Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs)
- September 2, 2021
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs)
Subject – Polity
Context – Poll body wants ‘stuck’ EVMs to be released.
- Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) allow the citizens to vote electronically and ease the job of the Election Commission of India in counting the votes.
Working of EVMs
- EVMs are electronic voting machines which enable the voter with a button for each choice of candidate. It is attached by a cable to an electronic ballot box.
- It comprises two units – control unit and balloting unit. They are connected by a 5-metre cable.
- The EVM runs on a 6-volt single alkaline battery fixed in the control unit.
- It can even be used in areas that have no electricity.
- The control unit is with the Election Commission selected polling officer.
- The Balloting Unit is in the voting section into which the voter enters to cast their vote in secret by pressing the button against the name and sign of the candidate of their choice.
- The Commission in December, 1977 mooted the idea of EVM to overcome certain problems associated with use of ballot papers and taking advantage of development of technology so that voters cast their votes correctly without any resultant ambiguity and removing the possibilities of invalid votes totally.
- MB Haneefa invented the first Indian voting machine in 1980. It was first used in 1981 in the by-election to North Paravur Assembly Constituency of Kerala in 50 polling stations.
- The EVMs were commissioned in 1989 by Election Commission of India in collaboration with Bharat Electronics Limited and Electronics Corporation of India Limited.
- The law was amended by the Parliament in December, 1988 and a new section 61A was inserted in the Representation of the People Act, 1951 empowering the Commission to use voting machines. The amended provision came into force with effect from 15th March, 1989.
Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT)
- VVPAT is an independent verification printer machine and is attached to electronic voting machines.
- It allows voters to verify if their vote has gone to the intended candidate.
- When a voter presses a button in the EVM, a paper slip is printed through the VVPAT. The slip contains the poll symbol and name of the candidate.
- It allows the voter to verify his/her choice.
- After being visible to the voter from a glass case in the VVPAT for seven seconds, the ballot slip will be cut and dropped into the drop-box in the VVPAT machine and a beep will be heard.
- VVPAT machines can be accessed by polling officers only.
- In India, the voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) system was introduced in 8 of 543 parliamentary constituencies as a pilot project in 2014 Indian general election.
- Voter-verifiable paper audit trail was first used in an election in India in September 2013 in Noksen (Assembly Constituency) in Nagaland.
- VVPAT along with EVMs was used on a large-scale for the first time in India, in 10 assembly seats out of 40 in 2013 Mizoram Legislative Assembly election.
- VVPAT -fitted EVMs was used in entire Goa state in the 2017 assembly elections, which was the first time that an entire state in India saw the implementation of VVPAT.
- voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) system which enables electronic voting machines to record each vote cast by generating the EVM slip, was introduced in all 543 Lok sabha constituencies in 2019 Indian general election.