In news: VVPATs and VIS are in news as Election Commission of India announced by elections for Parliamentary and Assembly seats
History of VVPAT
- The Commission used VVPAT with EVMs for the first time in bye-election from 51-Noksen (ST) Assembly Constituency of Nagaland.
- Thereafter, VVPATs have been used in selected constituencies in every election to Legislative Assemblies and 8 Parliamentary Constituencies in General Election to the House of the People-2014.
About Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail VVPAT)
- VVPAT is an independent system attached with the Electronic Voting Machines that allows the voters to verify that their votes are cast as intended.
- It is a machine that is used in elections to verify that the citizen’s vote has been correctly placed.
- The VVPAT is placed in a transparent glass case, allowing the voter to see the vote.
- The voter slip is then displayed to the voter for about seven seconds. Then it is dropped in the storage box and a beep confirms this action
- In times of political mudslinging about EVM tampering, a paper trail ensures that voter faith remains intact, strengthening participatory democracy.
- It gives instant feedback to the voter, through a printed slip. Essentially, after a voter presses the button confirming their vote for their chosen candidate or NOTA, the VVPAT machine prints a slip containing the name of the candidate and the corresponding election symbol and automatically drops it in a sealed box.
Whether counting of printing paper slips of VVPAT is compulsory on the counting day?
Counting of printed paper slips of VVPAT is done only in the following cases:
- Mandatory verification of printed VVPAT paper slips of 01 randomly selected polling station of (a) Assembly Constituency in case of election to State Legislative Assembly and (b) each Assembly Segment in case of election to the House of the People.
- In case of no display of result from the Control Unit, the printed paper slips of the respective VVPAT is counted.
- If any candidate, or in his absence, his election agent or any of his counting agents make a written request to count the printed paper slips of the VVPAT in respect of any polling station or polling stations under Rule 56 D of the Conduct of Elections Rules 1961, the Returning Officer taking into consideration various factors decides and issue written orders, whether to count or not to count the printed paper slips of the VVPAT of that particular polling station(s).
About Voter Information Slips (VIS)
- In order to help the voter to know the serial number of electoral roll of his/her polling station, date of poll, time etc, the Commission vide letter dated 26.02.2021, has decided to issue ‘Voter Information Slip’ to the voters in place of Photo Voter Slip.
- Voter Information Slip will include information like Polling Station, Date, Time etc. but not the photograph of the voter.
- Voter Information Slips are distributed at least 5 days before the date of poll to all enrolled electors, by the District Election Officer.
- However, Voter Information Slip will not be allowed as proof of identity of voters.
Note: Commission had discontinued Photo Voter Slips as an identity proof with effect from 28th February, 2019.