An Election Commission official has rubbished the claims of BSP president Mayawati that the electronic voting machines (EVMs) had been rigged in favour of the BJP in the recently concluded Uttar Pradesh Assembly election, saying EVMs are hundred per cent protected and safe to conduct polls.

Citing the Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail, the official, unwilling to be named, said , “VVPATs is a system about which the masses are not very much aware. It’s part of the electoral reform process in India. VVPAT is a printer like machine attached to every EVM that allows the voter to verify the vote has been cast correctly.”

Explaining the VVPATs system, the official said, “As soon as the voter casts his vote on the EVM, VVPATs throw out a slip telling the voter which part he has voted for, this slip is then dropped into a box next to the EVM.”

In case of any controversy, “the number of slips in the box will be matched with the number of votes for a particular party registered in the EVM,” he said.

In the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, VVPATs were used in 20 constituencies, which included Agra Cantt, Agra South, Aligarh, Bareily, Govind Nagar , Arya Nagar, Ghaziabad, Meerut, Moradabad, Saharanpur, Allahabad North, Allahabad South, Ayodhya , Gorakhpur Urban, Jhansi Nagar, Lucknow West, Lucknow East, Lucknow North, Varanasi North and Varanasi Cantt. BJP won 17 of these 20 seats excluding Arya Nagar, Meerut, and Saharanpur.

In all these constituencies, votes polled in favour of BJP in the EVM machine would have been cross-checked with the number of slips in the box representing BJP votes.

Meanwhile, in Delhi, Ajay Maken of the Congress and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal have written to the Election Commission to conduct municipal corporation elections using ballot papers and not EVMs.