VVPAT to be mandatory
GUWAHATI, July 13: With the Election Commission of India (ECI) already setting the ball rolling for smooth conduct of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls in Assam, the number of polling stations in the State is expected to increase. The ECI has given the necessary instruction to the State election department in this regard. This is also the first time that VVPAT (Voters Verifiable Paper Audit Trail) will be a mandatory feature of each EVM (Electronic Voting Machine) across the country. The VVPATs are expected to bring about transparency in the entire election process as each voter after exercising his franchise would be able to ascertain where his vote was actually registered.
The reason for the increase in polling stations is, of course the VVPAT. Since it would be a time-consuming affair to print each and every VVPAT in polling stations having a large number of voters, the ECI has fixed the maximum number of voters in a polling station at 1,200.
Presently, the total polling stations across the State is 27,267.
The Election Commission had earlier decided that the number of voters per polling station should not exceed 1,400 as the paper roll attached to the paper trail machine cannot print more than 1,500 slips and attaching a new roll when polling is on is a cumbersome process.
Talking to The Sentinel, ML Surekha, Additional Chief Electoral Officer Assam said: “The necessary instructions have been issued to the district election officers. We expect the entire process of redemarcation of the polling stations to be completed within this month or latest by August.”