Aizawl, Nov 21: A newly-designed device, which confirms to a voter that his or her vote was cast as wished, will be used in 10 of the 40 assembly segments of Mizoram, officials said here Thursday.
The Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) system will help the voter to confirm that his/her vote was cast in favour of the candidate and party they opted for.
The system was first tried out in a by-poll of a Nagaland assembly constituency two months back.
"The VVPAT is a printer machine with a drop box attached to EVMs (Electronic Voting Machine), which permits voters to verify their vote was cast in the way they desired," Mizoram Chief Electoral officer Ashwini Kumar told reporters Thursday.
He said: "As soon as the voter casts vote, the VVPAT would show a tiny slip in a glass covered display with the symbol and the candidate name the elector has voted for. The slip after 3 to 4 seconds would automatically drop down into the connected closed box."
Ashwini Kumar said that the VVPAT is being used for the first time in Mizoram and the country on a large scale.
As most people are not aware of the VVPAT, the state election department has undertaken a massive campaign using television, radio, group meetings and by distributing pamphlets in local and English languages.
"The state election department following the advice of the Election Commission of India (ECI) has trained polling officials in all the ten assembly segments that fall under the Aizawl districts where VVPATs would be used," the official said.
Ashwini Kumar said that the concerned returning officers are also displaying visual demonstrations of the VVPATs at the 217 polling stations in the 10 assembly segments to educate the voters about the new system.
The opposition parties in Mizoram, including the main opposition party Mizo National Front, expressed satisfaction over VVPATs being used in the polls.
The state-owned Electronic Corporation of India Ltd., under the Department of Atomic Energy, has developed the VVPAT.
A Mizoram election department official said that following several court cases against the EVMs and some controversy over the electronic machine, the VVPAT is being used to satisfy the voters and to remove the doubts about the voting machine.
Aound 6.86 lakh voters out of 10.91 lakh population are eligible to exercise their franchise Nov 25 for electing 40 members to the Mizoram assembly from among 142 candidates, including six women aspirants.