What is Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT)?

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What is Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT)? Blog Image


The Supreme Court recently sought responses from the Election Commission of India (ECI) and the Centre on a plea seeking a comprehensive count of Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) slips in elections.

About Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT)

  • It was first introduced in India in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
  • It is an independent system that consists of two parts, namely, a VVPAT Printer and VVPAT Status Display Unit (VSDU) attachedto the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), that allow the voters to verify that their votes are cast as intended.
  • When a vote is cast, a slip is printed containing the serial number, name, and symbol of the candidate and remains exposed through a transparent window for 7 seconds.
  • Thereafter, this printed slip automatically gets cut and falls into the sealed drop box of the VVPAT.

How is VVPAT used for verification?

  • The results of EVMs can be verified using the slipskept in the drop boxes of VVPAT machines.
  • VVPAT can be accessed by the polling officials, but not by the voters.
  • The paper slips are deemed to be more authoritative than EVM tallies in cases where VVPAT slips are utilised to verify votes.
  • Voter verification, however, is only done in extreme circumstances, such as when there are accusations of fraud or miscalculation.
  • The ECI has the authority to request that votes be verified using VVPAT slips in response to such complaints.
  • At the moment, the VVPAT slips are counted in a randomly-selected polling station in each Assembly constituency or Parliamentary constituency, depending upon the nature of the elections being held.

The ECI has clarified that EVMs and VVPATs are separate entities and are not connected to any network.

These machines are developed by the Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) and Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL).

Q1: What is the Election Commission of India (ECI)?

The Election Commission of India (ECI) is an autonomous and permanent constitutional body responsible for organizing free and fair elections in the Union and States of India. The Constitution grants the ECI with the power of direction, superintendence, and control of elections to Parliament, state legislatures, the office of president of India and the office of vice-president of India. The ECI does not deal with the elections to the urban bodies such as Municipalities and Panchayats in the states and hence, a separate State Election Commission.

Source: SC Notice To Election Commission on VVPAT Plea, Congress Says 'Important First Step