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Malfunctioning of 2,400 VVPAT machines leaves voters flustered

Voting turned out to be extremely frustrating for many voters across the city during Saturday’s polling as the Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) malfunctioned in several booths. The Election Commission put the figure at 4.18 % of the total 57,786 VVPAT machines deployed.

While voting was disrupted in some places, the process was deferred to Monday in Lottegollahalli under Hebbal constituency. This means that voters had to come again on a weekday to cast their votes. Not a single vote was cast in Lottegollahalli till 4 pm on Saturday.

“The percentage of VVPATs that developed snag is very high. However, the percentage is still lower than the acceptable limit of 5%,” Chief Electoral Officer Sanjiv Kumar told reporters here on Sunday.

In all, 2,419 VVPAT machines developed technical glitches, of which 1,702 were during the polling. Instances of polling getting disrupted owing to glitches in VVPAT machines or EVMs had been reported from across the state.

Another obstacle that surfaced was a glitch in the voter verified paper audit trail machine, which prints the voters choice for confirmation, wherein the machine printed the names other than the ones the voters chose.

Mr Kumar said the commission had taken note of it. “BEL engineers will also be looking into the matter, ” he said. The commission ordered repolling following the recommendation by BEL engineers.

In fact, the malfunctioning of a VVPAT unit at Gandhi Vidyalaya Kannada and Tamil School at Lottegollahalli in Hebbal constituency has been termed as “first of its kind” in the electoral process that forced the election authorities to announce repolling on Monday.

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