Election 2019

Demand for 50% VVPAT tallying ‘unreasonable’: Ex-CEC Krishnamurthy

Former chief election commissioner TS Krishnamurthy Monday termed as ‘unreasonable’ opposition parties’ demand to verify at least 50 percent of the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines with the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).

He reiterated that EVMs are credible even without VVPAT.

“And this has been confirmed not by me, but by technical experts, and nobody has still been able to find out any fault; there can be human errors in operating machines,” Krishnamurthy, who oversaw the 2004 general elections, told PTI.

Demanding 50 percent paper trail verification, particularly in the light of the Supreme Court judgment, is unreasonable, according to him.

Krishnamurthy was referring to the SC earlier this month directing the Election Commission to increase random matching of VVPAT slips with EVMs from one polling booth to five booths in every Assembly segment.

“As far as VVPAT is concerned, the opposition, particularly if they lose elections, will say even 50 percent is not adequate, and say 100 percent is required”, he said.

“This is an unending game; it’s unfortunate, and I think the opposition parties should learn to respect the rule of law”, Krishnamurthy said.

“Even after 100 percent VVPAT (verification), they will say VVPAT is not good”.

He also warned against returning to paper ballot voting, saying it has been the most misused system.

“I think political parties do not realize the dangerous consequences of the paper ballot in a country like India where violence, hatred, and hooliganism prevail during election time,” Krishnamurthy said.

Several opposition parties, including the Congress, TDP, SP, CPI, and CPM, said Sunday they will move the Supreme Court again to seek verification of at least 50 percent of the polled votes against VVAPT slips.

The demand by the parties comes days before the 2nd phase of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections on April 18, when a total of 97 constituencies across 13 states go to polls.

The first of the seven-phase polls were held on April 11.


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