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Jamshedpur voter’s thumbs up to VVPAT system for EVMs

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Jamshedpur, Dec 2: Voters of Jamshedpur East (48) and Jamshedpur West (49) constituency seemed content at the Voters Verifiable Paper Audit Trail System (VVPATS) used for the first time in the assembly elections.

System functioned smoothly barring instances of some machines having to be replaced because of printer malfunction. A large number of voters, however, learnt about this new facility only after coming to the booth on Tuesday. Machines that had printing problem were immediately replaced but voting was not affected.

“Though the system developed technical snag in nine booths under Jamshedpur East constituency and had to be changed while the same issue occurred in twelve booths of Jamshedpur West constituency, said District Commissioner”, Dr. Amitabh Kaushal.

DC informed that apart from some technical glitches the system seemed very much successful in its first introduction in two constituencies of East Singhbhum district.

Many voters of the constituency were not aware of the new system introduced seemed pretty content with this verification facility. Anand Gupta, a resident of Ramdas Bhatta in Bistupur under Jamshedpur West constituency, said: “I wasn’t aware of the machine, but when I cast my vote, I could see the party symbol and the name of the candidate I voted for, and it was reassuring.”

Several voters were confused and were asking the same question again and again, “Has my vote been registered?” because there is a 7-second gap between the pressing of the button and the beep sound being heard, said a polling officer at DAV Bistupur School polling booth.

Balpreet Singh (22), a CA student in Bistupur, was among the few who knew about the facility before he walked into the booth. “I had read about it in the newspapers and I also saw the poster displayed at the polling both. It is good. We can verify if the vote has been cast right,” he said.

“VVPAT is used to avoid any conflict possibly arising over the use of Electronic Voting Machine (EVM). An EVM has a small attachment to it which after pressing the button for a desired candidate, prints that name on a paper.

“It is stored inside the machine and can be used in case of any controversy over the final result from that constituency,” Dr. Amitabh said, in a press conference held in the collectorate office after the conclusion of second phase of pools in the state.

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