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.
According to a hand-out, the election commission would need more than 200 million ballot papers for the next general elections.
The cabinet secretary informed the meeting that the Printing Corporation of Pakistan have the capacity of printing 135 million ballot papers within 20 days, if it utilises its old and new machines.