NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday heard petitions regarding the papers slips generated through the Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) system on Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) and the problems related to secret ballot voting system.
“We are in our 60s. We all know what happened when there were ballot papers, you may have, but we have not forgotten,” Justice Sanjiv Khanna told Prashant Bhushan, counsel for one of the petitioners.”We can go back to paper ballots. Another option is to give VVPAT slip to the voters in hand. Otherwise, the slip falls into the machine and the slip can be then given to the voter and it can be put into the ballot box. Then the VVPAT design was changed, it had to be transparent glass, but it was changed to dark opaque mirror glass where it is only visible when the light is on for 7 seconds,” he said.
VVPAT is a system that allows voters to verify if their vote has been cast correctly and counted towards the candidate they intended to support. The VVPAT produces a paper slip that is securely stored and can be accessed in case of any disputes or discrepancies. In light of the concerns and doubts raised by the opposition regarding EVM, petitions have been filed demanding the cross-verification of each vote cast.
Currently, the VVPAT paper slips of only five randomly selected EVMs in each assembly constituency or assembly segment within a parliamentary constituency undergo physical verification. However, the petitions filed by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and activist Arun Kumar Agarwal seek to change this practice. Agarwal’s petition specifically calls for the counting of all VVPAT slips to ensure the integrity of the voting process.
On April 1, the court had requested responses from both the Election Commission of India and the Centre regarding Agarwal’s petition. The outcome of these petitions could potentially lead to significant changes in the way votes are verified and counted in future elections, with the aim of enhancing transparency and addressing the concerns raised by various political parties and activists.

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