The Supreme Court is assessing how many poll booths should undergo Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) slip matching.
The Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Mr. Chandrababu Naidu, has approached the Supreme Court to direct the Election Commission (EC) to match a higher number of Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) slips. VVPAT is an independent vote verification system, which allows a voter to see whether their vote was cast correctly. VVPAT generates a paper slip that the voter can view -- the paper slip is kept in a sealed cover, which can be opened in case a dispute arises. The petitioners whish the Election Commision to physically verify a higher number of VVPAT slips.
Mr. Naidu has requested the Court to issue the following orders:
Note that for Lok Sabha elections the unit is a Segment and for State Legislature elections the unit is the Constituency.
EVMs have been used in all 543 Parliamentary Constituencies since 2004. In August, 2013 the Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961 were amended to allow the EC to use EVMs with VVPATs. In 2013, the Supreme Court directed the EC to introduce VVPAT in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
In response to the petition, the EC filed an affidavit, submitting that if 50% VVPAT slips were double-counted, this would delay the announcement of results by at least 6 days.
How many EVMs must be installed with VVPAT systems in order to ensure free and fair elections?