The Election Commission (EC), in association with Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), will demonstrate the functioning of Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines at various places in Bangalore South Lok Sabha Constituency, said Chief Electoral Officer Anil Kumar Jha. The machines that will be attached to the EVMs are manufactured by Bharat Electronics Limited and Bangalore South Lok Sabha constituency is one among the seven constituencies selected across the country where VVPAT machines will be used.
Jha told reporters here on Thursday that: “With availability of less number of machines, EC has chosen only seven Lok Sabha Constituencies on experiment basis. As there are less number of Polling stations in Bangalore South compared to other two constituencies in the city, this constituency was chosen. There are 1,925 polling stations and 2,455 machines have been supplied.” Other constituencies, include Patna Sahib (Bihar), Raipur (Chhattisgarh), Gandhinagar (Gujarat), Chennai Central (Tamil Nadu), Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) and Jadavpur (West Bengal).
“Demonstration will be done across Bangalore South Constituency. Also we will give publicity through posters and pamphlets to educate voters,” he said. Clarifying further, Jha said printed slips visible on VVPAT will not come out and after showing it for few seconds to the voters, it will go inside the machine. High quality ink will be used to print the slips, which can be preserved for more than five years. VVPATs will be sealed and kept in the strong room along with EVMs with Central Protection Force security, he said. Jha also said that during counting, if the contestants have complaints about EVMs or VVPATs, one can give complaint in writing to the returning officer. “Returning officers have the right to check them on the spot and if they find no mistake, he can reject the complaint,” he said. For voters, if they have complaint on EVM or VVPAT during polling day, they can compliant to Presiding officer of the polling station.
It can be recalled that BSP candidate Abdul Razack Khan contesting from Bangalore South constituency had lodged complaint with Chief Electoral Officer, Karnataka to scrap EVM with VVPAT system. He however said that he shall file an PIL in the High Court regarding this.
3 Months Jail for Clicking Pictures
Jha said if voters are found clicking photos of EVMs or VVPATs inside polling booths, he or she can be sent to jail for upto three months as per section 128 of the Representation of People’s Act for violating secrecy.