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Why electronic voting machines cannot be used in elections?

The election commission of Pakistan took a logistic step with a view that offenses under the existing law have to be made compatible with the new technology if EVMs are to be used. The Prime minister must be careful about those flatters advisors and yes men who are misleading it by painting a rosy picture which may cause great embarrassment as he faced in the recent local government elections in KPK.

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The Election commission of Pakistan has suggested that more legislation needed before Electronic Voting Machines may be used for coming elections. The three committees were tasked with looking at different aspects of the issue, one body examined the technical aspects another looked at the cost of the process while the third committee was to pinpoint challenges and suggest amendments to existing laws and rules.

The chief election commissioner is of the view that the government should appreciate that best international practices would be followed and they would learn from the experience of countries using modern electoral technologies.

Read more: Electronic Voting Machines: Politicians, NGOs, TV Anchors & ECP

Understanding the actual matter

The chief election commissioner while giving a road map also indicated that all stakeholders including political parties and civil societies will be taking on board and developing voter trust in the new technology. On overseas voting, the Committee has proposed four options, including internet-based voting, postal balloting, online voting at Pakistani missions abroad and postal e.voting. Apart from this, the committee also proposed reserved seats and a separate electoral college for overseas Pakistanis.

The election commission of Pakistan took a logistic step with a view that offenses under the existing law have to be made compatible with the new technology if EVMs are to be used.

Prime minister must be careful about those flatters advisors and yes men who are misleading it by painting a rosy picture which may cause great embarrassment as he faced in the recent local government elections in Kpk.

As per electoral history from 1951 to 2018 it is highly incorrect to assume that 100 percent of overseas Pakistani will cast their votes in favor of one party, for other parties, including those in the opposition, also have a fairly strong vote bank abroad. As per section 94 of the election act 2017, the right of the vote has been granted to overseas, some irresponsible individuals, who don’t know the plus of the electoral system, who want to prove that they are more loyal than the king, have started painting a rosy picture for the prime minister, claiming that PTI will get 60000 to 80000 additional votes in each constituency.

Read more: The electronic voting machine controversy in Pakistan

This appears to be contrary to the ground realities

The Prime minister and his electoral team should realize that the overseas Pakistani vote will only make a difference when the gap between the winner and runner-up is narrow. Otherwise, if the margin is big, the effect of the overseas Pakistani vote is likely to be nullified.

The Prime minister has been briefed that the majority of the nine million overseas Pakistani will vote in favour of PTI in the next general elections. No party will get all these millions of voters because they do not fall under a single constituency. The overseas Pakistani, as is obvious, hail from different constituencies spread all over 272 constituencies.

 

Kanwar Dilshad is former Secretary, Election Commission of Pakistan, Islamabad. He is the Founder and Chairman of the National Democratic Foundation. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.

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