LS polls: Election Commission holds important meet with IAS officers

As per the instructions of Election Commission of India, the office of the Chief Electoral Officer, Tamil Nadu has been organising workshops/demonstrations on EVMs and VVPATs, with various departments and major stakeholders. As part of this initiative, a demonstration on EVMs and VVPATs for the IAS officers working in Chennai was held on Tuesday in the 10th floor Conference hall of Namakkal Kavignar Maaligai, Secretariat, Chennai.

The EVM/VVPAT demonstration was inaugurated by the Chief Secretary to Government. The Chief Electoral Officer, Tamil Nadu addressed the gathering which was followed by a technical presentation by engineers from Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Bengaluru on the functioning and security features of EVMs and VVPATs. This was followed by a hands on session on EVMs and VVPATs which was interactive with active participation of the officers.

The Election Commission of India on Tuesday informed the Madras high court that during the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, all electronic voting machines (EVMs) would be matched with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) systems. The EC said, "Instructions have already been issued to use VVPAT systems with all the EVMs through which voters can verify if they have cast their votes correctly during the forthcoming Parliamentary elections."

The VVPAT is a method of providing feedback to voters using a ballotless voting system and it allows voters to verify if their vote was cast correctly, to detect possible election fraud or machine malfunction. It will contain the name of the candidate for whom the vote has been cast and symbol of the party or individual candidate.

The EC has however stated that voters cannot take the sheet out of the voting booth and that the sheets will be used by the EC as a means to audit the stored electronic results. For implementing the initiative, the Centre has sanctioned Rs 3,173.47 crore, said reports.