VVPAT means Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail. In times of political mudslinging about EVM tampering, a paper trail ensures that voter faith remains intact, strengthening participatory democracy. The VVPAT machine gives instant feedback to the voter, through a printed slip.
Basically VVPAT is an independent system attached to an Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) that allows the voters to verify that their votes are cast as intended. Now when a vote is cast, a slip is printed on the VVPAT printer containing the serial number, name and symbol of the candidate voted. This remains visible to you through a transparent window for seven seconds. After this, this printed slip automatically gets cut and falls into a sealed drop box. If need be, these printouts can later be counted for verification.
It was the first time that when in October 2010, political parties showed their satisfaction with EVMs, later some parties requested the Commission to consider introducing VVPATs for further transparency and verifiability of the votes cast.
After this the Commission referred the matter to its technical committee on EVMs to examine and make a recommendation to the Commission where BEL and ECIL made a prototype of the VVPAT and demonstrated it to the technical committee and the Election Commission during the year 2011.
In the same year the Commission conducted simulated elections for the field trial of the VVPAT system in various places including Thiruvananthapuram, Ladakh, Cherrapunji and Jaisalmer.
In 2013, the government amended the Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961 allowing the Commission to use VVPATs along with EVMs.These VVPAT Machines were first used in the bye-election in 2013.
Thereafter VVPATs have been used in select constituencies in every election to the State Assemblies.They were deployed in eight Parliamentary constituencies during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, VVPATs will be used in all the constituencies.
In the conclusion we can clearly say that in the world’s largest democracy India, every vote counts and the EVMs and VVPATs try and ensure for maximum election process with the latest technological advancements. The EVMs and VVPATs are environment-friendly as they use very little paper compared to paper ballots. The EVMs and VVPATs also quicken the election process as counting votes on EVMs takes much lesser time than counting paper ballots.Also the people will get transparency and reliability. EVMs and VVPATs being used in this year’s Lok Sabha elections will ensure that close to 80 crore voters eligible to cast their votes can do so knowing that their votes will go to the candidates of their choice.