The Election Commission on Friday said that all future elections would be held with EVMs equipped with paper trail machines, which would enable the voter to verify their vote and also rule out possibility of tampering of machines.

After the all-party meeting, the poll panel also said it will hold a “challenge” for political parties to prove their claim that Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) used in elections to five states earlier this year were tampered with.

“The Commission has stated before the political parties that all future elections will be mandatorily held with VVPAT (Voter-verifiable paper audit trail),” Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi told reporters after the meeting.

“The political parties were also informed that the Commission will hold a challenge and offer an opportunity to political parties to demonstrate that the EVMs used in the recently-concluded assembly elections were tampered or the EVMs can be tampered with even under the laid down technical and administrative safeguards,” the CEC said.

Several political parties including Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Congress and Trinamool Congress had raised questions over the credibility of EVMs after the results of the February-March assembly polls.

Zaidi said that representatives of political parties have presented their detailed views and suggestions at the meeting that stretched for more than seven and a half hours.

“The Commission has assured political parties that their concerns and apprehensions regarding EVMs have been taken note of and would be duly considered and addressed through the forthcoming challenge and further necessary action will be taken,” the CEC added.

Assembly elections are due in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh later this year. Assembly polls are also due in some states including Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Meghalaya and Rajasthan.

First Published | 12 May 2017 7:30 PM
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