- Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.
What to study?
For Prelims and Mains: What are VVPATs, why are they being used now and issues related to EVM tampering, other measures announced by ECI to enhance transparency during elections.
Context: The Election Commission recently informed the Madras High Court that it had made it clear way back in 2017 that there shall be 100% use of the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) system during the Lok Sabha election this year to gain voter confidence.
What are VVPAT machines?
- The Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail is a method that provides feedback to voters.
- It is an independent verification printer machine and is attached to electronic voting machines.
- It allows voters to verify if their vote has gone to the intended candidate.
How do VVPAT machines work?
- When a voter presses a button in the EVM, a paper slip is printed through the VVPAT.
- The slip contains the poll symbol and name of the candidate.
- It allows the voter to verify his/her choice. After being visible to the voter from a glass case in the VVPAT for seven seconds, the ballot slip will be cut and dropped into the drop box in the VVPAT machine and a beep will be heard.
- VVPAT machines can be accessed by polling officers only.
- VVPAT is a machine which dispenses a slip with the symbol of the party for which a person has voted for. The slip dropped in a box but the voter cannot take it home.
Advantages in VVPATs:
- Enables to verify vote: Instant feedback to voter that vote polled has been allocated to the intended candidate.
- Enables authorities to count the votes manually if there is a dispute in the electronically polled votes.
- Operates under a Direct Recording Election system (DRE) which detects fraud and existent malfunctions.
- Will ensure greater transparency in voting process.
- Gives both the voters and political parties an assurance.