Articles about voting issues in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

Pakistan: Voting machine: ‘Conventional’ ballot papers likely to be used in 2018 polls | The Express Tribune

In a sign that it has virtually abandoned the proposal of using electronic voting machines, the Election Commission of Pakistan has begun preparations for ballot paper procurement well ahead of the 2018 general election. On Monday, the poll supervisory body convened a meeting of all stakeholders to review arrangements for printing ballot papers. Following the 2013 general elections, the ECP had proposed the use of EVMs in the next general elections. However, the proposal is still at a nascent stage and unlikely to be enforced by 2018 due to technical and legal hitches. Read More

Pakistan: UN expert advises Pakistan should not move to electronic voting system before 2023 | The Express Tribune

A leading United Nations expert on electoral technology has advised Pakistan’s top polls supervisory body against completely moving to an electronic voting system before 2023. Ronan McDermott was speaking on ‘Use of Technology in Elections’ — with particular focus on electronic voting machines (EVMs) and biometrics — jointly organised by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the United Nations Development Programme. Members of the parliamentary committee on electoral reforms attended the session, during which the UN expert presented a global view of the merits and demerits of the main electoral technologies, and shared comparative experience on their adoption. Read More

Pakistan: Election Commission told to buy electronic voting machines by September | The Express Tribune

After months of wrangling, a parliamentary panel on electoral reforms on Wednesday directed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to procure electronic voting machines (EVMs) by September 2016 for experimental use with a view for formal deployment, despite strong reservations from the top electoral body. “ECP will procure EVMs by September this year and use it in any by-polls,” announced Minister for Climate Change Zahid Hamid, who heads an eight member sub-committee of the parliamentary committee on electoral reforms, in Islamabad on Wednesday.  “If the experiment is successful, next general elections will be held through electronic voting.” Read More

Pakistan: Online voting experiment for citizens abroad fails | International Business Times

In August this year, the Election Commission of Pakistan had announced its intentions to allow overseas expats to vote in the country’s general elections in 2018, as long as they held their citizenship. Keeping with the plan, a mock exercise was conducted to evaluate security, among other things. The Pakistani embassy in Riyadh, the High Commission in London and its consulates in New York, Dubai, Manchester, Bradford and Glasgow carried out the test. Employees at the foreign missions were asked to participate in the exercise, by voting for fictitious candidates, via two means — postal and online ballots. Read More

Pakistan: Giving voting right to expats not feasible: Minister | The Nation

Election experts, government officials and lawmakers yesterday concluded that giving voting right to overseas Pakistanis was practically impossible though lawmakers of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) stuck to politics of idealism insisting on giving rights to voters abroad. The sub-committee of Electoral Reforms Committee was informed by officials of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) that the mock voting exercise in Pakistani missions abroad went unsuccessful and proposed that participation of Pakistanis living abroad in election will be a futile exercise without any success. The meeting was told that it took two weeks to receive the results of votes polled by 67 voters in seven Pakistani missions during the mock exercise. Voters had cast votes through postal ballots and email. Minister for Climate Change Zahid Hamid who is also convener of the committee told reporters that Tuesday’s briefing by ECP and Nadra officials was evidence that the project of giving voting rights to overseas Pakistanis was not feasible at all. Read More

Pakistan: Election chief nullifies male-only election | ucanews

Election authorities in Pakistan today nullified the results of a by-election held in a remote district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province last month that barred women from exercising their right to vote. Masroor Shah, a lawyer representing human rights activists and who challenged the legality of the elections, said that Chief Election Commissioner Justice Sardar Raza Khan has declared the by-elections of Lower Dir null and void and has ordered new elections. “Women from Dir have testified before the three-member inquiry commission that they were not allowed to vote,” Shah said. “The announcements had been made from a mosque’s loud speakers to stop women from participating in the elections.” Read More

Pakistan: Women barred from voting in parts of Pakistan | The Guardian

In some of the most socially conservative regions of Pakistan this weekend’s local government elections will be men-only affairs. Local politicians and elders say parties contesting elections for district and village council seats in Hangu and parts of Malakand, districts of the north-western province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), have struck deals barring women from voting. There are fears of similar arrangements across KP, a province bordering Afghanistan where many Pashtun communities observe purdah traditions so strict that many female candidates do not publish photographs on election posters. Read More

Pakistan: ECP backtracking from Electronic Voting Machines, voting rights for overseas Pakistanis | The Express Tribune

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. Read More

Pakistan: Election Commission says it cannot give final opinion on electronic voting | Dawn

The Election Commission of Pakistan told the parliamentary committee on electoral reforms on Monday that in the absence of a permanent Chief Election Commissioner it cannot give a final opinion on whether the electronic voting machines (EVMs) should be used or not to make the electoral process transparent in future. Briefing reporters after a meeting of the sub-committee of the parliamentary committee on electoral reforms, its convener Minister for Science and Technology Zahid Hamid said the meeting had been informed that the use of EVMs would not alone ensure a perfect and transparent election. He said about 270,000 EVMs would be required for a general election and each would cost between Rs60,000 and Rs70,000. Read More

Pakistan: Detailed plan sought: Panel asks for demo on voting machines | The Express Tribune

A sub-committee of the parliamentary committee on electoral reforms has asked the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to provide a practical demonstration of electronic voting machines (EVM) on November 17 before these can be woven into the country’s electoral laws. ECP officials on Thursday gave a briefing to the sub-committee on merits and demerits of using EVMs — an idea that the commission wants to implement in the next general elections due in 2018. The panel, holding its in-camera session, asked the ECP to bring the vendors who have prepared these machines for a practical demonstration in the next meeting scheduled on Monday. It has also asked ECP officials to come up with a detailed plan that should include the cost to implement electronic voting method and also a time-frame to implement the proposed system. Read More