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Paper verification system will not undermine vote secrecy: EC

He said it is an absolutely false claim that candidates will know which voter has cast ballot for them due to the presence of VVPAT machines.

Panaji: With few hours left for polling in Goa, the Election Commission (EC) on Friday clarified that an independent voter verification system introduced by it will in no way compromise the secrecy of ballot.

Rumours were rife in Goa, where polling will be held tomorrow, that candidates will come to know who has voted for them due to installation of Voter-verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines alongside the EVMs.

"The voters should not believe in these rumours. The secrecy of vote would be completely protected even with the introduction of VVPAT machines," Goa Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Kunal told reporters here.

He said it is an absolutely false claim that candidates will know which voter has cast ballot for them due to the presence of VVPAT machines.

"After the voter presses the button on EVM, only he/ she can see the paper which will indicate where he/she has voted. The paper will be without any name and will slip into a box," Kunal explained.

VVPAT is a method of providing feedback to voters using a ballot-less voting system. VVPAT is intended as an independent verification system for EVMs that allows electors to verify that their votes are cast as intended.

The polling in the 40 Assembly constituencies in Goa will begin at 7 am.

Kunal said all preparations have been completed to ensure a free, fair and incident-free voting. Polling personnel have been dispatched to all the 1,642 booths.

Nearly 11.10 lakh voters are eligible to exercise their franchise in the State, where 250 candidates belonging to different parties and Independents are in fray.

After the code of conduct came into force, cash totalling Rs 1.85 crore was seized in the State. Of this, Rs 1.61 crore was from vehicles which were on way to refill ATM machines. After proper verification, this amount was released," he said.

Law enforcement authorities seized liquor worth Rs 87.91 lakh and narcotics worth Rs 33 lakh during multiple raids.