Himachal Pradesh Assembly Election: Despite several complaints, glitches in VVPAT machines delay polling

Voting was still on in some of polling booths across Himachal Pradesh beyond the time when the polling was supposed to end. The reason for the delay could have been the glitches in voting machines, especially in the VVPAT (voter verifiable paper audit trail) machines. Even after 5 p.m, polling was on in over 500 booths.

The Election Commission, for the first time, has used VVPAT in all 7,521 polling booths of the state. During the training period, the polling staff had complained about technical hitches in the VVPAT and expressed the fear of possible trouble during voting. On Thursday, there have been more than 100 reports of glitches in the VVPAT, besides 70 EVM errors. However, polling resumed in all booths after some time.

Voters in Himachal Pradesh. PTI

Voters in Himachal Pradesh. PTI

There were complaints of glitches in VVPAT machines from all districts. “There were several reports, but we replaced the machines immediately. Polling was not affected,” said Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Pushpendra Rajput.

In some polling booths, control units and ballot units developed snags and the EC had to bring in technical teams to resolve the issue. “We were aware that VVPAT machines will cause trouble, because there were numerous complaints even during training sessions,” another EC officer said requesting anonymity.

The use of VVPAT machines has increased the time of casting a vote. In such a mechanism, the voter can see his or her vote for seven seconds. “A voter will stay in the voting compartment for 7 more seconds. Ultimately, this will result in delay,” the election officer added.

What is VVPAT?

VVPAT machines are equipments connected to the EVMs that generate a paper trail once you cast a vote. The slip, containing the name and symbol of the candidate, is visible through a screen for seven seconds before being deposited in a box inside the machines.

Updated Date: Nov 10, 2017 07:35 AM

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