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EVM-VVPAT case judgment UPSC NOTE

 VVPAT-based audit of EVMs

  • It is a typical case of “lot acceptance sampling”, a statistical quality control technique widely used in industry and trade. 

  • If the number of defectives found in a randomly drawn, statistical sample is less than or equal to a specified ‘acceptance number’, the entire lot (or ‘population’) is accepted; otherwise, the entire lot is rejected. 

  • We define a ‘defective EVM’ as one which has a mismatch between the EVM count and the VVPAT count due to EVM malfunction or manipulation. 

  • We specify the acceptance number as ‘zero defective EVM’.

A solution

  • The Supreme Court did not specify the ‘population’ of EVMs to which its sample size relates and the ‘next steps’ in the event of a ‘defective EVM’ turning up in a sample. 

  • The Election Commission of India (ECI) has also chosen to leave them vague. 

  • Both these are important because in the event of one or more ‘defective EVMs’ turning up in a sample, the entire ‘population’ from which that sample was drawn should be ‘rejected’. 

  • In other words, manual counting of VVPAT slips should be done for all the remaining EVMs of that particular ‘population’ and its results declared based on VVPAT count only.

  • Statistical sampling theory tells us that the probability that the Court-mandated sample size will fail to detect a ‘defective EVM’ is 95% if ‘EVMs deployed in an Assembly Constituency’ are defined as the ‘population’, and 70% if ‘EVMs deployed in a Parliamentary Constituency’ are defined as the ‘population’. 

  • This defeats the very purpose of introducing VVPAT

  • What we need to do is implement a statistically sound VVPAT-based system of EVM audit which can detect instances of mismatch with 99% or 99.9% accuracy

  • The matching exercise should be done at the beginning of the counting day. Not at the fag end. 

  • Where there is a perfect match, the results should be declared based on the EVM count

  • Only where there is a mismatch, should manual counting of VVPAT slips for all the remaining EVMs of the particular ‘population’ be done and its results declared based on the VVPAT count

  • This statistical sampling-based, ‘management by exception’ approach represents the golden mean.



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: EVM-VVPAT case judgment UPSC NOTE
EVM-VVPAT case judgment UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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