Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail used for first time in Indian elections
New Delhi, September 7, 2013
The Election Commission made history when it used the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) for the first time in the bye-election to the Noksen (ST) assembly constituency in Nagaland, held on September 4 and where votes were counted today.
The VVPAT, used with the electronic voting machines (EVMs), has been developed by the public sector Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) under the direction of the Election Commission and its technical experts.
In the system, a printer is attached to the balloting unit of the voting machine and is kept along with the balloting unit inside the screened voting compartment.
When a voter casts his vote by pressing of the button against the name and symbol of the candidate of his choice, apart from the red light glowing against the name and symbol of that candidate, the printer also generates a paper slip containing the serial number, name and symbol of candidate for whom the vote has been cast.
This paper slip remains visible to the voter through a window covered by glass on the printer and after sufficient time gets automatically cut and falls into the box permanently attached below the printer. This enables the voter to verify and satisfy himself that the vote cast by him for the candidate of his choice has been actually recorded correctly for that candidate. In case of any doubt, these paper slips can be counted at the time of the counting of votes and tallied with the number of votes recorded in the control unit of the voting machine.
An official press release said the poll on September 4 as well as the counting of votes went off smoothly. At the time of counting, the number of votes displayed in the voting machines against each of the two contesting candidates tallied with the paper slips generated by the printers of the VVPAT system on actual counting of these paper slips.
Mr C M Chang of the Naga People's Front (NPF) won the election, securing 5708 votes against 2845 got by his rival.