Imphal: In view of the forthcoming 12th General Elections to Manipur Legislative Assembly next year, an awareness programme on familiarization of Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) was held on Monday for the state media persons working both in print and electronic media, at the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer, Manipur.

Joint Chief Electoral Officer (II), Manipur, Md S Daulat Khan said that the programme is mainly carried out for increasing digital outreach and innovative physical outreach for awareness, familiarity and ease of use of EVM and VVPAT.

With the EVM, instead of issuing a ballot paper, the polling officer will press the ballot button which enables the voter to cast their vote. A list of candidates’ names, photos and symbols will be available on the machine with a blue button next to it.

Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) or Verifiable Paper Record (VPR) is a method of providing an independent verification system for voting machines designed to allow voters to verify that their vote was cast correctly and to provide a means to audit the stored electronic results.

VVPATs are a second line of verification and are particularly useful in the time when allegations around Electronic Voting Machines’ tampering crop up. After a voter presses the button on the EVM against the chosen candidate, the VVPAT prints a slip containing the name of the candidate and the election symbol and drops it automatically into a sealed box.

The machines give the chance for the voters to verify their vote. The machine is placed in a glass case in a way that only the voter can see it. The slip is displayed to the voter for seven seconds after which the VVPAT machine cuts it and drops it into the paper compartment with a beep.

Five (5) Polling Stations are randomly selected for physical counting of VVPATs slip. If any discrepancy arises at the time of counting, VVPATs slips will be mandatorily counted for that particular polling station.

The EVM demonstration centres are set up in the offices of the CEO, Manipur, in all District Headquarters and all the offices of the Returning Officers (ROs) in compliance with the instruction of the ECI. It is mainly set up to make the voters/citizens have the live experience on EVM/VVPAT and sensitize them about the operations of the EVM.

More than 20 journalists attended the awareness programme.

Coordinator, PMC & Nodal Officer (Media) W Phajatombi was also present.

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