VVPAT training in Tripura

The Election Commission has sent 80 voter-verified paper audit trail machines to Tripura for use in Assembly elections next year. The machines will be used in the state for the first time.

By Debraj Deb in Agartala
  • Published 7.11.17
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Officials take part in a mock drill with VVPAT machines in Agartala on Monday. Picture by Abhisek Saha

Agartala: The Election Commission has sent 80 voter-verified paper audit trail machines to Tripura for use in Assembly elections next year. The machines will be used in the state for the first time.

Additional district magistrate of West Tripura Tamal Majumder said a mega three-day mock drill began here on Monday morning. A two-day workshop with 10 representatives of all recognised parties will commence on Tuesday.

The machines were introduced following a controversy over faulty credit of votes in electronic voting machines (EVM)s. VVPATs confirm vote credit in a visible paper trail within seven seconds of tendering vote. The machines will be used along with EVMs, said deputy chief electoral officer of Tripura Debashish Modak.

Of the 80 VVPATs sent to Tripura, 32 were dispatched to Gomati district, 25 to Unakoti district and 23 were reserved for training of returning officers and assistant returning officers from West Tripura and Khowai districts.

VVPATs were first used in India in a byelection in Noksen Assembly constituency of Nagaland in September 2013. The machines were used on a largescale for the first time in the country in Mizoram (10 Assembly constituencies) in November 2013 elections.

The BJP welcomed the move to use VVPATs in Tripura Assembly polls. "The Left were among the first parties to scream foul and allege EVM tampering in Uttar Pradesh elections. Now that VVPATs are here, there can be no baseless allegations of the BJP influencing the Election Commission. Things will be clear," BJP spokesperson Mrinal Kanti Deb said.

CPM state secretary Bijan Dhar welcomed the move but said it was premature to comment. "Officials have started training on the new machine. Let our party representatives see the operation and then we will speak," he said.

The Congress expressed satisfaction at the accountability-building move too.