- 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 Supreme Court has directed the Election Commission of India (ECI) to increase the random matching of paper trail machine slips with EVM results from one to five polling booths in each assembly segment for the multiphase Lok Sabha polls. The move is aimed at bringing more “credibility” and “integrity” to the electoral process.
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.