GS Paper 2:
Topics Covered: RPA related issues.
The Supreme Court has refused urgent hearing on a PIL seeking increase in the number of booths for EVM-VVPAT verification from five per constituency, as mandated by the apex court in 2019, to 25 or more for the March 10 counting of votes in five states.
Supreme Court’s April 18, 2019 directions for VVPAT verification:
- In case of general elections, VVPAT slips of five EVMs in each Assembly segment of a Parliamentary Constituency would be subject to physical counting.
- In State Assembly elections, the VVPAT verification would extend to five random EVMs in each Assembly constituency.
Challenges associated with increase in the number of booths for EVM-VVPAT verification:
Increased VVPAT slip counting would require extensive training and capacity building of election officials in the field. VVPAT slip counting takes place in specially erected VVPAT counting booths under the close monitoring of the returning officer and direct oversight of the observer.
What is VVPAT?
- Voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) is a method of providing feedback to voters using EVMs.
- A VVPAT is intended as an independent verification system for voting machines designed to allow voters to verify that their vote was cast correctly, and to provide a means to audit the stored electronic results.
- It contains the name of the candidate for whom vote has been cast and symbol of the party/individual candidate.
Significance and the need for VVPATs:
- The VVPAT helps to detect potential election fraud or malfunction in the Electronic Voting Machine.
- It provides a means to audit the stored electronic results. It serves as an additional barrier to change or destroy votes.
- The EVMs with VVPAT system ensure the accuracy of the voting system with fullest transparency and restores the confidence of the voters.
- EVMs and VVPATs also speed up the election process as counting votes on EVMs takes much lesser time than counting paper ballots.
Need of the hour:
However the cynicism continues to remain, regarding the fallibility of EVMs and thus necessitates an in depth scrutiny to allay any apprehensions regarding the most important feature of a democratic polity- Elections.
- About VVPAT.
- What are EVMs?
- About the right to vote.
Discuss the significance of Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) in Elections.
Sources: the Hindu.