EC rejects Opposition's demand over VVPATs, says no change in process of counting votes
Political

EC rejects Opposition’s demand over VVPATs, says no change in process of counting votes

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The Opposition demanded verification of at least 50 per cent of VVPAT slips. The Election Commission rejected the demand and said there would be no change in the procedure. The votes for Lok Sabha election 2019 will be counted tomorrow.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Opposition met EC and demanded tally of at least 50 per cent of VVPAT slips
  • EC rejected Opposition’s demand, said counting of votes of May 23 will be done as usual
  • Five per cent of VVPATs will be cross checked for each Assembly segment this time

The Election Commission on Wednesday rejected demands of Opposition parties that VVPAT slips be matched with EVM data before counting begins tomorrow for the Lok Sabha elections. The Election Commission said there would be no change in procedure of matching Voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) slips. The decision was taken a day after the leaders of over 21 Opposition parties met the Election Commission on Tuesday and demanded verification of VVPAT slips of randomly-selected polling stations before the counting begins of the votes polled in the just-concluded Lok Sabha election on May 23.

The Opposition had also demanded that in case of any discrepancy during VVPAT verification, 100 per cent counting of the paper slips of VVPATs of all polling stations of that particular Assembly segment be compared with the electronic voting machine (EVM) results.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had also rejected Opposition’s plea demanding at least 50 per cent VVPAT verification saying it is “not inclined to interfere”. The bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi had said, “We are not inclined to modify our order. [For] how many days will we hear the same matter.”

Meanwhile, Twitter was abuzz on Tuesday with several videos of EVMs being stored and moved from one unauthorised storage house to another in Uttar Pradesh. The Election Commission, however, rejected all the allegations of mishandling of EVMs and VVPAT and maintained that all machines are safe and secure.

Counting of votes for Lok Sabha election 2019 will begin at 8 am on May 23. The results are already expected to be delayed due to tallying of VVPATs with EVM count for the first time. Five per cent of VVPATs will be cross checked for each Assembly segment this time.

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