Several cases of faulty Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) were reported at polling booths in Gujarat on Saturday where the first phase of assembly elections is underway.
Faulty EVMs in Sardar Patel Vidyalaya booth in Surat's Varaccha was reported earlier in the day which was later replaced by the Election Commission. The malfunctioning EVMS were placed in 16 rural and urban constituencies of Surat, NDTV reported.
"One VVPAT has also been replaced. You cannot really call it a technical error, these are electronic items there can be some issues. Now everything is okay & voting has started," an election commission trainer was reported as saying to ANI.
As soon as the reports of malfunctioning surfaced from polling booths, many people came out demanding inquiry in the functioning of already contentious voting machines.
Congress has, however alleged that rigging is a possibility as Election Commission wi-fi was seen available at polling booths, reported News18. The news channel also reported that Congress party alleges that booth number 145, 146 and 147 EVM machines are connected to other devices through Bluetooth.
Total number of EVMs to be used in the first phase of the Gujarat assembly election 2017 is 27,158 and the total number of polling stations is 24,689.
In the wake of EVM tampering allegation from various political parties, the EC has also put in place administrative safeguards and security protocols to prevent any misuse of EVM and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines.
In order to provide voter verifiability and auditability of every vote cast through the EVM, the Commission has deployed VVPAT machines in over 24,600 polling booths in this phase.