Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail

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  • The VVPAT, or Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail, is an EVM-connected verification printer device.
  • It allows voters to verify if their vote has indeed gone to the intended candidate by leaving a paper trail of the vote cast.
  • It is an adjunct machine connected to the ballot and control units of the EVM. After the voter casts his or her mandate by pressing a button in the EVM, the VVPAT connected to it prints a slip containing the poll symbol and the name of the candidate.
  • Slips from a randomly selected polling booth from each constituency are then matched with the EVM tallies during counting to check for the accuracy of the process.
  • The VVPATs were added to bring in accountability to the voting process, with many parties questioning whether the EVMs were indeed malpractice or rigging-proof.
  • EVMs, in use since 1998 in India, have been gradually upgraded with security features and the ECI has suggested that it has robust procedural and technical safeguards to prevent EVM-tampering and electoral malpractices such as rigging.
  • The VVPATs were introduced in the past year and were universally used in the Assembly elections in Goa in February 2017.
  • But the addition of the VVPAT has also increased the complexity of the otherwise simple single programmable chip-based device, rendering it more prone to glitches.