With a looming deadline and over 0.5 million anomalies in draft voter lists, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) are pointing fingers at each other.
Large-scale discrepancies have been detected in draft electoral rolls that were put on display in over 55,000 centres across the country for public scrutiny.
While the ECP blames Nadra’s data entry operators for the anomalies, the latter blames teachers hired by ECP who conducted the door-to-door verification of voters last year.
According to ECP officials, the staff at Nadra made mistakes in the data entry process which were identified by the commission when it compared the computerised rolls with the original copy in its records.
Nadra officials, however, claim that such discrepancies arose because the teachers hired by ECP during the door-to-door verification campaign did not personally visit the voters in many districts and filled the forms while sitting in their offices.
In thousands of such cases, these teachers put their own thumb impressions in the forms, Nadra officials said, adding that they identified this by comparing the thumb impressions on the forms with the impressions of original persons in their database.
The bulk of such cases came from Quetta, Pishin, Jafarabad, Loralai and Qilla Abdullah districts of Balochistan and Karachi, Sanghar, Khairpur and Daharki districts in Sindh.
There are also reports of such discrepancies in Jhang and Murree in Punjab.
A large number of people in these areas come from villages and have only one address, Nadra officials said, adding that would help in resolving 92% of such discrepancies immediately.
The ECP also assured the Supreme Court that the new ‘error-free’ computerised electoral rolls will be ready by mid-May.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 18th, 2012.
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