Pakistan Observer

We may go for ‘e-voting’ in due course

Thursday, August 23, 2012 - IT is encouraging that NADRA has taken many initiatives to bring transparency in issuance of national identity cards, verification of electoral rolls that has resulted into elimination of bogus and double entries and assistance in fair distribution of cash grants under BISP card and relief during calamities. It is also moving towards introduction of a smart card that would serve multiple purposes besides devising a hassle free mechanism for payment of pension to retired employees.

While appreciating these steps, we would propose that NADRA should also make preparations for e-voting to eliminate the possibility of bogus polling and introduce transparency in the election process. This is important because the Election Commission, under the dynamic leadership of retired Justice Fakhruddin G Ebrahim, is working with renewed zeal to fulfil its onerous responsibilities of holding free, fair and transparent elections but in the given political, social and cultural milieu the possibility of rigging is still there. There are always allegations that votes of other people including those who passed away are cast by some unscrupulous elements. Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) are being used in India for general and state elections in part since 1999 and in full since 2004 leading to reduction of time for casting of votes and speedy declaration of results. Pakistan Election Commission too has held numerous meetings on the subject but the project is still not in implementation stage. The notion that low literacy would make it difficult to introduce the project has been falsified by immense popularity of cellular phones, which are successfully used by all segments of the population. We should decisively move towards that end using the best technology and equipment so as to avoid tempering.
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