EVM data will be tallied with audit-trail feedback: Election Commission

Chief Election Commissioner O P Rawat on Friday said the paper slips of voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) will be counted and tallied against the votes cast on the electronic voting machines(EVMs) at one polling station in every assembly constituency in states where elections are currently underway.

VVPAT generates a paper slip containing the details of the voter and the party he/ she voted for besides displaying the details on the computer screen for few moments in order to make voters doubly sure of EVM functioning.

Rawat said the tallying of VVPAT slips with the votes cast and stored in the EVMs will be done to demonstrate that the voting system has been working perfectly. One polling station in every assembly will be selected randomly to do this tallying.

The CEC on Friday reviewed the election preparedness in Telangana, which is going to polls on December 7, and also met with all the political parties to take their views on the implementation of the modal code of conduct and other aspects of the ongoing election process in the state. Responding in a lighter vein to questions being raised over and over on whether an EVM is tamper proof, the chief election commissioner said that no machine in the world, not just the EVM, can be termed absolutely tamper proof because they do not have their own eyes, ears and hands to protect themselves from a possible act of mischief.

"These machines are kept under the custody of people responsible for their safety and security. They have to protect them from any such possibility," Rawat said while reiterating the Election Commission's faith in the foolproof functioning of EVMs.

In response to a complaint received from opposition Congress party over the colour of ballot paper being similar to the colour identified with by the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), Rawat said the pink colour ballot papers were being used in the country since 1952. "If some one thinks that the colour of a ballot paper would influence the voters' preference in favour of a particular party, then they should have raised an objection over the selection of the party colour when when it happened, " he said while ruling out the change of ballot paper colour in Telangana.

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