News reports on alleged 'large scale' failure of EVMs and VVPATs - an exaggerated projection : ECI

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News reports on alleged 'large scale' failure of EVMs and VVPATs - an exaggerated projection : ECI

News reports surfacing in the media alleging 'large scale' failure of EVMs and VVPATs in the ongoing bye-elections and interruption of poll in the States of Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh are an exaggerated projection of reality.

The Election Commission of India has said that the Commission allocates sufficient reserve of EVMs and VVPATs for every General/Bye election to the Lok Sabha or State Legislative Assembly. It is pertinent to mention that during commissioning of EVMs and VVPATs, apart from EVMs and VVPATs required for deployment at every polling station, adequate number of reserve EVMs and VVPATs (around 20-25%) are prepared to replace any defective machine on poll day at the polling station. These reserve EVMs/VVPATs are kept with Sector Officers, who replace the defective EVMs/VVPATs, if any report on non-functioning of EVM/VVPAT received from any polling station. Since each sector Officer is entrusted with only 10-12 polling stations, the time taken to replace any EVM/VVPAT at a polling station is normally less than 30 minutes. The replacement of defective EVMs/VVPATs during actual polls is a normal process and does not vitiate the integrity or credibility of the poll process in any way whatsoever.

Further, there are reports being aired in some news channels of polling being cancelled in 35 booths in 11-Bhandara-Gondiya Parliamentary Constituency in Maharashtra, is not based on facts. Also, the reports emerging in some quarters about EVMs/VVPATs failing in 25% polling booths in the same PC are also incorrect. It is clarified  that voting has not been cancelled in any polling station in 11-Bhandara-Gondiya PC and voting is continuing smoothly after necessary replacements, where ever required. However, as and when a report from RO/DEO/CEO regarding long interruption of polling is received, the Commission takes a decision on those matters on case to case basis.

The Commission undertakes a comprehensive examination and root-cause analysis of all the defects observed in the machines through the Technical Experts Committee of the Commission and necessary remedial actions are being taken for smooth conduct of poll process.

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