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Cabinet approves EC proposal to buy VVPAT machines

Cabinet approves EC proposal to buy VVPAT machines

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said after the Cabinet meeting that the government had approved the Election Commission's (EC) demand of Rs 3,173.47 crore for procuring 16.15 lakh Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) units.

A VVPAT is intended as an independent verification system for voting machines created to allow voters to verify that their vote was cast correctly, to detect possible election fraud or malfunction, and to provide a means to audit the stored electronic results.

VVPAT is a machine which dispenses a slip with the symbol of the party for which a person has voted for.

The Union Cabinet today gave its nod to the EC proposal to buy Electronic Voting Machines with paper trail, informed sources said, as per IANS.

Civil Appeal No.9093/2013 was filed by Dr. Subramanian Swamy pleading for directions to the Election Commission to use VVPAT Units in all polling booths.

Several parties, including Congress, Bahujan Samaj Party and Delhi's ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) have said that EVMs can be tampered with. The slip drops in a box but the voter can not take it home.

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EC has sought Rs 3,174 cr for procuring over 16 lakh paper trail machines to cover all polling stations in the country.

While a group of 16 parties petitioned the poll panel recently to revert to paper ballot system for greater transparency and expressed doubts over the integrity of EVMs, parties such as the BSP and the SP raised doubts over the BJP's victory in Uttar Pradesh.

August 14, 2013: Conduct of Election Rules, 1961 was amended to facilitate the introduction of VVPAT units.

Justice A.K. Pathak, before whom the matter was brought for urgent consideration, issued notice to the Election Commission and Delhi State Election Commission, and said that the matter would be taken up for detailed hearing at a later date.

In 2013, the commission purchased 20,300 VVPAT units and since then it has deployed them in certain seats. The paper trail machines leave a paper trail which helps an elector confirm whether the EVM has faithfully registered the vote has has cast to a particular candidate. According to official figures, in 2015, 67,000 VVPATs were ordered, but only 33,000 were received.

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