VVPAT Verification

Electronic voting machines and voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) units, be cross-verified in at least 30% randomly chosen polling stations



VVPAT Verification

SC direction

  • The Supreme Court directed the Election Commission to respond to a plea that the counts from electronic voting machines and voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) units should be cross-verified in at least 30% randomly chosen polling stations in each Assembly and Lok Sabha constituency, especially in light of the Lok Sabha election in May.

‘Inexplicably minuscule’

  • The petition said the commission had chosen to conduct the cross-verification exercise in an “inexplicably minuscule” manner in the recent Assembly elections.
  • The fraction of polling stations chosen for such random cross-verification has been inexplicably minuscule (less than 1% of polling stations in each constituency). This is manifestly arbitrary, irrational, unreasonable and in violation of Article 14 of the Constitution, the petition said.
  • It said the principle of elections not only need to be free and fair but also seen to be free and fair.
  • The petition sought that “in order to detect and deter any such mischief or bias in the EVM process, at least 30% of all polling stations in a constituency must be chosen randomly for EVM counts to be cross-verified with VVPAT counts”.

2013 order

  • The petitioners submitted that the Supreme Court in its judgment in Subramanian Swamy versus ECI , reported in 2013, had held that it was imperative that elections held through EVMs ought to implement a mechanism of voter verifiable paper audit trails so that the voter can satisfy himself that his vote was accurately recorded.
  • The court’s judgment and need for voter confidence and transparency in the election process led to the mechanism for random cross-verification of EVM and VVPAT counts. This was in order to detect any technological mischief or mal-programming of EVMs, the petitioners contended.

Point to remember

  • Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT)
  • Purpose of EVM and VVPAT
  • Cross- Verification