Bhubaneswar: Voters in Bijepur by-election will have the Voter- Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) facility so tha thay can verify their vote cast.
This will be for the first time in Odisha to have polling with VVPAT system linked EVMs.
Chief Election Officer D N Gupta said on Friday that in all future general elections VVPATs would be attached with EVMs as per the notification of the Election Commission of India.
By virtue of this arrangement a voter can see his cast vote on a VVPAT generated paper slip displayed on the screen for seven seconds before it is dropped in a ballot box for future use if needed.
“In case of any irregularities or suspicion,” Mr. Gupta said,” the concerned candidate or his representative can register complaint and it can be verified from the slip. The data can also be stored for a good number of days,”
VVPAT was used as pilot project in India in 8 Loksabha constituencies in the 2014 general election,
The EVMs’ immunity to tampering has been put under question at times since it was used but after the 2014 general election- for BJP’s unprecedented election performance the, questions became louder. Political parties like BSP, AAP, Congress and others strongly alleged EVM tampering and even demanded to back to the paper- ballot system of voting.
BSP after its debacle in UP election in March this year charged BJP of manipulating the EVMs and moved to the Supreme Court.
During the hearing in April the Apex Court had questioned the EC why all the EVMs were not attached with VVPAT.
In 2013, the apex court had directed the EC to use VVPAT, saying a paper trail is an indispensable requirement of free and fair elections.
Since then hundred percent VVPAT linked EVM was about to come.