If there was something which was ridiculed throughout the election season, it was the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM).
Many questioned the fairness of conducting elections via EVMs and said it was better to return to ballot papers. Despite mounting criticism, Election Commission held its ground and said EVMs would stay.
And now the polling watchdog has confirmed EVMs and VVPATs matched perfectly.
VVPATs allow citizens to confirm their votes
VVPAT, which stands for Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail, is an extended feature of EVM. It is attached to the main voting machine.
Once the voter presses the button, the VVPAT prints a slip which contains the name of the party for which he/she voted.
VVPATs were introduced to dispel theories about the fairness of EVMs and to provide confidence to voters.
After furor, Supreme Court directed EC to increase VVPAT verification
Ahead of the polls, many questioned EVMs by claiming the machines can be hacked.
In April, the Supreme Court directed EC to increase the count of VVPATs. The bench, headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, directed EC to randomly select 5 EVMs per assembly constituency and attach it with VVPATs.
Notably, the court dismissed plea seeking 100% verification of EVMs with VVPATs.
EC tallied 20,625 VVPAT slips; didn't find even one mismatch
Following SC's order, EC commissioned 2.3 lakh ballot units, 16.3 lakh control units, and 17.3 lakh VVPATs.
This time EC tallied 20,625 VVPATs slips and none of them mismatched.
"We have got no reports of any mismatch in tallying of EVM results with VVPAT slips from any of the 542 constituencies as per reports of the chief electoral officer (CEOs)," a senior official said.
In fact, Opposition parties wanted EC to change counting process
To recall, the Opposition parties had made EVMs one of their top election issues. In fact, a day before counting, i.e. on May 22, 22 Opposition leaders met EC asking it to change the process.
The Opposition parties wanted EC to tally VVPATs before and then start counting.
But EC rejected the demand and the cent percent record shows it wasn't wrong at all.
As Opposition sulked over EVMs, BJP scripted history
The results of Lok Sabha polls brought good news for BJP, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The saffron party won 302 out of 543 Lok Sabha seats, while NDA secured 353. The numbers are better than what BJP scored in 2014.