Tuesday June 18, 2024

Overseas Pakistanis showing little interest in I-voting

By Mumtaz Alvi
September 10, 2018

ISLAMABAD: The overseas Pakistanis have so far shown little interest in getting themselves registered for first-ever I-voting in the upcoming by-election in 37 constituencies and so far just 6,000 have got themselves registered for their voting right.

Sources in the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) said there are estimated 0.520 million expats, who could exercise their voting right with regard to these constituencies. But hitherto, just 3,000 qualified for this and were ready to vote in by-election.

“These qualified persons will be using their respective passwords to take part in voting,” they explained.

Registration of overseas Pakistanis will continue till September 15. Internet voting is an online voting service. Using this service, overseas Pakistanis will be able to cast their vote online in their respective constituencies from anywhere in the world using any internet-connected device.

Lack of awareness and interest could be attributed to this lukewarm response from the overseas Pakistanis in I-voting. And, this was the reason that so far less than one percent potential voters showed interest in getting themselves registered and made their account accordingly. Overall, the total number of overseas Pakistanis is estimated to be around 8 million.

A special website has been prepared for this purpose: The Election Commission’s website mentions the eligibility criteria for an overseas Pakistani voter, which is he or she should possess the national identity card for overseas Pakistanis, the Pakistan machine readable passport and should have been registered as a voter in respective constituencies.

The registered voter will be issued voter pass on October 10-14 and can cast vote in a concerned constituency on October 14 from 8:00am to 5:00pm Pakistan Standard Time. Registered overseas Pakistanis will be casting their vote in 37 constituencies, of these 11 are NA constituencies while 26 are provincial constituencies.

A designated list of candidates of the selected constituency will then be displayed by the system and the voter will select the election symbol of the candidate to cast his or her vote. The names of constituencies have already been uploaded on the website.

Once information is shared with the Election Commission, it is verified first and then the process gets started for a voter’s registration.