Eight Cases of VVPAT-EVM Mismatch in Lok Sabha Polls

COURTESY THE ECONOMIC TIMES JULY 22Eight Cases of VVPAT-EVM Mismatch in Lok Sabha Polls
NO IMPACT ON FINAL RESULT In all cases together, the mismatch was of only 50-odd votes

New Delhi:

Eight cases of mismatch between the counting recorded by electronic voting machines (EVMs) and the voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) have been found in the recently-conducted Lok Sabha elections. This was recorded across 20,687 polling stations where mandatory physical verification of VVPAT slips was conducted on the orders of the Supreme Court orders, EThas learnt.

The counting mismatch –– estimated at 0.0004% –– has had no impact on the final election results in the eight cases, an election commission (EC) official said. These are also, prima facie, seen as having occurred due to explainable ‘human errors’, the official said. The mismatches were reported from Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya and Andhra Pradesh.

In most cases, the counting mismatch was just one to two votes. Only in one instance there was a counting difference of 34 votes –– this may have been due to the failure of the polling staff to clear mock poll slips from the VVPAT machine before voting started.

In all the eight cases together, the mismatch was of just about 50-odd votes and did not impact the final result, as per EC sources.

This is the first time that any counting mismatch in VVPAT tallying has been reported by the EC. Of the total 1,500 cases of tallying done before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, not a single case of mismatch was found by the EC. As per rule 56D (4)(b) of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961, if there is any discrepancy between the EVM count and VVPAT count, the latter prevails –– as was done in the eight cases, ET has gathered.

An analysis of these cases will be done at the level of the District Electoral Officer and Chief Electoral Officer and, if necessary, later with the independent Technical Expert Committee (TEC) of the EC.

Technical expert committee member Rajat Moona told ET: “We are very happy with the performance of the VVPAT and EVM processes. In the final results, there has been no technical mismatch in the VVPAT and EVM counts. There seems to have been a few cases of human errors –– mostly failure to clear mock poll data either from EVMs or clearing VVPAT mock poll slips before counting which can cause a counting mismatch. In some other cases, inaccuracy in manual counting, VVPAT slips getting stuck together during bundling and being counted is seen as the causes for the mismatch.”

“All errors seem quite explainable. So, there is no problem around it. Over a crore

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