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VVPAT AND ELECTORAL TRANSPARENCY



  Apr 09, 2024

VVPAT AND ELECTORAL TRANSPARENCY



What is VVPAT?

Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) is a system used alongside Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) to enhance voting integrity and transparency. It allows voters to verify their vote by providing a printed slip of the vote cast. This slip is displayed behind a transparent glass for a few seconds before it is automatically deposited into a sealed container for record-keeping.

How does VVPAT work?

When a voter casts a vote using an EVM, the VVPAT unit attached to the EVM prints a paper slip. This slip shows the symbol of the party for whom the vote has been cast, allowing the voter to visually verify that their vote is recorded as intended. After a brief display period, the slip falls into a sealed box, ensuring that it can be used for audit purposes if required.

Why is VVPAT important?

VVPAT is crucial for maintaining transparency and voter confidence in the electoral process. It acts as a safeguard, allowing for an independent verification system that voters can trust, especially in close and contested elections. The paper trail ensures that votes can be manually counted and verified if the integrity of the electronic vote is questioned.

What is the recent development related to VVPAT?

The Supreme Court of India has scheduled hearings on petitions demanding that the Election Commission perform mandatory cross-verification of the vote count in all EVMs by counting all VVPAT slips. Currently, the practice is to manually count the VVPAT slips from only five polling stations per Assembly constituency.

What do the petitions seek?

The petitions advocate for an increase in transparency within the electoral process by expanding the verification of votes through VVPAT slips. By arguing for the counting of all VVPAT slips, rather than a limited sample, the petitions aim to enhance voter confidence in the accuracy and integrity of electronic voting machines.

What is the significance of these petitions?

These petitions highlight the ongoing concerns and discussions about electoral integrity in the digital age. They underscore the importance of not just technological advancements in voting but also the need for systems that voters can visibly trust and verify. The outcome of these hearings could have a significant impact on future electoral processes, potentially setting a precedent for how electronic votes are audited and verified.



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