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Cabinet approves funds for paper trail machines

| | Updated on: Apr 19, 2017
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The Government will provide ₹3173.47 crore to the Election Commission for procuring over 1.6 million Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines which will be used in the forthcoming elections and the General Elections 2019, the Election Commission said in a statement. This was decided at a Cabinet meeting here on Wednesday

Agency reports said that the funds would be given to the Commission in two instalments — the first of ₹ 1,600 crore in this fiscal and the rest in the next fiscal.

The availability of the funds will help the Commission ensure compliance of the order of the Supreme Court and its own commitment to use VVPATs with every EVM at all polling stations in General Elections 2019. The Cabinet decision brings to an end the Election Commission’s seven-year-long struggle with the Government to secure funds so that an adequate numbers of VVPATs are made available at every election station during the elections. The Commission believes that this will help stop electoral fraud.

How it works A VVPAT generates a paper slip bearing the name and symbol of the candidate voted for along with recording the vote in the Control Unit of the machine, so that in case of a dispute, the paper slips can be counted to verify the result being shown in the EVM. In VVPATs, a printer is attached to the balloting unit and kept in the voting compartment. The paper slip remains visible on a VVPAT for seven seconds through a transparent window.

The Cabinet’s approval for funds for VVPATs comes at a time when a number of political parties raised concerns about the fairness of the EVMs in the recently held Assembly elections.

Published on January 15, 2018

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