ISLAMABAD (Web Desk) – The officials of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) have informed the parliamentary committee for electoral reforms that biometric verification of voters and use of electronic voting machines would not be possible in general election 2018, reported Dawn while quoted unnamed sources.
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During an in-camera session of the committee headed by Federal Minister for Climate Change Zahid Hamid, ECP officials also told members that overseas Pakistanis will also not able to cast vote in the upcoming countrywide polls.
ECP has faced a number of technical and administrative issues during a mock campaign to test voting scheme from four foreign countries -Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom, United States and United Arab Emirates, the committee was informed.
“Voting through phone was impossible while postal ballots at least take six to fourteen days to reached ECP through foreign diplomatic channels and foreign office in Islamabad, that make this method also highly unfeasible,” Election Commission said.
Officials further explained that embassies and foreign office face so many difficulties in handling 79 postal ballots, while only in Saudi Arabia 1.5 million Pakistani voters are living and all of them want to cast votes.
Briefing the committee NADRA officials also expressed their concerns towards security of the personal data of voters that will be placed on some network to verify the identity of voters. the security of Pakistani citizens will be compromised if such sensitive data is stolen in future, they said.
Earlier the committee was told that even India was unable to make arrangements for overseas voters to participate in polling process.
The article originally appeared in Dawn.