According to a Union Law Ministry document, the Election Commission has included a new feature in the symbol loading process of paper trail devices in an effort to improve transparency in the election process.

According to the ministry’s 2022-23 annual report, the new feature allows for the simultaneous visual display of the serial number, symbol, and name of candidates being uploaded to the VVPATs (voter verifiable paper audit trail machines) during the first-level checks and commissioning on a monitor or a TV screen for stakeholders to cross-check.

The functionality has been introduced to the symbol loading unit, which uploads symbols and names of candidates running for a certain seat onto a VVPAT slip.

For improved transparency, VVPAT (paper trail machine) slips from five randomly selected polling stations per assembly constituency (or segment in the case of Lok Sabha seats) have been matched with the EVM count since 2019.

In the assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, as well as the seven bypolls held late last year, there was no mismatch in the counting of paper trail machine slips and votes cast in EVMs.

The VVPAT slips appear in a window for seven seconds after a vote is cast on an EVM, allowing the voter to double-check that the ballot was cast for the designated candidate. The slip is then dropped into a basket. The voter is not permitted to take the slip since it violates the notion of a secret ballot.

Similar to EVMs, the VVPATs also do not use an external power supply and run on internal power packs.

Categorized in: