Election Commission to buy 1.6 m paper-trail EVMs from BEL, ECI

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 15, 2018

Nasim Zaidi, Chief Election Commissioner

The Election Commission has issued a letter of intent for purchase of 1.6 million Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trails (VVPATs) at an estimated cost of ₹3,173.47 crore during 2017-18 and 2018-19 from Bharat Electronics Ltd and Electronic Corporation of India Ltd.

In a letter to the Chairmen and Managing Directors of the two companies, the Commission has communicated its intent to purchase 8.7 lakh VVPAT from each company by September.

“These VVPATs shall be manufactured by both PSUs only as per the design approved by the Commission based on recommendations of the Technical Experts Committee on EVMs constituted by the Commission and comprising of eminent technical professors from IITs. The Commission shall closely monitor the production of VVPATs for timely delivery well before General Elections 2019,” the Commission said in its communication.

“This (VVPAT) will enhance transparency and uphold the voters’ right to know which party he or she has voted, thereby increasing voters’ confidence in the free and fair electoral process,” Nasim Zaidi, Chief Election Commissioner, said explaining the importance of this step.

The EC’s move comes days after the Union Cabinet approved ₹3173.47 crore, in compliance with the order of the Supreme Court and recommendations of the Commission, for the procurement of 1.6 million VVPATs to be used not only in the forthcoming Assembly elections but also in General Elections 2019.

A VVPAT is a machine that is attached to the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM). The VVPAT attached to the EVM generates a paper slip which has the name of the candidate and the symbol of the party voted for.

Published on April 23, 2017

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