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Puncture in opposition’s plot: EC rejects demand to change VVPAT counting process

Yesterday, the Supreme court had also dismissed the petition seeking 100 per cent matching of Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) slips with Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) during the counting of votes on May 23.

In the latest, the three-member Election Commission has rejected the demands made in the memorandum submitted by 22 opposition parties, which urged the EC to review the process of counting votes cast in the Lok Sabha elections.

At a meeting with election commissioners Ashok Lavasa and Sushil Chandra, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora had taken up the opposition’s demand to change the protocol for counting. Rejecting the demands, the EC said that the existing standard operating procedure will be followed.

Election officials maintained that at present, the counting will involve the matching of paper slips in five polling booths picked randomly for each assembly segment towards the end of counting.

Citing existing orders, the Election Commission furthered that in case of any discrepancies between the electronic candidate-wise result of the Control Unit and the candidate-wise VVPAT slips manual count, recounting of the VVPAT slips of that particular VVPAT shall be conducted till the recount is tallied with the EVM count or one of the previous VVPAT slips count.

Moreover, in cases where mock-poll data was not erased from EVMs by election officials, those units will be kept aside and only VVPAT slips will be referred to during the counting, reiterated the EC officials.

Spooked by exit polls predictions, which forecasted a thumping victory for BJP-led NDA government in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the opposition parties have been putting in a concerted effort to discredit the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) used in these elections.

Yesterday, 22 opposition parties met the officials of the Election Commission of India (EC) to submit a memorandum duly signed by their party representatives.

Through the memorandum to the EC, the opposition claimed that EVM guidelines were flouted during the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections. They demanded if any discrepancy is found during the VVPAT verification then 100 per cent counting of paper slips of VVPATs of all polling stations of that Assembly segment should be done.

Incidentally, EC had earlier too issued clarifications after opposition parties and journalists peddled fake news about EVMs. Moreover, the Supreme court had also dismissed the petition to seek 100 per cent matching of Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) slips with Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) during the counting of votes on May 23.

And now, with not even a day left before the peoples’ mandate is out in the open, Election Commission’s decision has come as a hard blow, putting an end to the opposition parties rhetorics to pressurise the election body.

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OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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