Compulsorily tally paper trail slips with results of EVM, says Election Commission

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New Delhi, July 10: In order to bring more credibality, the Election Commission of India has decided to compulsorily tally paper trail slips with the results of EVMs in 5 per cent of polling stations in each assembly seat, for all state and Lok Sabha elections. A preliminary assessment in this regard indicates the move will delay the announcement of results by three hours.

The decision on compulsory counting of paper trail slips comes in the wake of demand made by political parties at a meeting held by the EC on May 12.

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It takes about three hours to count the printed ballot slips of one VVPAT. Also, the first trends may not be available before 11 am. There is possibility of tension between supporters of rival parties at counting centres, given the long wait till 11 am before they can know which way the poll outcome is going, an EC official said.

The EC felt that delaying the announcement of results by more than three hours would not be advisable.

So paper trail slips will not take place in more than 14 polling stations and less than five polling stations in each assembly seat. The stations will be selected at random, EC officials said.

EC is expected to release guidelines on counting of VVPAT trail soon, enabling its introduction in Gujarat and Himachal polls due this year-end. "We decided not to go for an amendment of rules as the process would take longer," reports ToI.

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