these machines will be supplied to the Chief Election Commissioner of the state.

The commission said it will hold all future elections mandatorily with Electronic Voting Machines attached to Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail machines (EVMs with VVPAT).

The Election Commission told the Supreme Court on Wednesday that its "EVM Challenge" had hardly any taker among the political parties.

"ECI in its affidavit has said that it will conduct the Gujarat polls using VVPAT". VVPAT machines issue slips that show if a voter's choice has been correctly recorded in an EVM.

The court, however, posted other matters connected to use of VVPAT in polls for tomorrow on the plea of petitioners.

The Supreme Court said it was satisfied with the Election Commission's affidavit and wanted to close the case, but Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party, which was one of the petitioners, wanted an adjournment. "This sphere must necessarily be left to the autonomous expert body, namely the Election Commission of India", it said, adding that VVPAT machines have a shelf life of 15 years and their replacement will be expensive.

The poll panel maintained that Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) now used for conducting Lok Sabha and assembly elections in the country can not be tampered with.

"Thus, no political party or person was able to demonstrate how the EVMs could be tampered with during the course of the challenge". If the said consignment is delivered in time, the EC expects to be able to conduct the elections to the assembly with the use of VVPATs.

The affidavit was filed following a direction from the apex court. Reshma Vithabhai Patel, convener of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti, which was in the forefront of the Patel quota agitation in Gujarat, had filed the petition.

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