EC rejects Opposition's demands concerning EVMs

The Asian Age.

India, Politics

The issue to change the protocol for counting was discussed by the CEC Sunil Arora at his meeting with the other two election commissioners.

Election Commission of India (Photo: File)

New Delhi: The Election Commission of India (EC) has rejected the demands of the opposition regarding Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) on Wednesday.

The issue to change the protocol for counting was discussed by the Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora at his meeting with election commissioners Ashok Lavasa and Sushil Chandra.

A delegation of 22 opposition parties had met the EC on Tuesday to register their complaint on the functioning of EVMs and convey their demands to the EC.

The Opposition had demanded that tallying of the VVPAT slips in five polling stations in each Assembly segment with the EVMs be done prior to counting votes cast in EVMs.

Also, the Opposition wanted 100 per cent counting of paper slips of VVPATs of all polling stations of an assembly segment, in case of any discrepancy is found in VVPAT verification.

Opposition leaders had hinted that they weren’t very positive that the poll panel would fix the discrepancies hours before the counting process is to begin, as the EC ignored the suggestions for months.

“We raised these same issues in last one and half months. Why did they not respond?” asked Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi who called the suggestion to first verify the VVPAT paper slips a “no-brainer”.

Hindustan Times reported election official to have cited existing orders to point out that in case there is any mismatch between electronic candidate-wise result of the Control Unit and the candidate-wise VVPAT slips manual count, recounting of the VVPAT slips of that particular VVPAT shall be conducted till the recount is tallied with the EVM count or one of the previous VVPAT slips count more details awaited.

In cases, where mock-poll data was not erased from EVMs by election officials, those units will be kept aside and only VVPAT slips will be referred to during the counting.

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