Over the next 10 days, the office of the Chief Electoral Officer and the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) will hold demonstrations on VVPAT (Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail) machine in polling stations in Bangalore South Lok Sabha constituency.
Speaking to presspersons here on Thursday, Chief Electoral Officer Anil Kumar Jha said that the VVPAT machine, which will be kept in the polling stations, was essentially a printing device.
“This is being introduced in the polling stations in Bangalore South on a trial basis. The machines will print out the choice made by the voters. However, the print will remain inside the machine and will be preserved,” he said and added that the print on the thermal paper will last up to five years.
He said that Bangalore South had been chosen as it has the least number of polling stations of the three constituencies in Bangalore city. There are 1,925 polling stations in the constituency. “The whole console, i.e., electronic voter machine and VVPAT, will be visible only to the voter. Voters will be prevented from taking their mobile phones into the polling stations. If any voter takes a photo of the choice made, he can be prosecuted under the Representation of People Act,” he added.
He said that if there is any discrepancy in the display on the VVPAT machine and the choice made by the voter, he can complain to the presiding officer at the polling station, who will look into the veracity of the complaint. A test vote can be made to check the machine, which will not be counted. He added that during counting of votes, if an agent or a candidate has a complaint, he can give it in writing to the Returning Officer (RO) who will look into the request and verify the votes polled, along with the printed slips. The electronic voting machine that was used for the demonstration did not have NOTA (None of The Above) option. When asked, the election officials said that this was only for demonstration purpose and not the real EVM. “The EVMs to be used in further demonstrations will have the NOTA button,” the officials added.