Nation to witness first-ever biometric verified polling

Salim Ahmed

Lahore

Technological revolution is set to bring a change in the country’s electoral system as Pakistan’s first biometric verified polling will be put to test in a pilot project next month.
As many as 100 biometric verification devices have been delivered to Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) by Secure Tech Consultancy (Pvt) Ltd, which will be used for the first time in Pakistan during polling in PS-114 on July 9.
‘This system will verify every voter as to his identity as per the published electoral rolls. Along with devices 50 trained professionals will also be assisting the election commissions’ staff on duty,’ said spokesman of Secure Tech.
He added that if this experiment on 9th July succeeds, the biometric verified polling system will be introduced gradually across Pakistan.
‘Pakistan is fast becoming a developed nation and this electronic voting is important part of development, hence this system is being introduced,’ he added. Sources in ECP stated that this is a breakthrough in the electoral system of the country and is a big step towards transparency in elections. ‘It will help bringing transparency to electoral process because the person who votes will be verified first and then he can cast his vote, both manually and electronically. This system is to do away with the rigging charges usually political parties come up with during and after the polling/elections,’ they added.
It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan’s population is close to 200 million and Pakistan is uniquely placed to verify each voter biometrically due to the National Database of NADRA. It is anticipated that once this system is installed successfully across the country it would really kill the issue of non-transparency in polling/elections.
It may be added that PS-114 is considered one of the hardest and the most sensitive constituencies of the metropolis. In the 2013 general elections Irfan Ullah Marwat won the seat on Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)’s ticket but his victory was declared void by an Election Tribunal in July 2014 on charges of rigging.

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