The Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) is a method that provides feedback to voters. It is an independent verification printer machine and is attached to electronic voting machines. It allows voters to verify if their vote has gone to the intended candidate. VVPATs are a second line of verification and are particularly useful in the time when allegations around Electronic Voting Machines’ crop up.
How do VVPAT machines work?
When a voter presses a button in the EVM, a paper slip is printed through the VVPAT. The slip contains the poll symbol and name of the candidate. It allows the voter to verify his/her choice. After being visible to the voter from a glass case in the VVPAT for seven seconds, the ballot slip will be cut and dropped into the drop box in the VVPAT machine and a beep will be heard. VVPAT machines can be accessed by polling officers only.
In 2013, the SC had asked the Election Commission to introduce paper trails in EVMs in a phased manner for the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections. “EVMs with VVPAT system ensure the accuracy of the voting system. With an intent to have fullest transparency in the system and to restore the confidence of the voters, it is necessary to set up EVMs with VVPAT system because vote is nothing but an act of expression which has immense importance in democratic system,” the Bench had said.