In Graphics: Ahead of Bihar Polls, Here's All You Need to Know About EVMs & VVPATs

Image for representation.

Image for representation.

As the state gears up for the elections, News18 looks at the VVPAT system, EVMs, and their functions.

Bihar, which has 243 assembly seats, will go to polls in three phases - October 28, November 3 and November 7. The counting of votes will be held on November 10. As the polls are being held amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the Election Commission said that extra precautions will be undertaken. Among the steps taken are an extra voting hour, separate voting for Covid patients, suspects and those in quarantine, and no physical contact during the campaign. Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora, while announcing the dates, had also said that the Election Commission of Bihar has been provided an additional number of EVMs including VVPATs.

But how did the VVPAT become a crucial part of our electoral process? As the state gears up for the elections, News18 looks at the VVPAT system, EVMs, and their functions.

What are VVPAT machines?

Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines are used during election process to verify that the vote polled by a voter goes to the correct candidate. VVPAT is a way of giving feedback to voters using ballot-free voting system. This system gives the voter an opportunity to verify their vote. VVPAT has a kind of a printer connected to the EVM, enclosed in a glass case, in a manner that only the voter can see it. The VVPAT system was first introduced during the 2014 general elections by the Election Commission.

After a voter pushes the button on the EVM against the chosen candidate, the VVPAT prints a slip bearing details such as the name of the candidate and the election symbol and drops it automatically into a sealed box. The slip is displayed to the voter for seven seconds, after which the VVPAT machine drops in into the storage box with a beep sound. The purpose of a VVPAT is to confirm the authenticity of the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).

How do EVMs Work?

Electronic voting is voting that employs electronic methods to facilitate or take care of casting and counting votes. It is used in General as well as state elections. Notably, it replaced paper ballots in local, state and parliamentary polls.

An EVM is made up of two units: The control unit and balloting unit. These two are linked by a meter cable. When a voter [icks a candidate by pressing a button, the machine locks itself. Now, this EVM can be opened only through a new ballot number. This way, EVMs guarantee that one individual gets to vote only once.

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