Lok Sabha Elections 2019: What is VVPAT? How does it work?

Lok Sabha elections will begin on April 11 and continue for over a month till May 19 across seven phases, followed by counting of votes on May 23, the Election Commission announced on Sunday, kick-starting a mega electoral battle where the BJP will pitch for a re-election of the Modi government amid the Opposition’s efforts for a united fight to unseat it.

The CEC informed that 23.3 lakh ballot units have already reached their destinations. Also 16.35 lakh control units and 17.4 lakh VVPATs are also deployed for conducting elections. The EC also said that VVPATs will be used along with EVMs at all polling stations. Adequate numbers of both have been made available for smooth conduct of election exercise. There will be mandatory VVPAT slip count at randomly selected polling station per assembly segment.

What is VVPAT?

A Voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) unit provides feedback to voters using EVMs for voting. The VVPAT functions as an independent verification system for EVMs and allows voters to verify that their votes are cast as intended. It also serves as an additional barrier to changing or destroying votes.

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.

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