Vote Verifier Paper Audit Trail to be used in seven constituencies in the coming elections
Reply to an application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has revealed that the Election Commission of India (ECI) plans to introduce Vote Verifier Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) in the coming elections. VVPAT would provide a feedback about the correctness of the vote cast by the voter and would be similar to the paper receipt generated by the automated teller machines (ATMs) of the banks. It would involve use of thermal paper. VVPAT system shall be attached with the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) would be kept in the voting compartment along with the ballot unit. When the voter would press the button of the EVM against the name of a candidate of his/her choice, the VVPAT system would generate a ballot slip containing the name, symbol and serial number of the chosen candidate. The ballot slip, so generated, would remain visible to the voter for 7 seconds through a screened window and automatically gets cut and falls down into a sealed box provided in the VVPAT unit. The slip would not be provided to the voter.
ECI intends to implement it in seven constituencies across the country after the successful trial in 2013 assembly elections. VVPAT system was successfully used in certain assembly constituency including the by-election to Noksen (ST) assembly seat in Tuensang district of Nagaland (September 4, 2013), 10 assembly constituencies of Mizoram (November 25, 2013) and New Delhi assembly constituency (December 4, 2013).
Estimates show that the ECI would need about 14 lakh VVPAT machines to implement it in all 543 Lok Sabha constituencies involving a cost of Rs. 1500 crores. Due to shortage of time, the ECI does not intend to implement it the coming elections and would wait till the 2019 election for it to take a shape.