Verify 50% of EVMs using VVPAT slips: Naidu writes to EC

Amaravati (Andhra Pradesh): Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu has urged the Chief Election Commissioner to verify 50 per cent of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) using Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) slips.

This comes ahead of the Supreme Court hearing on a petition filed by 21 Opposition parties, led by Naidu, to review its judgment rejecting 50 per cent random physical verification of EVMs using VVPAT.

The review petition was filed after the Supreme Court on April 8 directed the ECI to increase physical counting of VVPAT slips to 5 random EVMs in each constituency. Earlier, only VVPAT slips from one EVM in every Assembly segment or constituency was subjected to physical verification.

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“It may be recalled that in mid-March, 22 opposition parties filed a petition before the Supreme Court that would have settled once and for all any qualms about the use of EVMs. The request was to verify 50 per cent of EVMs using VVPAT machines. The EC only objection to this was that it would increase the time of counting by 6 more days,” Naidu said in his letter to the CEC.

“One would imagine that a 6-day increasing of the counting period in the context of 73 day-long seven-phase general elections, is a ridiculously small price to pay for maintaining public faith in the electoral process. Though the Supreme Court is yet to decide on the review petition filed by the opposition parties, the EC must show magnanimity of accepting this demand of 22 political parties that represent 70 per cent of the electorate,” the letter read.

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