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A file photo of Election Commission building in Delhi (Photo: Mint)
A file photo of Election Commission building in Delhi (Photo: Mint)

Statistical Institute submits report on paper trail count to Election Commission

  • Refusing to divulge much, sources in the poll panel claimed the ISI was of the view that "5%" match would be sufficient to enhance voters' faith in the EVM
  • There have been demands by parties to increase the number of polling stations where VVPAT slips are matched with EVM results

NEW DELHI : The Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) on Friday submitted a report to the Election Commission on the number of paper trail machine slips that should be matched with EVM results to enhance voters' confidence.

In view of the varying demands for enhanced percentage of VVPAT slip count during elections in the country, the Commission had engaged the Indian Statistical Institute to analyse and scientifically examine the issue of VVPAT Slip verification with electronic count of the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).

Refusing to divulge much, sources in the poll panel claimed the ISI was of the view that "5%" match would be sufficient to enhance voters' faith in the EVMs. But senior functionaries dealing with the issue refused to confirm the figure indicating that the matter would come up in the Supreme Court on March 25 where the EC would place its views.

The apex court is hearing petitions on use of VVPATs.

An EC statement said on Friday that the ISI was tasked with the job to arrive at a mathematically sound, statistically robust and practically cogent solutions to the issue of a number/percentage of VVPAT slip counts to be done during the elections.

"The report submitted by the expert committee shall now be examined by the Commission and necessary action initiated," the statement said.

There have been demands by parties to increase the number of polling stations where VVPAT slips are matched with EVM results.

As of now, voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines are used in all polling stations but results of EVMs and VVPATs are matched in one polling station per constituency.

VVPAT or paper trail machine is a device which dispenses a slip with the symbol of the party for which a person has voted for.

The slip appears on a small window for seven seconds and then drops in a box. The voter cannot take it home.

There have been demands to increase the number of polling stations where EVM and VVPAT results are matched to dispel fears about electronic voting machines being 'hacked' to favour a particular political party.

Parties parties have demanded that 10 to 30 per cent paper trail slips per constituency be counted to ensure there is no rigging and to assure voters that the electronic voting machines are working fine.

The EC has been brainstorming over increasing the percentage of VVPAT slips since 2016. The then CEC Nasim Zaidi had pushed for an early decision but little progress was made.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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