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Excessive exposure to illumination behind VVPATs malfunctioning: EC

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New Delhi: The Election Commission of India (ECI) has revealed two major reasons behind the malfunctioning of the Voter Verified Paper Audit Trails (VVPATs) machines during by-polls in Kairana and Bhandara-Gondiya Parliamentary constituencies.

The Fact-finding committee of the ECI on Friday submitted its report on malfunction of VVPATs during by-polls in two Kairana and 11 Bhandara-Gondiya Parliamentary constituencies held on May 28.

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A statement by the EC said, “To ascertain the causes of failure, the Commission deputed two special teams. The preliminary fact-finding reports submitted to the Commission, have indicated that there were two major technical reasons for the malfunctioning, as follows- Failure of contrast censor and Failure of length Censor. The mentioned errors are mainly caused by excessive exposure to illumination to the Polling Station.”

The ECI has further said that the Commission has asked the manufacturers and the Technical Expert Committee to suggest additional design improvements as well as suggestions on any layout changes in the polling stations to prevent any excessive exposure to illumination in future.

“Manufacturers have also been asked to do a detailed technical analysis once the VVPATs are free from the Election Petition (as these cannot be currently accessed in Strong Rooms till 45 days Election Petition period is over),”

The Commission has decided to reiterate its SOPs regarding Do’s and Dont’s and have also formed a Committee to examine further strengthening of the SOPs.

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“The Commission has also decided to make the First Level Checking process stricter. The Commission has also adopted the hardware improvement recommended by TEC to prevent an auto shutdown of VVPATs due to excessive light. The Commission has directed that the training of the polling officials be further strengthened and streamlined, so that failures due to human errors are minimized,” the statement by ECI further reads.

On the day of polls, multiple complaints of faulty Electoral Voting Machines (EVMs) and the Voter Verified Paper Audit Trails (VVPATs) machines were reported from three parliamentary constituencies including Kairana.

(With ANI inputs)

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