Election preparations in full swing in Federal Capital
At 119 display centres set up across District Islamabad by Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for registration, correction or transfer of votes, around 40,000 forms (form 15, 16 and 17) were submitted by the general public which shows number of voters in general election 2018 in Islamabad may rise from existing 730,000.
According to an official of the ECP, the District Election Commission’s staff is busy these in data entry and owing to the overwhelming number of forms, a number of employees have to be borrowed from National Database And Registration Authority (NADRA). Although these forms are also related to requests for transfer of votes from one sector to another or some correction in names etc, yet majority of them are about new entrants, those who want to be enrolled in the electoral list, said the official of the ECP.
asked by Pakistan Observer what would be the new tentative number of voters for Islamabad’s three constituencies, he said it could be 750,000 or even more. However he said exact number cannot be given at this stage. Once the data entry process is finalized then we shall issue the final list of the voters for all the three National Assembly constituencies of Islamabad i.e. NA-52, 53 and 54, he said. About the number of women voters in the federal capital, the official said the ECP had conducted a campaign in collaboration with the NADRA and civil society to register maximum number of female voters.
That effort too has succeeded considerably and we have also received a large number of women voters’ forms at the display centres. In Islamabad Capital Territory alone, there is a huge gap of some 50,000 women voters as compared with men voters and the Election Commissioner of Pakistan had directed to launch a countrywide campaign to encourage and enroll women voters in the electoral list. The campaign has yielded positive result and according to NADRA figures, 2.1 million new female voters have been registered with the Election Commission in the electoral list all over the country.
Meanwhile, 797 polling stations have been earmarked by the ECP for Islamabad district. These polling stations are mostly set up in local schools and colleges and as per the ECP criteria one polling station caters to 800-1200 voters of a particular constituency.