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Nagpur: ‘Electronic voting machines (EVM) are good. However, there should be separate counting of VVPAT slips along with the votes polled in the machine’, ‘Bring the ballot paper back’, “EVMs are perfect and need to be there’, are some of the suggestions on a register maintained by government staffers deployed for a pre-poll drive.With an EVM and voter verified audit trial (VVPAT) machine, a team waited on the side of the road near Western Coalfields Limited (WCL) office at Civil Lines for passers-by to stop for a trial. Twelve sets of EVMs and VVPAT machines have been deployed in the city as part of the Election Commission’s (EC) awareness drive on electronic voting.TOI visited the team at WCL. “Press the button here and now look at the slip in the machine kept here. The number shown in the slip and the one pressed in EVM machine are the same,” says the staffer pointing at the VVPAT machine.The name and phone number of the persons taking the trial are noted down in registers, which also have space for people’s suggestions on the EVMs. Flipping the pages showed a number of suggestions, with many saying there should be counting of votes on the basis of the VVPAT slips also. Some of the comments mention that EVMs are the perfect system. The drive, which started a month ago, will continue till February 29. Two machines each are moving in the six assembly constituencies of the city. The machines are placed at different spots each day.In the comments, people in residential areas or lower income pockets have suggested that there should be a change in the present system, said a source. People want VVPAT slips to be counted like it used to happen when ballot papers were used. At present, only the number of slips and votes polled in EVM are tallied.The drive is not to elicit suggestions but create awareness on how the machine works. The suggestions are being noted down in case the government wants them to be forwarded too, said a senior official.District collector Vipin Itankar said the drive has been successful. The work was disrupted by locals in a couple of places but offences have been registered against the miscreants, he said.

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