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New and improved voting system, EVMs: EC

Jun 22, 2011 09:34 AM IST India India

New Delhi: The Election Commission (EC) has taken the allegations of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) being tampered with rather seriously. In an attempt to convince the voters about the fool proof nature of these machines, the EC is in the process of testing a new system called the Voter Verifiable Audit Trail System (VVPAT) which will be tested during mock polls that will be conducted in five states including the national capital between July 20 - 30.

The VVPAT system is pretty simple to work. Once the machine is ready, one presses the button corresponding to the symbol or party name they wish to vote for. A red light will flash and a beep will be heard. That means the vote has been cast. Simultaneously a piece of paper will be received which will have the same symbol of the party voted for. After verifying if its the correct choice, the paper should be folded and dropped into the ballot box.

Then the slips will be manually counted. The computed valued of the EVM data will also be collected and the two shall be compared. Once the tally is matched, the EC says it will prove that what one punches into an EVM is what they get. And that there is no possibility of increasing the number of votes for a certain party by tampering with the EVM.

Deputy Election Commissioner Alok Shukla said, "The EVM will be counted then the slips in both the printers too will be counted. That's when the process will be complete. We are only trying out this system now. Lets see what problems occur, if they do."

The EC has for the first time tried a new system and is going to the extent of conducting field trials. What remains to be seen is will this process reinstate the faith of India's voters and that of political parties back into the existing voting system.