VVPAT glitches much lower during Rajasthan polls: CEO
POLL DAY CEO says only 1.45% of 68,303 machines were faulty, had to be replaced
When the polling in Rajasthan began at 8am on Friday, many queuing outside the booths complained of slow pace of the process. Some electors presumed the delay was because of the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines.
Rajasthan’s chief electoral officer (CEO) Anand Kumar said during the mock poll, 1.56% VVPAT machines reported glitches. During polling post 8am, this came down to 1.45%.
This is much lower than the number of VVPAT machines changed during the assembly election in Madhya Pradesh, where voting took place on November 28. The election officials in MP had said 3% VVPAT machines had glitches.
There were reports of electronic voting machines (EVMs) developing snag during the first two hours of the polling in Rajasthan. However, the CEO said only 0.31% of ballot units and 0.3% of control units were replaced.
“I came to the polling station at 9.30am and I was able cast my vote at 11am. The staff on duty told me that the delay was because of the VVPAT. The machine takes seven seconds to display the voting slip before the next voter is allowed to enter,” said Rachna Jindal, who cast her vote at the Government Senior Secondary School booth in Sirsi village in Jhotwara constituency.
The Congress also blamed faulty EVMs and VVPAT machines for the slow process.
“We received about 400 complaints at our control room regarding the EVMs not switching on and about VVPAT machines malfunctioning,” said state Congress general secretary Sushil Sharma, adding that the party complained to the state election commission about the slow pace of polling.
Kumar, however, denied this and said that the failure rate of EVMs and VVPAT machines in Rajasthan was “much lower” than the standard failure rate.
The CEO said that 68,894 ballot units, 59,160 control units and 68,303 VVPAT machines were used at 51,687 polling centres across the 199 assembly constituencies where voting took place on Friday.
The VVPAT machines were earlier used in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh state elections. In Chhattisgarh, 70 VVPAT machines and 40 EVMs had to be replaced.
Bharatiya Janata Party state spokesperson Pankaj Meena said: “The complaints filed by the Congress with the Election Commision indicate that they are going to lose the elections with a huge margin.”
Men show the indelible ink mark on their index fingers after casting their vote in village Padampura near Ajmer on Friday.
NCC volunteers assist a differently abled voter in Jaipur.