Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Introduction of VVPAT and usage of VVPAT in polling stations

Introduction of VVPAT and How to use VVPAT in polling stations

The use of Electronic Voting Machines has revolutionized the Electoral System and introduction of Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail system has provided greater transparency to the poll process.

This is the 3rd Edition of Manual on Electronic Voting Machine and VVPAT, which has been restructured in view of the 100% use of VVPATs with EVMs and to familiarize the readers with the genesis of the Electronic Voting Machine, Process of its Development, Procurement, Storage and legal provisions. On the other side this manual contains all important instructions on use of Electronic Voting Machines and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail, making it useful handbook on the subject for the Electoral machinery handling the Electronic Voting Machines and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail system.

What is VVPAT?

Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail is an independent system attached with the Electronic Voting Machines that allows the voters to verify that their votes are cast as intended. When a vote is cast, a slip is printedon the VVPAT printer containing the serial number, name and symbol of the candidate and remains exposed through a transparent window for 7 seconds. Thereafter, this printed slip automatically gets cut and falls in sealed drop box of the VVPAT. 

VVPAT consists of a Printer. VVPAT runs on a power pack (Battery) of 22.5 volts. Control Unit  kept with the Presiding Officer/Polling Officer and Balloting Unit and Printer are kept in the voting compartment.
vvpat

Design of Electronic Voting Machines

Every electronic voting machine (hereinafter referred to as the voting machine) shall have a control unit and a balloting unit and shall be of such designs as may be approved by the Election Commission. Provided that a printer with a drop box of such design as may be approved by the Election Commission may also be attached to a voting machine for printing a paper trail of the vote, in such constituency or constituencies or parts thereof as the Election Commission may direct.

Preparation of voting machine for poll.

  1. The control unit and balloting unit of every voting machine used at polling station and the printer for paper trail where used, shall bear a label marked with—
  2. (a) the serial number, if any, and the name of the constituency;
  3. (b) the serial number and name of the polling station or stations as the case may be;
  4. (c) the serial number of the unit; and
  5. (d) the date of poll.
  6. Immediately before the commencement of the poll, the presiding officer shall demonstrate to the polling agents and other persons present that no vote has been already recorded in the voting machine and it bears the label referred to in sub-rule (1), and where the printer for paper trail is used that the drop box of the printer is empty.
  7. A paper seal shall be used for securing the control unit of the voting machine, and the presiding officer shall affix his own signature on the paper seal and obtain thereon the signature of such of the polling agents present as the desirous of affixing the same.
  8. The presiding officer shall thereafter fix the paper seal so signed in the space meant therefore in the control unit of the voting machine and shall secure and seal the same.
  9. The seal used for securing the control unit shall be fixed in such manner that  after the unit has been sealed, it is not possible to press the “result button” without breaking the seal.
  10. The control unit shall be closed and secured and placed in full view of the presiding officer and the polling agents and the balloting unit placed in the voting compartment.
  11. Where the printer for paper trail is used, the printer shall also be kept along with the balloting unit in the voting compartment and shall be connected to the EVM in the manner as directed by the Election Commission. 

Procedure for voting by voting machines

Before permitting an elector to vote, the polling officer shall—
  1. record the electoral roll number of the elector as entered in the marked copy of the electoral roll in a register of voters in Form 17A. 
  2. obtain the signature or the thumb impression of the elector on the said register of votes; and
  3. mark the name of the elector in the marked copy of the electoral roll to indicate that he has been allowed to vote:
  4. give details of the document produced by the elector in proof of his/ her identification.
  5. Provided that no elector shall be allowed to vote unless he has his signature or thumb impression on the register of voters.

Maintenance of secrecy of voting by electors within the polling station and voting procedures.

  1. Every elector who has been permitted to vote under rule 49L shall maintain secrecy of voting within the polling station and for that purpose observe the voting procedure hereinafter laid down.
  2. Immediately on being permitted to vote the elector shall proceed to the presiding officer or the polling officer in-charge of the control unit of the voting machine who shall, by pressing the appropriate button on the control unit, activate the balloting unit; for recording of elector's vote.
  3. The elector shall thereafter forthwith—
  4. proceed to the voting compartment; 
  5. record his vote by pressing the button on the balloting unit against the name and symbol of the candidate for whom he intends to vote; and
  6. come out of the voting compartment and leave the polling station: Provided that where printer for paper trail is used, upon casting the vote by pressing the button under clause 
  7. the elector shall be able to view through the transparent window of the printer, kept alongwith the balloting unit inside the voting compartment, the printed paper slip showing the serial no, name and the symbol of the candidate for whom he has cast his vote before such paper slip
  8. gets cut and drops in the drop box of the printer”.
  9. Every elector shall vote without undue delay.
  10. No elector shall be allowed to enter the voting compartment when another elector is inside it.
  11. If an elector who has been permitted to vote under rule 49L or rule 49P refuses after warning given by the presiding officer to observe the procedure laid down in sub-rule (3) of the said rules, the presiding officer or a polling officer under the direction of the presiding officer shall not allow such elector to vote. 
  12. Where an elector is not allowed to vote under sub-rule (6), a remark to the effect that voting procedure has been violated shall be made against the elector's name in the register of voters in Form 17A by the presiding officer under his signature.



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