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Electronic voting machine to be used in 2018 elections: ECP

24 January, 2014

ISLAMABAD: Secretary Election Commission of Pakistan, Ishtiaq Ahmad Khan has said that electronic voting machine would be used during next 2018 general elections.

Briefing a Thursday meeting of N.A's standing committee for parliamentary affairs, convened by Mian Abdul Manan, he deliberated that this system would ensure transparency in elections, since even thumb print impressions could not stop bogus voting, which would have to be stopped in order to ensure fair voting.

Assuring that ECP was continuously working over perfecting the voting reforms, process in Country, while legislation would also be required for the purpose, he said that during previous, 2013 elections, magnetic ink was utilized after joint approval of all stake holders, while NADRA even went as far as use of voters' photograph alongwith thumb prints. He also pointed out that U.K voters did not use thumb impressions

He also informed the committee that ECP had 400 electoral objections under review, out of which 117 alone pertain to verification of thumb impressions, expressing that if thumb impressions have to be avoided for counter files, legislation should be carried out.

Ishtiaq Ahmad Khan also announced that ECP had already written to PM for carrying out a fresh census , and awaited reply , while delimitations for LG elections was rather a Provincial prerogative. He also disclosed ECP being allotted 1-acre land for ECP secretariat building.

Regretting frequent misuse of voting pad during 2013 elections, he said that this caused the entire electoral process as quite controversial for Nation, resolving that amelioration of electoral process was indeed the sole prerogative and responsibility of ECP.

Speaking on the occasion, member committee Nafisa Shah questioned the commencing of biometric system for elections, and any viable strategy being adopted by ECP for the purpose. She also questioned the need for any donors to finance the electronic voting system.

Member Sardar Ashiq Gopang was critical of any system that made the entire electoral system controversial.

Meanwhile, DG-NADRA (National Database and Registration Authority) deliberated that NADRA had the capability to fathom magnetic ink, which was a difficult probability with local, manual ink, which cannot be verified.

DG-PCSIR said that during LG elections for Balochistan local (manual), instead of magnetic ink was utilized and no complains were received: while he also briefed that during 2013 elections ECP was provided with magnetic ink, alongwith 4,45,345 ink pads prepared strictly according to temperature , which rendered any verification impossible if stamped firmly or if thumb is rotated.


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