Increase random checking of VVPAT slips to five per Assembly segment, SC directs Election Commission

  1. The Supreme Court has directed the Election Commission to increase random matching of VVPAT slips with EVMs to five polling booths per assembly segment of a parliamentary constituency or Assembly consistency, from one at present. Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) is an independent system attached to an EVM that allows the voters to verify that their votes are cast as intended.
  2. The Court has observed that the move would ensure greater degree of accuracy and increase satisfaction in the election process of not just the political parties but of the entire electorate.
  3. The SC has not agreed to the demand of 21 Opposition political parties for counting of at least 50% of VVPAT slips with EVMs in every assembly segment.
  4. In opposition to the political parties’ demand, the EC had argued that increasing VVPAT verification to 50% would delay Lok Sabha election results by nearly 6days. Further, EC had said that increasing VVPAT slip counting would require additional election officials, extensive training and capacity building of officials in the field and this would put a strain on EC’s resources.
  5. The Election Commission has assured its confidence on EVM-VVPATs based on a) secure designs of the systems, b) elaborate procedural safeguards adopted for their usage and c) the fact that there have been zero errors in sample verifications till date.