Political parties are making voting machines a scapegoat as they want to blame someone for electoral defeats, Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat said on Saturday. He ruled out using ballot papers for elections again, as various Opposition parties have demanded, News18 reported.

“We should not doubt the integrity of the system,” Rawat said at a conference in Kolkata. “There are allegations against tampering of electronic voting machines. They come from political parties who are seeking a scapegoat route. Completely baseless insinuations. We had convened an all-party meeting in July last year and announced that all future elections will be conducted through voting machines equipped with voter-verifiable paper audit trail.”

Rawat blamed the malfunctioning of voting machines on the lack of training among personnel at polling booths, The Hindu reported.

“Just one minute of training and you [polling personnel] are busy with mobile [phones] and WhatsApp,” Rawat said. “You lose out on the critical part. You connect [the EVM] wrongly or start it wrongly and then the machine malfunctions. And that’s when doubt is created in the minds of the people.”

Rawat said that the Election Commission has submitted its recommendations to the government on the idea of holding national and state elections simultaneously. “This will require changes in the Constitution and law,” he said.

He also said the Election Commission was working on a code of conduct for social media platforms to prevent harvesting of data as in the case of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.