Paper trail works to reassure voters in Tamil Nadu

Chennai, May 16 (IANS) Voters in some assembly constituencies in Tamil Nadu were in for a surprise on Monday as they were able to see the actual recording of their vote in another machine.

“One often doubts as to whether, after using an electronic voting machine, one’s vote actually went to the party one intended to vote,” Lita Srinivasan, an advocate, told IANS.

The Anna Nagar constituency in Chennai is one of 17 assembly constituencies where the Election Commission has installed what it calls the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) system.

“Alongside the voting machine, there is a box-like item with a paper roll. Once I pressed the button in the voting machine, I was able to see the symbol in the adjacent box. The symbol got printed on the paper roll,” Srinivasan said.

She said she is now convinced that her vote will go to her preferred candidate.

Several political parties had raised doubts over the integrity of electronic voting machines which, they said, could be programmed in such a way that votes could be manipulated in favour of certain symbols.

Polling in 232 of the 234 assembly constituencies began at 7.00 a.m. and will end at 6.00 p.m.

Polling was deferred to May 23 in two constituencies — Thanjavur and Aravakurichi — following complaints that voters were being bribed.



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