Bawana bypoll: One EVM, 17 VVPATs malfunction; replaced

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An electronic voting machine (EVM) and seven Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) devices used in the Bawana bypoll today malfunctioned following which they were replaced, polling officials said.

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VVPAT-equipped EVMs were used at all 379 polling stations set up across the assembly seat in north-west Delhi area for the bypoll, which saw a meagre 45 per cent turnout.

Polling officials said all malfunctioned equipment were replaced “without any hindrance” in the voting process.

“One EVM showed error during the polling. 17 VVPAT devices also reported some error. All malfunctioning machines were replaced,” a senior official said.

The authorities at the office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Delhi said, “34 VVPAT devices and five EVMs showed error during the mock poll.”

With an electorate size of over 2.94 lakh, Bawana Assembly seat is one of the largest constituencies in Delhi and reserved for the SC category. The EVMs equipped with VVPAT were used for the first time in Bawana.

The VVPAT carries a paper trail left by a voter after he or she has exercised their franchise. It is a mechanism for providing feedback to voters using a ballot-less voting system.

The trail is available to be seen for seven seconds from the transparent surface above, before it falls into a storage box with a beep. In the trail, a voter can see the name of the candidate and the poll symbol chosen by him or her.

Voting for the bypoll began at 8 am and ended at 6 pm.

Eight candidates are in the fray for the election in which the AAP, BJP and Congress are locked in a triangular contest. The counting of votes is slated for August 28.

All three major parties are eyeing a victory in the bypoll which is being seen as a barometer of their political influence.

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