28 May 2018
New Delhi: Media reports on "large-scale failure" of EVMs and VVPATs and interruption of polling during bye-elections in Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra are an "exaggerated projection of reality", The Election Commission (EC) said on Monday.
It also clarified that as against earlier reports, voting had not been cancelled in any polling station in the Bhandara-Gondiya parliamentary constituency in Maharashtra and that voting resumed "smoothly after necessary replacements".
The EC said that it allocates sufficient reserve -- around 20-25 per cent -- of electronic voting machines (EVMs) and voter verifiable paper audit trail machines (VVPATs) for every general election and bypolls.
The reserve machines are kept with Sector Officers, who are entrusted with 10-12 polling stations.
"The time taken to replace any EVM or VVPAT at a polling station is normally less than 30 minutes," the EC said.
"The replacement of defective EVMs or VVPATs during actual polls is a normal process and does not vitiate the integrity or credibility of the poll process in any way whatsoever," it added.
The poll panel said that reports of polling cancellation in 35 booths in Bhandara-Gondiya was "not based on facts" and that reports about EVMs/VVPATs "failing in 25 per cent polling booths in the same constituency are incorrect".