Returning officer clarifies doubts on shifting of VVPATs to strong room

K M Dayashankar


RDO says that VVPAT shown in the social media was defunct after its testing during the conduct of mock polling in the booth


KARIMNAGAR:  The Karimnagar district election officials have refuted the charges made in the social media that the VVPAT (voter-verified paper audit trail) used in the by-elections to the Huzurabad assembly segment was allegedly transported from one vehicle to another violating the norms during its shifting from polling booth to the strong room in Karimnagar town on Saturday night.

The social media platforms made viral about the video footage of a VVPAT being shifted from an RTC bus to a car by a person in front of the strong room at SRR government degree and PG college in Karimnagar town.

Talking to newsmen in Karimnagar town on Sunday, Returning officer and Huzurabad RDO Ch Ravinder Reddy clarified that the video footage of VVPAT circulated in the social media was defunct as it was tested defect during the mock polling conducted at the polling station number 200. Immediately, the sectoral officer had replaced the defected VVPAT with the reserved machine and conducted the polling process peacefully.

Later, the polling personnel including the sectoral officer and presiding officer along with the polling material viz EVMs had arrived in RTC bus with a police escort to the SRR college in Karimnagar town to submit the same at the reception counter to store in the strong room. During the period some persons took video of the official car driver of the sectoral officer while transporting the defunct VVPAT from a vehicle to another to store in the strong room and made it viral on social media.

Refuting the allegations made in social media, the RDO clarified that the defunct EVMs and VVPATs would be stored in indoor stadium with security. He also said that they had informed the same of the contestants. He said that they had stored the EVMs used in polling station number 200 along with the ballot unit and control unit in the strong room at SRR college amid tight security.

He appealed to the people not to believe the rumours spread on social media about the safety and security of the EVMs.

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