The National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) has abolished the internet voting system without the permission of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), The Express Tribune learnt on Wednesday. The committee on electoral reforms has issued directions to NADRA to restore the i-voting system within seven days.
According to sources, NADRA did not seek permission from the ECP in October 2018 when it abolished the i-voting system for overseas Pakistanis. The information technology has hired a team of consultants to audit the internet voting system. The committee on electoral reforms has sought a report on i-voting from the consultants by May 31. The consultants will examine the i-voting systems in place in other countries and submit it report to the committee. The ECP had launched its i-voting website in September 2018 for around 8 million Pakistanis living abroad to enable them to cast their votes in the by-polls.
According to the ECP rules of overseas voting, eligible voters should possess a valid National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis (NICOP), a valid Machine Readable Passport (MRP), and a valid email address. The overseas Pakistani voter seeking to cast their vote shall 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 their given email address and by clicking on the link therein the voter shall be prompted to provide the number of their MRP with its tracking identity. 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.