The Supreme Court of India increased the verifying of paper slips (VVPATS) with Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) across the country.
The opposition demanded the 50 percent of VVPATs verified, to which the election commission argued that the results could be delayed by five days. After the arguments the Supreme Court concluded that five VVPAT machines will be verified, delaying the election results by an hour.
The election commission will conduct random checks of VVPAT or voter paper trail slips to verify whether votes have been recorded accurately. The Election Commission said, “We will make all out efforts to operationalise and implement the directions of the Supreme Court with immediate effect.”
This is the first time that VVPATs were being in a Lok Sabha election, but they have been used in some parliamentary and assembly bypolls.
The Supreme Court was hearing a petition by leaders of 21 opposition parties who wanted the number of VVPATs to be increased to 50 percent in every assembly segment. Allegations of EVM or electronic voting machine tampering have been the reason for constant fights among parties in election season.
The poll body flagged lack of infrastructure and workforce constraints, it added that they need a minimum team of three officers to count VVPATs. Following today’s court order, the Election Commission will count VVPAT slips 20,625 EVMs.
The Supreme Court also made it clear that it was not casting any doubt on the Election Commission’s checks and processes.
Source : Various