The Election Commission of India, which currently matches the votes cast in one polling booth in every assembly constituency with paper slips in the Voter Verifiable Paper Trail (VVPAT) units, is still not sure of increasing the number to a statistically valid level.
There have been demands from both political parties as well as the civil society for matching the votes cast through EVM machines with VVPAT slips in booths ranging from 20% to 50%.
This, it has been argued, not would increase voter confidence and make the electoral process more transparent but ensures free and fair election
It is to be noted opposition parties barring BJP , ADMK given representation to Election Commission to verify 50% of Voter Verifiable Paper Trail (VVPAT) units polled results with E-Couting in EVMs
It has also to be noted that with each Lok Sabha constituency covering six or more assembly constituencies, the number of booths is more than 1,500. To match votes in just six of them or 0.4 per cent of the booths make little or makes zero common sense.
But the Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora told the media on Sunday, “The Election Commission expects the report from the committee of Indian Statistical Institute experts, constituted to determine a feasible threshold, to come in any time, certainly before the poll process is over.
It will then discuss the view and take a view.” But this explanation raises eyebrows and also stretches the Commission’s credibility because Statisticians would require less than 24 hours to determine the acceptable statistical threshold, given the size of the electorate, number of booths and the number of EVM machines.
With the Commission neither disclosing the names of the experts nor revealing when it was constituted or the time-frame given to the committee, it is impossible to ascertain the reasons for the delay.
But experts speaking on condition of anonymity say that the Commission may not be keen to change the existing pattern in 2019.
It is worth recalling that VVPATS were ordered by the Supreme Court of India in 2013. The court reiterated its direction in 2016 but it was not before April, 2017 that the Union cabinet approved the expenditure on buying 1.6 million VVPAT units.
If Election Commission goes with existing 0.4 factor in 2019 general election that is just 6 out of 1500 machines for verification then the chances of allegation of tampering of EVM machines at back end process bound to cast aspersions on Election Commission observes Splco media Editorial panel
IF not heading opposition parties request for 50% verification of VVPATS with EVMs at least a random choice of 200 VVPATS ( approx 13%) verification in each MP Constituency not only break the ice of allegations but sure to ensure a 100% full proof Poll practise that will boast World Largest Democratic nation Indian’s Image in International Countries towards Election Conduct using EVMs