Pakistan launches platform for voters based overseas

Pakistan launches platform for voters based overseas
Pakistan launches platform for voters based overseas

Only those registered as legal voters would be able to exercise their right of vote in Oct 14 bypolls

Islamabad: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has launched itsl i-voting online platform, to allow around 7.9 million Pakistanis living abroad to cast their vote in the upcoming bypolls scheduled for October 14.

The ECP is holding by-elections in 37 constituencies for both national and the provincial assemblies’ seats on the said date.

Under the i-voting system, overseas Pakistanis can register to vote on the ECP’s website, based on the constituencies in which they were previously registered as voters.

Registration for i-voting opens on Saturday, September 1 and is scheduled to end on September 15.

Overseas Pakistanis possessing valid machine-readable passports can register as voters within the stipulated time.

ECP public relations director-general Nadeem Qasim said, after registration closes, voter lists will be handed over to the concerned returning officers and names of overseas voters will be included in the voters list.

However, he said, these voters would not be able to cast their votes manually in Pakistan.

The Overseas Voting System (www.overseasvoting.gov.pk) has listed these constituencies for voting on the website’s home page.

However, the voter pass — a pass code provided by the system to the registered voters — will be issued from October 10 to October 14 and voters will be cast online from 8am until 5pm (Pakistan Standard Time).

Only those overseas Pakistanis who are registered with Election Commission of Pakistan as voters would be eligible for voting.

Eligible voters must complete a two-step process for online registration, Qasim said.

Qasim further said the online voting registration system was developed with the help of National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra).

He said it was a pilot project and overseas Pakistanis could register to exercise their right to franchise in upcoming by-elections across Pakistan.

More than 700,000 overseas Pakistanis will be able to get their vote registered through the newly developed system.

Pakistanis based abroad who wish to cast their votes can access the Overseas Voting System through the internet and create an account using these credentials: name, email address, password of his choice, mobile phone number (optional), and his country of stay.

A confirmation email of the created account would be then forwarded by the system to the applicant at his given email address and by clicking on the link therein the voter shall be prompted to provide the number of his MRP with its tracking identity and the NICOP number along with the date of its issuance.

Once the account is successfully registered, the second verification process would be initiated wherein random questions regarding voter’s identity information would be asked by the system and upon correct reply a message of “successfully verified” would be displayed by the system.

A unique “voter pass” will be emailed to the voter by the system, which he would be required to provide on polling day to be able to cast his vote.

A list of candidates within the selected constituency would then be displayed by the system and the voter has to select the election symbol of their preferred candidate to vote.

Upon successful submission of the vote, a “confirmation” message would be displayed on the screen.

The ECP has also uploaded step-by-step video tutorials on its website, in Urdu and English, to guide voters.

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