With the exit polls released on Sunday indicating a comfortable win for the NDA which is projected to win 305 seats according to Jan Ki Baat and 287 seats according to CVoter - Republic's double exit polls, the 21 Opposition parties has been raising concerns about Electronic Voting Machines and the VVPAT (Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail Machines) claiming that the polled EVMs were not stored safely and that major voter fraud was taking place.
While the EC has dispelled these rumours by tweeting a picture of the stored EVMs and VVPATs using Press Information Bureau (PIB)'s Twitter handle assuring that the poll machines were brought under security cover to the designated strongrooms, which is sealed with double locks, let us know exactly how EVMs are stored after polling, prior to counting.
As per the EVM manual published by the Election Commission of India, the EVMs and VVPATs fall under four categories after polling - A) Polled EVMs & VVPATs, B) Defective polled EVMs & VVPATs, C) Defective unpolled EVMs & D ) VVPATs and Unused EVMs & VVPATs.
Following protocol, Zonal Magistrates and Area Officers who have a record of the number of machines will maintain receipts of receiving the machines and will visit every polling station in their jurisdiction as many times as possible on the poll day checking the EVM status.
A) Machines are stored in the Strong room
B) Machines are also stored separately with the EVMs of the category ‘A’ in a Strong Room with its record maintained by the Sector/Zonal/Area Magistrate who will furnish its details to the Presiding officer.
C) EVMs of category ‘C’ are stored separately in a separate room other than the strong room with 'defective' stickers pasted on them
D) EVMs of category ‘D’ are also stored separately in a separate room, other than the strong room with 'unused' stickers pasted on them.