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CEC asks officials to ensure training of staff handling EVMs, VVPAT

New Delhi: Ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora has directed the chief electoral officers of all the states and Union Territories to ensure proper training of the polling staff who are going to handle EVMs and VVPAT machines.

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Arora directed the CEOs to do "meticulous assessment" of all the resources required for the conduct of elections, including the electronic voting machines (EVMs) and voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines.

He asked the officials to ensure adherence to the deadlines specified for completion of the machines' first level checking. The CEC's directions came during a two-day conference of the CEOs that concluded here on Saturday.
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The directive came in the background of a large number of electronic voting machines (EVMs) and voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines malfunctioning during the Lok Sabha and assembly by-polls in May last year.

The EC had to constitute a committee to look into the reason for malfunctioning of an unusually high number of machines during the by-polls, which pointed out mishandling of the machines as one of the primary reasons.

Addressing the CEOs, Arora emphasized the fact that the electoral roll that is currently under the process of revision and finalization will be used in the coming elections. Hence, care must be taken to ensure the purity of the roll.

He said every effort must be made to register all voters well in time. He directed all the state CEOs to put in place support systems for the election helpline 1950 as early as possible.

Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa said that the entire election machinery must now be geared up in order to deliver a flawless election.

He said that in order to accomplish this, a detailed planning process and a leadership role has to be assumed by the CEO at the state level and the District Election Officers (DEOs) at the district level.
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He also emphasized upon coordination with bordering states as well as with other agencies in order to give more teeth to the expenditure monitoring mechanisms operational in the states.

The focus of the conference was on the integrity of the electoral roll, meticulous planning for elections, EVM and VVPAT assessment and training and extensive voter outreach, said an EC official.



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