EC Criticized For VVPAT Defects
The Congress party has chastised the Election Commission (EC) for failing to notify political parties of the discovery of 6.5 lakhs of faulty Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines.
Points to Ponder:
- Pawan Khera, the party’s spokesperson, has asked for transparency to restore public trust in the voting process.
- Mr Khera said that the VVPAT machine flaws could have impacted votes in both the 2019 Lok Sabha election and the following Assembly elections.
- He charged the EC with failing to follow its standard operating procedures and failing to notify political parties of the situation.
- The flaws were discovered in thousands of VVPATs with sequential serial numbers from several manufacturers.
- The flaws were so severe that the machines had to be returned to the manufacturers.
- In 2021, the EC ruled that these machines must be fixed and sent orders to all states and union territories, except for the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, and Daman and Diu.
- Mr Khera explained that generally, field officers are in charge of finding flaws, and broken equipment is returned to the manufacturer for repairs in collaboration with the Chief Election Officer in question.
- According to Mr Khera, the commission should have informed the political parties about the issue.