EC to address concerns on EVMs

NEW DELHI, Aug 27:
The Election Commission said today that it would provide “satisfactory solution” to the concerns raised by political parties on the infallibility of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), after some of them pitched for returning to the ballot paper system at an all-party meeting.
Talking to reporters after the meeting, Chief Election Commissioner O.P Rawat said, “We will definitely look into all the suggestions given by them (political parties) and there will be a satisfactory solution to them.”
The Election Commission convened the meeting ahead of elections to several State Assemblies later this year and the Lok Sabha polls scheduled for early next year.
It is customary for the poll panel to listen to political parties ahead of elections.
In the meeting, several opposition parties raised the issues of EVM tampering and technical glitches in the voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) system.
Representatives of the Congress, Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and the Trinamool Congress were among those who raised these issues and many of them also suggested going back to the ballot paper system, representatives of parties and EC officials present in the meeting said.
Though EVM tampering and VVPAT glitches were not on the agenda, parties raised these issues.
Some parties also suggested that the number of constituencies where results of EVM and paper audit trail device are matched be increased to enhance the confidence of voters and parties in the reliability of the voting mode.
“Nothing final has been decided yet, but one way to allay fears is to increase the number of constituencies where EVM and paper trail machine results are matched,” a senior EC functionary said after the meeting.
Responding to repeated questions on EVMs, Rawat said the EC takes a comprehensive view.
“Some of the parties said going back to ballot is really bad as it will bring back booth capturing…We don’t want (that). At the same time, some parties said there are problems with EVMs, there are issues with VVPAT slip count so why not EC takes a call on this,” Rawat said.
Asked about the stand of the EC on EVMs and whether it remains the “same” as it was in the past, the Chief Election Commissioner dubbed it as a “hypothetical question”. (PTI)