Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) procured from other states will be used in the 2017 Punjab Assmebly elections, state Election Commission said today.
It has also asked all the political parties to check for themselves the EVMs in order to clear their doubts about the possibility of any manipulations of the machines.
“All the EVMs have come from other states, like Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Jharkhand and Bihar. We will not use old EVMs,” Punjab Chief Electoral Officer, VK Singh said here.
Punjab Congress Chief Amarinder Singh had yesterday sought use of EVMs from outside the state to rule out the possibility of any manipulations by the “local officials at the behest of their Akali bosses” in the coming elections in Punjab.
The former Punjab CM had said he had written to the Election Commission of India that EVMs from outside the state should be used in the ensuing assembly polls.
Around 35,000 EVMs have been brought from other states which will be used in Punjab assembly polls.
“All EVMs are fitted with Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) whereby voters can get vote receipt,” said Singh.
He also made an appeal to all the political parties to send their representatives to check and verify EVMs themselves in order to clear their doubts, if they have any, about the machines.
“At present, first level checking of EVMs are going on to see whether machines are properly functioning or not. We want to appeal to all political parties to come and spend time in checking the machines,” Singh said.
“In the first stage of checking, 1,000 votes are casted on EVMs to check whether each machine is functioning efficiently or not. Another test of EVMs is further conducted after candidates are finalised,” he added.
He further said that experts from Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), which manufactured the EVMs, would also come and check the voting machines.