A new facility introduced by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) enables eligible voter check the status of registration and other particulars through SMS facilities at Rs2 per SMS.
Upon sending a CNIC number to a prescribed short code, the sender will receive a message in Urdu confirming the registration, the location (electoral area) where the voter is registered and a serial number.
Details of the procedure and codes for the service will be announced as soon as the Preliminary Electoral Rolls-2011 (PER) are ready to be displayed for 21 days at 55,000 display centres across the country.
According to sources, the service will commence in February, immediately after the completion of PER.
Those who choose to register through NADRA will have to pay Rs10 plus tax for each SMS.
ECP Secretary Ishtiak Ahmed Khan has termed the new system a major milestone in the electoral history of Pakistan as it engages over 85 million voters directly and to a great convenience.
A signing ceremony, in this regard, of a MoU between the ECP-NADRA and telecom companies had already been held on December 27, 2011,
The ECP had decided to introduce the system in November 2011. According to ECP officials, the intention for initiating this facility was to ensure the security and privacy of all citizens.
Officials further said that it is now the responsibility of every eligible voter to make sure that his/her vote has been registered and furthermore to report any discrepancy to the ECP.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 6th, 2012.