The ECI had last year filed an affidavit in the apex court promising to introduce VVPATs in all polling stations for the 2019 general elections.

The Election Commission of India on Wednesday said that “all voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines will be procured well within the time required for making pre-poll preparations for 2019 Lok Sabha elections”. This comes after The Indian Express reported that the ECI is struggling to meet the deadline it committed to the Supreme Court for procuring 16 lakh voter-verifiable paper audit trail VVPAT machines for the Lok Sabha elections due next year.

The ECI stated that it has been consistently and periodically reviewing the status of production and supply of VVPATs. “In order to meet the requirement of VVPATs for 100% saturation of all polling stations for 2019 Lok Sabha polls in 2019, Commission placed an order of 16.15 lakh VVPATs. The Commission has been consistently and periodically reviewing the status of production and supply of VVPATs,” said ECI.

READ | VVPAT delivery way behind schedule, advancing Lok Sabha polls not so easy 

The ECI had last year filed an affidavit in the apex court promising to introduce VVPATs in all polling stations for the 2019 general elections. It also committed that the two manufacturing PSUs — Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) in Bengaluru and Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) in Hyderabad — will deliver the requisite paper trail machines by September 2018.

However, as on June 19 this year, almost 14 months after the EC placed orders for 16.15 lakh VVPATs with BEL and ECIL, the poll panel had received 3.48 lakh units — in other words, meeting only 22 per cent of the target three months before the deadline, according to the official records accessed by The Indian Express under Right to Information (RTI) Act.


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