Will take all steps to implement SC order on VVPATs: EC

New Delhi: The Election Commission on Monday said it would take all necessary steps to implement the Supreme Court’s order to increase random matching of voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) slips with EVM results in five polling booths per assembly segment, instead of one.

“The Election Commission of India shall make all out efforts to operationalise and implement the directions of Hon’ble Supreme Court with immediate effect,” the poll panel’s official spokesperson said.

Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court had directed the Election Commission to increase random matching of VVPAT slips with electronic voting machine (EVM) results to ensure the greatest degree of accuracy and satisfaction in the election process.

The court’s direction came on a plea by leaders of 21 opposition parties who wanted it to be hiked to 50 per cent of EVMs per assembly segment.

Presently, the Election Commission matches VVPAT slips of 4,125 EVMs under the “one EVM per assembly segment” guideline. Now it would have to count the VVPAT slips of 20,625 EVMs.

The Election Commission had earlier asked the Indian Statistical Institute regarding a reasonable sample size for matching VVPAT slips to verify the EVM results. The institute had responded that a sample of 479 EVMs would generate 99.99 per cent accuracy in results.

The opposition parties had demanded raising the number of EVM machines to 5.17 lakh.

With the first phase of voting starting on April 11, the court hoped this would satisfy both the political parties and the voters.