VVPAT (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – Polity)

News-CRUX-10     4th January 2024        

Context: Recently, the opposition wrote to the Chief Election Commissioner, urging that a delegation of Indian group leaders be granted an opportunity to meet with him and his colleagues to present their perspective on VVPATs.

Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT)

  • About: When a vote is cast, the VVPAT machine, attached to the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM), prints a slip displaying the voter's choice.

oThe printed slip, visible for seven seconds behind glass, allows voters to confirm the accurate recording of their vote before it drops into a collection box.

  • Origins of VVPAT: The idea of the VVPAT machine emerged, leading to the EC referring the matter to its Technical Expert Committee for further exploration.
  • Developed by: Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Electronics Corporation of India (ECIL).
  • Trails: Field trials in various locations, including Ladakh, Thiruvananthapuram, Cherrapunjee, East Delhi, and Jaisalmer, took place in July 2011.

oAfter design refinement, additional trials, and feedback from political parties, the expert committee approved the VVPAT design in February 2013.

  • Legislative Amendments: The Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961, were amended in 2013 to allow the attachment of a printer with a drop box to the EVM.
  • Phase-wise Implementation: The VVPAT was first used in all 21 polling stations of the Noksen Assembly constituency in Nagaland during the 2013 elections.

oThe EC decided to introduce VVPATs gradually, and by June 2017, 100% of VVPATs were utilized in polls.

  • Landmark in 2019: The 2019 Lok Sabha elections marked a historic moment as it became the first general election with 100% of EVMs being attached to VVPATs, ensuring a more transparent and verifiable voting process.
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