As the results for all the 542 Lok Sabha seats were declared on Friday, the Election Commission data showed that there wasn’t a single case of a mismatch between the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) slip and the Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) count.
The report was submitted by Chief Electoral Officers from across states. According to CEOs, there wasn’t a single mismatch reported anywhere out of the 20,625 VVPATs that were tallied.
In the 17th Lok Sabha election, 90 crore Indians voted to elect their next government. It witnessed the poll watchdog commissioning 22.3 lakh ballot units, 16.3 lakh control units and 17.3 lakh VVPATs. The VVPATs were first brought in from 2013-14.
Of these 17.3 lakh VVPATs, a physical count of 20,625 VVPAT slips was to be done this election season as compared to the earlier election where 4,125 VVPAT slips were counted.
This comes after the Supreme Court ordered a tally of VVPATs in five polling stations instead of one in every assembly segment after the opposition parties aggressively questioned and campaigned against the credibility of EVMs and VVPATs.
However, the top court had dismissed a PIL seeking 100 per cent matching of VVPAT slips with EVMs during the counting of votes.
The poll body had also rejected the opposition’s demand for a 100 per cent count to counter alleged manipulation of EVMs and last-minute changes in the VVPAT tallying procedure for counting day.
The issue of EVM credibility and VVPAT auditing has been raised repeatedly by a number of political parties.