Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail System (VVPAT), developed by the Election Commission of India (ECI) to reassure voters, is likely to be fitted in 20,000 electronic voting machines (EVMs) that will be used in the upcoming Assembly elections to five States, said S.K. Mendiratta, consultant and legal advisor to the ECI.

Under this system, a voter, after pressing the button for a candidate in the EVM, will know what has been recorded through a printed slip, which will display the name, symbol and number of the candidate for seven seconds after which the slip will go into a box.

A printer will be kept adjacent to the EVM in an enclosure to prevent voters from taking the slip, which, however, can be viewed through a glass window. The slip will be stored for five years and the Returning Officer can also have these slips tallied with the votes recorded in EVMs in case of any discrepancy.

He was delivering a lecture on ‘NOTA button, EVM and Electoral reforms in Indian Elections’ organised here on Saturday by Friends Group, Coimbatore.

The Supreme Court in October had directed the ECI adopt this facility in a phased manner in the coming elections following a petition seeking its implementation.

Explaining the necessity for implementing this system in phases, Mr. Mendiratta said that totally, elections required 13 lakh EVMs. Affixing printers to all of them would take more than a year besides a sum of Rs.1,700 crore.

Further, awareness campaign would have to be taken up among the public to explain the system. It had already been tested in five constituencies in different parts of the country.

Mr. Mendiratta, who has been associated with ECI for more than four decades, said that this system was first introduced in the Assembly election in Nagaland on September 4.

National and regional political parties were invited to assess this system.

Speaking on NOTA (none of the above) button, he said that it would not require any additional work to the EVMs.

Under this system, a voter, after pressing the button for a candidate in the EVM, will know what has been recorded through a printed slip, which will be displayed for seven seconds after which the slip will go into a box

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