The most awaited event of the year is getting delayed. But, not much, just 4 hours or a day at max. The delay is all because of the Apex Court order to increase voter-verified paper audit trail or VVPAT count to five – instead of one – in every assembly segment for general election 2019. The VVPAT system, which is being used for the first time in a general election, enables Electronic Voting Machines or EVMs to record each vote by generating a slip.
Sudeep Jain, Deputy Election Commissioner, who is in charge of the VVPATs, told NDTV, “On an average, counting of votes using one VVPAT takes about an hour. Earlier we were counting one VVPAT, now we are adding four more, which would mean an additional four hours. So the results will be out by the evening or latest by May 24 morning.”
“EVMs and VVPATs are perfect and we have no doubt they are tamper-proof,” he added.
Twenty-one opposition parties had asked for counting of at least 25 percent EVM paper trail machines, but during a hearing on April 8, the Election Commission had rejected the petition saying the results of the Lok Sabha election could be delayed by five days if 50 percent of voter-verifiable paper trail or VVPAT machines in every assembly segment were counted.
The Election Commission at present matches VVPAT slips of 4,125 EVMs under the “one EVM per assembly segment” guideline. Following the court order, the Election Commission will have to count the VVPAT slips of five times as many machines in each constituency, or that of 20,625 EVMs.