Paper trail machines don't click pictures: Election Commission to voters

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New Delhi:

Beware of the warning that asks an electorate to vote for a particular candidate, stating "you have taken the money and can't fool us as the paper trail machine clicks your picture casting vote,", says the chief election commissioner, dismissing the claims as a canard.              

This is being spread by some using money to buy votes and the Election Commission would launch a campaign to dispel this myth, he said. 

Referring to rumour mongering, The chief election commissioner O P Rawat told PTI that those distributing cash to voters could threaten them saying that the paper trail machines take their picture while casting vote.

The CEC said voters are made to believe that it would be known which button on the EVM was pressed.

"They tell the voters to cast vote in their favour in return of cash and if they do not wish to vote for it, they should not accept cash as the picture clicked by paper trail machine would expose them," Rawat explained.

He said this time around, the poll panel would launch a campaign to inform the voters that the paper trail machines do not breach their secrecy at the polling booth.

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"We'll tell them that whatever people say about paper trail machines, they should not believe it ... no pictures are clicked," he said.

Voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) is a machine which dispenses a slip with the symbol of the party for which a person has voted for. The slip appears on a small window for seven seconds and then drops in a box. But the voter cannot take it home.

The VVPAT or paper trail machines are used in all polling stations. But as of now, results of EVMs and VVPATs are matched in one polling station per constituency.?

There have been demands to increase the number of polling stations where EVM and VVPAT results are matched to dispel fears about electronic voting machines being 'hacked' to favour a particular political party.

 Rawat said there have been delays in the delivery of paper trail machines as the Technical Experts Committee appointed by it analyses the technology stabilisation issues in the initial batches and incorporates essential design improvements. "This ensures we don't face the problems later," he said.

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While all required EVMs - 13.95 lakh ballot units and 9.3 lakh control units - will be delivered by September 30, 16.15 VVPATs will also be delivered well before the end of November, he added.

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