Delhi Elections: New Delhi only constituency to have VVPAT machines

In Delhi, it's easily the most interesting election that the state has ever seen: hotly contested, evenly matched and unpredictable.

Officers on election duty told Firstpost that New Delhi is the only constituency in Delhi to have EVMs fitted with VVPAT (Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail). The VVPAT allows voters to get a visual confirmation of who they voted for.

"It is like in the ATM machines, there is small screen that shows the symbol we voted for. A paper slip gets printed and it falls off the machine," said an early morning voter N P Mahanto, a businessman, explaining his experience of using the VVPAT.

Image: PTI

Image: PTI

The VVPAT is a machine attached to EVMs which allows voters to check if their votes are cast the way they had intended.

As soon as the voter casts his vote, the VVPAT shows a small slip in a glass covered screen with the symbol and the candidate he has voted for in the form of a small ballot paper, which after 3 to 4 seconds would automatically fall into an attached closed box.

A VVPAT allows voters to verify that their votes are cast as intended and can serve as an additional barrier to changing or destroying votes.

However, there are some security concerns on VVPAT. The introduction of malicious software into a VVPAT system can cause it to intentionally mis-record the voter's selections. This attack could minimize detection by manipulating only a small percentage of the votes.

Another security concern is that a VVPAT could print while no voter is observing the paper trail, a form of ballot stuffing. Even if additional votes were discovered by matching it to the voters list, it would be impossible to identify legitimate ballots from fraudulent ballots.

The VVPAT system was first experimented in the Noksen Assembly bypoll in Nagaland. It was then used on a large scale in Mizoram on 25 November when 21 VVPATs out of 217 used in the polling were found defective.

“Eleven VVPATs failed during routine checkup a day before the assembly polls, 10 more were unsuccessful during the polling day and had to be replaced,” Mizoram Chief Electoral officer (CEO) Ashwini Kumar told reporters.

Updated Date: Dec 04, 2013 10:31 AM

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