ECP to use RTS system in by-polls despite general elections debacle

System to be employed in 37 constituencies on Oct 14

Irfan Ghauri October 07, 2018
RTS system to be employed in 37 constituencies on Oct 14. PHOTO: TWITTER (@ZahidGishkori)

ISLAMABAD: Despite its failure in the July 25 general elections, the authorities have decided to once again use the Result Transmission System (RTS) in the October 14 by-polls in 37 constituencies.

RTS, an android based application developed by National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) for prompt disbarment of results from the polling station to the district and central results system, had crashed during the general elections.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and NADRA had pointed fingers at each other for the system's failure.

I-Voting: Opposition fears repeat of RTS-like failure in by-polls

Political parties have been demanding a probe in this regard, with it being one of the main talking points into rigging allegations by the recently constituted parliamentary committee.

Moreover, the ECP has decided to test it with a better computer at the back end.

The by-polls are scheduled in 37 constituencies on October 14 for which election authorities have set up 7,804 polling stations.

Polling will be held in 11 National Assembly, 13 Punjab Assembly, nine Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Assembly, as well as, two Sindh and two Balochistan assembly seats.

A total of 9,691,728 voters, including 5,338,688 male and 4,353,040 female are registered in these 37 constituencies. It will be the first time that 7,419 Pakistanis living abroad would also be able to exercise their right to vote via internet voting.

The ECP has deputed 7, 804 presiding officers, 22,736 assistant presiding officers and as many polling officers to supervise these polls.

Nawaz vows to overcome hurdles to win by-elections

Before the July 25 general elections, the army was deployed outside polling stations declared sensitive or most sensitive.

However, this time around military troops are not only deployed in and outside all polling stations but they are also given duty to guard the printing presses where ballot papers are printed.

Furthermore, they are also assigned security duty of polling staff and polling material.

Presiding officers will be asked to send the pictures of result count through RTS immediately after the counting is completed.

Officials in the ECP are hopeful that RTS will work this time, since the number of polling stations is much lower than the general elections.

Within first few hours after the polling concluded on July 25, presiding officers started complaining about non-functioning of RTS. This resulted into a chaos and ultimately delay in compiling of results.


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