On Sunday as Delhi geared up for voting, more than 1,200 VVPAT machines facing glitches were changed across the city delaying the polling procedure, officials from Delhi Election Commission said. An Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) comprises of three parts - the Control Unit (CU), the Ballot Unit (BU) and the Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machine.
Delhi's Chief Electoral Officer Ranbir Singh said eight per cent of the VVPATs were replaced during the day which translated to a total of 450 VVPATs, 61 CUs and 77 BUs. The maximum numbers of faulty VVPATs were changed in the South Delhi Lok Sabha constituency while the minimum was replaced in the Northeast segment, the CEO office said.
Officials said the VVPAT machines are extremely sensitive to light and heat and are a new technology, glitches arose which delayed voting at some places. At the Nirman Bhawan polling booth, where several VVIPs including Vice President Venkaiah Naidu cast their votes, technical snags in the EVM arose thrice before it was changed.
Officials said there was a connection error between the EVM's BU and CU. Sources in the poll panel said the problem with the EVM first arose at 7.30 am, then at 9.30 am and again at 10.30 am which delayed voting.
In the Chandni Chowk parliamentary segment, 21 VVPATs, 2 BUs and a CU were changed, while in East Delhi, 81 VVPATs, 10 BUs, 6 CUs were replaced.
In Northeast Delhi, 3 VVPATs, 2 BUs and a CU were replaced while in the New Delhi constituency, 28 VVPATs, 12 BUs and 6 CUs were changed. Similarly, in the Northwest segment, 72 VVPATs, 9 BUs and an equal number of CUs were changed, while in West Delhi, 18 VVPATs, 12 BUs and 6 CUs were replaced.
“Before voting began in the morning, a total of 778 VVPATs, 141 CUs and 228 BUs were replaced during mock polls, a total of 5.5 per cent of the VVPATs were replaced in the morning and that might have caused a delay in the start of the polling process,” Ranbir Singh said.