The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) seems to be backtracking on its plans to introduce Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), at least for the next general elections scheduled in 2018. Having proposed the adoption of electronic voting machines in its second-five year reforms program for transparency in voting, officials of the poll body on Wednesday told a parliamentary committee that there were various “technical issues” that would bar the electoral body from introducing EVMs in next general elections. Many countries, including neighbouring India have been successfully using EVMs for decades. Earlier the officials of the ECP had blamed lack of legislation as impediment in implementing the proposal as it would require the law to be amended to make the voting process constitutional. The ECP had announced that it would go for voting through electronic machines in next general elections due in 2018. However, at a time when the proposal was about to be realised, it was the ECP who backed out.
During the meeting of a sub-panel of the parliamentary committee on electoral reforms, which is finalising the legislative framework to reform the electoral system, representatives of ECP cited various reasons urging the committee to drop the proposal from list of reforms.
“There are issues of specifications….. the technology is not fool proof. There are issues of manufacturing of these machines on such a large scale and storing them. We have issues of voters’ education,” one of the officials who attended the meeting told The Express Tribune.