The number of ballot papers excluded from the count in 2018 general elections surpassed the number of ballots rejected in 2013 polls, the Free and Fair Election Network (Fafen) said on Friday.
“Nearly 1.67 million ballots were excluded from the count in 2018 general elections,” said a report published by Fafen, a network of more than 50 domestic civil society organisations.
This number may slightly vary after the final consolidated result is released by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) as the ballots excluded from the count at the polling station level by Presiding Officers are to be reviewed by the Returning Officers during the consolidation proceedings, who can either reject them or count them in favour of a candidate if excluded wrongly.
The increase in the number of ballots excluded from the count was a ubiquitous phenomenon observed in all provinces and Islamabad Capital Territory with nearly 11.7% overall increase.
In ICT, the number of ballots excluded from the count is more than double the rejected ballots in the region in 2013 elections. Around 40% increase in the number of ballots excluded from the count was observed in Balochistan, 30.6 % increase in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa including areas that were part of former Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata), seven% increase in Sindh and 6.6% increase in Punjab.