‘No mismatch between VVPAT and EVM vote count’: Poll body

No incidents of any mismatch between VVPAT slips and vote count on EVMs were reported from Delhi, Delhi’s Chief Electoral Officer Ranbir Singh said on Friday.

There were also no reports of EVMs being replaced till date in the national capital, said a senior official from Delhi CEO’s office.

This puts to rest all allegations raised by a section of political parties that EVMs could be manipulated or replaced. Some political parties had alleged that the Election Commission (EC) was working with the BJP to “tamper” EVMs to get results of the Lok Sabha polls in the party’s favour.

“We have not received a single complaint of EVMs being replaced or tampered with in strong rooms. On Friday, when the counting of votes polled took place, there were no incidents in which the EVM vote count mismatched with that of VVPAT slips,” said Singh, CEO of Delhi.

EVMs and VVPATs were kept in seven strong rooms spread across the seven parliamentary constituencies from May 12, when Lok Sabha polls were held in Delhi, till May 23 when the counting of votes took place.

Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari said, “The AAP were making EVMs an issue as they knew that they were losing the elections.”

“EVM and VVPAT is purely a technical subject. We would refrain from commenting before we get some data based on research. We will keep advocating electoral reforms in the world’s largest democracy,” said Saurabh Bharadwaj, national spokesperson of AAP.

“Since we haven’t observed any complaints on EVMs and VVPATs, we would not like to comment on it,” said Sheila Dikshit, president of Delhi Congress.

A senior poll panel official said that allegations of EVMs could be replaced in strong rooms are baseless as three tier security arrangements were made along with CCTVs at all the seven strong rooms and counting centres. Even political parties had deployed their workers to keep a watch on storehouses where EVMs and VVPATs were stored till Thursday.

“A three tier security arrangement— comprising personnel of the Central Armed Police Forces and Delhi Police — was made at strongrooms. CCTVs were also installed to keep watch. Special arrangements were made for political parties, so that they can deploy their volunteers who kept a watch on the strong rooms throughout,” said K Mahesh, returning officer of East Delhi parliament constituency.

The East Delhi counting centre, located at the Commonwealth Games Village, was identified as a model counting centre.

While on one hand strong rooms of each assembly constituency was marked with a separate colour, poll officials were given coloured t-shirts that matched the strong rooms. They were escorted by CAPF personnel.

“Special counters, covered with mesh wire, were made where VVPAT slips were counted,” said Sandip Dutta, SDM (elections) of east Delhi.

First Published:
May 25, 2019 02:20 IST

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