The Udalguri district administration has undertaken a series of awareness programme on Systematic Voters Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) and is sensitising voters on correct use of EVM and Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) to be used in the ensuing Lok Sabha elections. The awareness programme has been taken up on the orders of Election Commission of India (ECI).
Udalguri district SVEEP Nodal Officer Rewati Raman Sapkota told Northeast Now that when a voter chooses a candidate by pressing an electronic voting machine (EVM) button, a paper slip containing the election symbol of the candidate gets printed. “It is visible on the VVPAT screen for seven seconds and then automatically drops into the machine. The voter is thus sure that his vote has gone to the candidate he voted for,” he added. ECI started using VVPAT machines from May 2017.
Udalguri district’s voters do not know the use of VVPAT and, hence, an awareness drive has been launched encompassing the three legislative Assembly constituencies – 64 Panery, 69 Udalguri and 70 Mazbat – and it will continue till March end.
“The awareness drive will be held at each polling booth. Voters will be encouraged to cast mock votes and their queries regarding the machine will be answered by team members,” said Sapkota. What if the VVPAT malfunctions? Sapkota further remarked, “If a voter sees that the election symbol printed in the paper slip is not the same as the one he pressed then he should lodge a complaint with the polling officer. The officer will note the complaint in Form 17A and then conduct a test vote. If the complaint is found to be genuine, then the EVM and VVPAT will be replaced. However, if the machine is found to be working properly then the voter will have to sign Form 17C stating that the test vote should not be counted.”